20 people killed, over 1,000 herds of cattle raided in EES

20 people killed, over 1,000 herds of cattle raided in EES

A least 20 people were killed and more than 1,000 herds of raided in Nimule, Eastern Equatoria State, on Wednesday at 5:30 pm. The incident took place at Melijo and Mugali payams in Magwi County.

According to a Nimule border point chief, Marko Madol, a group of youth drawn from different tribes believed to have come from the Eastern Equatoria State attacked the cattle camp, shot 52 cattle and stole over 1,000 others. Mador said 27 people were also injured in the process.

 “They shot 20 people dead, among them two children one aged a year and a half and a three-months-old child injured,” he said. 

The Secretary-General of Bor Community Youth Association in Nimule border, Panther Pat, narrated how he witnessed the bodies of the victims at the scene of the shootout. 

He explained that the cattle keepers had positioned all their cattle together, but now all of them had been stolen.

“We have people pursuing them and we also have casualties which we may report later,” he said.

 “The situation is calm in town; there is no problem; businesses are going on and people are working as usual.” But the situation in the cattle camp is very terrible because we found women and children killed, which is very terrible, “he added. 

He said they had released all the cattle that were taken and only the calves and wounded cows were left.

The incident is not an isolated one. In April, four people were killed and 300 cattle were raided in Nimule by a group of unidentified armed raiders.

The group attacked a cattle camp in Jele—a suburb of Nimule town and raided 300 cattle.

Insecurity fears

On February 19, 2022, the Governor of Eastern Equatoria, Louis Lobong Lojore, visited Magwi County, where there had been an influx of cattle that sparked security concerns in the areas of Opari, Pageri, and Agoro.

After citizens had raised concerns about human rights violations by the herders, Lobong went to speak to the cattle keepers.

He urged the cattle keepers to respect local communities and stop encroaching on their farms.

The chief of the large cattle camp in Opari, Abraham Kur, said they moved to Magwi in search of water.

“We have not come here by force. The condition of the cattle made us come this far in search of water and grass. When the first rains come, we will go back to Lobonok and Jonglei, [which are] our home states”.

Cattle herders from Jonglei State’s Bor and other states have always clashed with farmers in Equatoria region over grazing territory.

In March, the administration of Magwi County in Eastern Equatoria State said more than 14,000 people were sheltering in Magwi town after being displaced by cattle keepers from Agoro-Chomboro and Amee.

The town began to witness the influx of IDPs after a group of armed cattle keepers ambushed a group of youth who were bathing at a water point and started shooting at them. There has been an influx of animals in areas of Agoro, Amee, and Pageri of Magwi County that has created fear among the host communities.