January 9, 2013 (JUBA) - Authorities in Rumbek, the capital of Lakes State has denied allegations from Unity State’s Payinjiar County that the Lakes State government is behind cross border cattle raids.
Abraham Mayen Kuc, the Commissioner of Rumbek Central County blamed his counterpart of Payinjiar for not cooperating with him.
Mayen noted that trading accusations "will not help us at all" and that they needed "to unite as [a] government to combat cattle raiders as a team and as a one system under one government, under one constitution instead with waste time accusing each another”.
Lakes State "is not aware of an attack move toward Unity state in Makur Village of Payinjiar County”, Mayen said, adding that it was a national duty to fight cattle raiding and disarm civilians.
Mayen said that security forces had captured four civilians wearing military uniforms "sometime ago", implying that just because the raiders wore military uniforms does not mean they were members of the South Sudanese army (SPLA).
The SPLA spokesperson, Colonel Philip Aguer, has also denied that the military is behind any cattle raiding attacks. Aguer told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that there are criminals who dress in army uniform to tarnish the image of the SPLA.
Commissioner Mayen said he has suggested to his colleague in Payinjiar County should travel to his county to see if they can identify any of their cows in the local cattle camps. Mayen said he would provide security for those from Lakes State who wanted to search Rumbek Central County for their cattle.