September 28, 2016 (BOR) - Over 80 heads of cattle were stolen from Bor west county in South Sudan’s Jonglei state by suspected Murle men, officials said.
- Cattle keeper Abraham Thon stands in front of some resting cows outside Bor, the capital of South Sudan’s Jonglei state, on 20 September 2014 (ST)
The attack reportedly occurred days after the government and community representatives from both Boma and Jonglei states held a consultative peace meeting in Bor town to end cattle rustling and child abductions.
The commissioner of Bor West county, Simon Thon Ayuen, said the “criminals” were those opposed to the peace process.
“The prime suspects are from Boma state. They came took some cattle and they are heading towards Boma state. The youth of the county are now pursuing them”, he said.
There were, however, disparities in number of cattle stolen. For instance, while the commissioner said 400 heads of cattle were stolen, multiple eyewitnesses estimated the numbers of the stolen cattle to be between 80 and 90.
The incident, Ayuen stressed, will not block the ongoing peace process.
“We are still committed to peace, but anti-peace agents are still doing this. We must take care of these criminals on both sides before we reach the final peace agreement,” said the commissioner.
He further added, “Authorities in Pibor have to wait for these criminals, when they reach, they have to be captured and detained, and the government may immediately report back to our government”.
The Boma state governor, Baba Medan, told Sudan Tribune said he was aware of the stolen cattle, but did not hint on how the criminals would be traced.
He accused some elements in both Boma and Jonglei state of allegedly working very hard to disrupt the peace process.
Medan named some government officials and prominent people in both states as being against the peace process.
There are fears among the public about the fate of the ongoing peace initiative between the two states in the wake of the recent defection of former top cobra officials like Khalid Boutros, among others.