EDITORIAL: Central Equatoria must ensure justice for Mogiri victims

EDITORIAL: Central Equatoria must ensure justice for Mogiri victims
Central Equatoria State Governor Anthony Emmanuel Adil. [Photo: Courtesy]

On Friday, nine people were killed and three children abducted at Lokiliri Village in Juba County, Central Equatoria State, in an attack carried out by suspected armed herders.

Several people fled the area as the attackers torched houses. Reports revealed that an unconfirmed number of goats from the area were raided by the attackers.

The attackers also moved out of their transit camp in Mogiri, Juba County, and cruelly attacked Lokiliri Village on Friday morning while others were still in bed. They killed nine innocent civilians.

According to the Central Equatoria State authorities, the attackers are armed cattle herders from Jonglei State, who were temporarily camping in the Mogiri area after they were relocated from Lobonok and Kit.

However, Governor Emmanuel Anthony Adil had ordered the immediate relocation of the cattle following the attacks. He called on locals to cooperate with the authorities and herders in the process of evacuation.

While what provoked the attack remains unclear, this is not the first time that the cattle herders have carried out such a heinous attack. Since the beginning of the year, there have been several similar attacks, especially in areas of Magwi, Nimule, and Lobonok, that claimed innocent lives on both sides of the communities.

And while the situation seems to have calmed down in Magwi and Nimule, the authorities in Central Equatoria State must address the volatile situation in Mogiri and hold the perpetrators accountable. There should be no continued unnecessary loss of innocent lives.

It is almost one month since the cattle were relocated from Lobonok, but it is not clear why the authorities decided to allow the herders to camp in Mogiri yet they were cleared to move to Jonglei State.

Understandably, the herders had wanted to take some rest, but the transit in Mogiri should not have taken a long time as that was not their final destination. The authorities seemed to have forgotten that the mission had not been accomplished.

So, if this situation is not addressed, it is likely to distract the transport route from Juba to Torit because even before the recent attack, there were reported cases of attack along the Juba-Torit road, although not regularly.

The Central Equatoria State authorities should ensure peace is returned in the area and avoid further creation of insecurity in the state, especially in the areas that are close the city epicentre.