Don’t blame whole community for Kapoeta attacks, leader says

Don’t blame whole community for Kapoeta attacks, leader says
Community distances itself from blames over insecurity. Leaders warn against wholesome condemnation.

The “Kelangboor Community’’— comprising the leaders of Murle, Tennet, Laarim, and Didinga—has lashed out at what they consider to be blanket condemnation of a community over the recent attack in Kapoeta North County.

The group was reacting to the recent incident of attacks in Kapoeta North County, Eastern Equatoria State.

They argue that such broad condemnations taint the image of the entire community instead of just the few criminals elements causing havoc in the society.

Earlier this month, the government of Eastern Equatoria State and the Toposa community leaders accused armed youth from the Pibor Administrative Area, Budi, and Lafon counties of carrying out cattle raids in Kapoeta North.

However, in a press conference held yesterday in Juba, Angelo Dario, Budi (Laarim and Didinga) community chairman, said the three communities did not sit and discuss anywhere to go and raid Kapoeta’s North County cattle camps as claimed by the Kapeota leaders.

Dario argued that community leaders should not support such broad condemnations of the community since they just serve to incite greater intergroup conflict.

“We, the communities of Kelangboor (Tennet, Murle, Laarim, and Didinga), would like to send our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of the victims of the incident which occurred in Kapoeta North County between the Toposa cattle keepers and some alleged youth from Kelangboor Community.”

“The community of Kelangboor heard of the incident through social media outlets in the past few days where our youth were said to have been involved in a deadly cattle raid in Kapoeta North County,” Dario said.

He added that Tennet, Murle, Didinga, and Laarim strongly condemn the acts committed by the suspected raiders and criminals from the aforementioned communities.

However, the leader stated that the Keiangboor Community was shocked by the utterances of Commissioner Emmanuel Epone Lolimo and other leaders of Kapoeta North County, who took sides against the other communities through “baseless accusations.’’

“We, the Kelangboor community, do not condone such barbaric acts. We, therefore, call upon the authorities from the two sisterly states (EES and GPAA) to investigate the issue and bring the perpetrators to book as per the laws of South Sudan. “

They said the commissioner and other leaders should have coordinated with their counterparts to find the facts because the raiders are criminals who are not sent by their respective communities.

“South Sudan is awash with all kinds of criminals; be it cattle rustlers, highway robbers, unknown gunmen, or others. Therefore, we should not tarnish the image of the entire community in the name of a few criminals,” Mr. Dario added.

He said the leaders to be pioneers of peace among their people instead of inciting the community.

The incident in Kapeota claimed more than 280 lives and injured 140 people. The assailants raided 15,000 cattle from the area.