By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
February 8, 2013 (BENTIU) – Authorities in Mayiandit County of South Sudan’s Unity state said they recovered nearly 100 heads of cattle, raided from neighbouring Lakes state.
- Cattle in Jonglei state, South Sudan (Oxfam)
At least 90 cows were on Thursday handed over to their rightful owners, during an operation supervised by about 20 South Sudan army (SPLA) soldiers. Most of the animals were reportedly from Lakes state’s Rumbek North County.
Last week, Lakes state caretaker governor, Matur Chut Dhoul ordered security forces to search for the stolen animals, raided by cattle rustlers from Unity State.
“We are taking these cows to their owners after we were assigned by our commanders to recover them from raiders [and] through local chiefs’ facilitation, we made it successful because we want our citizens to live in peace,” an SPLA soldier speaking on condition of anonymity told Sudan Tribune.
Meanwhile, Unity state authorities have urged their counterparts in Lakes state to investigate circumstances under which over 8,000 animals were raided from Payinjiar County in November last year.
More than 10 people died and five others were wounded in the attack, carried out by a group allegedly clad in SPLA uniforms.
Phillip Aguer, the army spokesperson, in an earlier interview with Sudan Tribune, dismissed the claim, saying people with intentions to tarnish the army’s image carried out the attack.