Home | News    Friday 22 February 2013

Three die in raids on Unity state by Sudanese nomads

By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

February 21, 2013 (BENTIU) - South Sudan’s Unity state on Thursday accused nomadic groups from the Sudanese state of South Kordofan of launching a series of cross-border attacks on its Parieng and Mayom counties, killing three people. Two people are still missing after the attacks.

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Unity state cattle recovered from Warrap rustlers in South Sudan, 11 September 2011 (ST)

In Parieng county two people were allegedly killed on 19 February by members of the Chenaabela tribe from South Kordofan, who stole grain and carried it away on camels and donkeys.

On 20 February, witnesses say that members of the Awlad Amaran clan of the Misseriya tribe attacked Nyakong cattle camp in Mayom county, killing one person and taking 745 head of cattle.

Nomads from the Chenaabela group also attacked Pangook village of the Gumriak payam [district] in Parieng county on Wednesday, taking grain from residents, officials in the area said.

Peter Makuach Demiabek, a local MP representing constituency No: 2 of Jamjang, says the raiders came in a large number with camels and donkeys to carry away the stolen produce.

He said that the raiders are alleged to have come from Talodi in South Kordofan, only took the grain after they were unable to find cattle.

The local MP urged county authorities to deploy more security forces to the area in order to curb raids from Sudanese nomads.

In response to Wednesday’s attack on Mayom county, which killed one person, young men chased the attackers, killing two of them, they claim.

Peter Dak Khan, an MP who represents Mayom, says the looted cattle have not been returned and denied that youth from his area crossed the international border when pursuing the Sudanese nomads back into South Kordofan.

“There was nothing like that. [The] Misseriya attack [on the] Mayom community and those who were killed or wounded from Misseriya were killed in self-defence by the youths of Mayom county”, said Khan.

Last year, following South Sudan’s independence in 2011, the Bul-Nuer of Unity state and the Misseriya inked several agreements to allow Sudanese nomads to trade and cattle graze their cattle in South Sudan.

According to previous talks the chiefs from both sides agreed that any violations of these treaties will require compensation to be paid to the affected communities by the group responsible.

Khan said that the Misseriya communities in Mayom town will have a role to play in normalising relations by helping to ensure stolen cattle is returned to their owners.

“The business people that are residing in Mayom town with the community are working [so] that the cows that were taken by Misseriya should be collected and returned to their owners and peace should return to the community of Mayom and also the community of Misseriya”, Khan said.

The community in Mayom county say they will still respect the agreement reached between Bul-Nuer and Misseriya and have expressed surprise over the raids.

Mayom county authorities are urging young men from the area not to respond to the incident with further violence and to join negotiations with Misseriya chiefs in order for the stolen cattle to be returned.