By Bonifacio Taban Kuich
March 11, 2013 (BENTIU) – Authorities in South Sudan’s Unity state said they recovered 56 herds of cattle raided from neighbouring Warrap last week, apprehending 10 cattle rustlers in the process.
Two people, according to state officials, died on both sides of the region during the operation.
Bol Mayak, the Mayom County commissioner in Unity state said Monday that plans were underway to return the stolen animals to his counterpart in Twic County.. The two state governments, early this year, initiated a policy to recover and re-unite with their owners all cattle stolen from either region.
Joseph Arop Malual, Unity State Minister for Information and Communication confirmed the recovery of the 56 stolen cattle and arrests of the raiders allegedly involved.
“About 56 cows are now in the hand of the government and 10 people, reportedly involved are now [in] detention and are now [being] kept in Mayom [county] police station”, Malual told Sudan Tribune Monday.
Unity state government, the minister stressed, is due to implement a policy that will make cattle raiding an illegal practice, adding that the recovered animals will be taken back to Warrap and handed over to rightful owners.
“The government is cooperating and there is a touch [law] calling on the commissioners to eradicate cattle raiding [practices] along the borders, because they cause conflict among people”, said Malual.
Meanwhile, the three governors of Warrap, Lakes and Unity state, as well as eight county commissioners from the border regions of the three states, are in the South Sudan capital, Juba to devise ways of curbing cattle raiding activities.
Also high on the agenda, sources told Sudan Tribune, is the plan to deploy security forces to patrol borders, protect communities and apprehend cattle raiders.
Cattle raiding remain one of the worst forms of violence in South Sudan, 20 months since its independence. This year, the United Nations estimates that up to 200,000 people are at risk of internal displacement due to violence-related incidences.