January 5, 2013 (RUMBEK) - Authorities in Cueibet County of Lakes state have reported that one person was killed and two others injured on Thursday in an alleged cattle raid by armed youth.
Cueibet County Commissioner, Isaac Mayom Malek, said the raiders attacked Nhomtit cattle camp near Pagor payam [district] of Cueibet County on Thursday morning. All the cows were recovered, he said, but the raiders reportedly killed one person while two people were wounded during the exchange of gunfire.
The government of Lakes State, has in recent years, tried to sensitize its pastoral communities to stop the practice of cattle raiding and conducted disarmament campaigns. This week, all of Lakes State’s eight counties reported that the Christmas and New Year periods had passed peacefully, with the exception of Cueibet County.
On 1 January, Cueibet County’s Malou-pec area was attacked by armed cattle raiders. Local authorities alleged that the attackers came from neighbouring Tonj South County of South Sudan’s Warrap State. The gunfight on Tuesday did not escalate into any wider insecurity.
However, fear of attacks from neighbouring Warrap and Unity State has led to some of Lakes State’s youth deciding to re-arm themselves, say local officials. The axis of Warrap, Unity and Lakes are perhaps South Sudan’s most tense internal borders.
“Nhomtit is a cattle camp occupied by Gok Dinka youth of Lakes state. The camp is just three hours walk from Pagor payam [district],” said commissioner Mayom.
The raiders are suspected to be from the Pakam Dinka of Rumbek North County, according to the commissioner. The county’s poor infrastructure and communication network, according to Mayom, cannot allow him communicate with his counterpart in Rumbek North.
“Communication to Rumbek North commissioner is hard. He is outside coverage of [South Sudan’s telecommunications] network. He is only reachable only on Thuraya [satellite] phone. I communicated the incident to Governor and the fact will be fine out. State authorities are aware of this fact,” he said.
Sudan Tribune was also not able to reach the Rumbek North County Commissioner, Stephen Mathiang Deng, for comment on Saturday.