Gov’t, IGAD differ in Torit on cattle menace

Gov’t, IGAD differ in Torit on cattle menace
The government and IGAD could not agree on how to settle the cattle menace. [Photo: File]

A government official on Thursday disagreed with The Inter-Governmental Agency on Development (IGAD) on how to move livestock from one grazing ground to another in a seasonal cycle.

The cattle menace has been cited a major course for internal conflict in Eastern Equatoria State (EES).

Dr Makwei Malwal, the Undersecretary in the national Ministry of Livestock, said the internal cattle conflict has nothing to do with the IGAD protocol on transhumance but that it was the responsibility of the government to stem such conflicts whenever they arise.

“Movement within the country is a prerogative of the government. Yes there are concerns because some few weeks ago lives have been lost between pastoral and non-pastoral community, but it had nothing to do with this protocol,” he said.

He spoke at the end of a two-day high-level meeting aimed at engaging non IGAD countries to develop cross border transhumance governance mechanisms, specifically between South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR) while proposing to hold and exchange learning mission to another region where transhumance protocol implementation has worked.

 Ambassador Majur Morwal Mager, the representative of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, strongly urged parliamentarians to look at the bigger picture in the issues raised rather than looking at them with a community prism.

“When it comes to the national issues, I beg that you look at national interest not community interest. Not even your own personal interests,” said Mager.

During the deliberations, the South Sudan legal and policy makers represented by committees of the revitalised national legislative assembly, namely legislation and justice, fisheries and livestock among other line ministries supported the IGAD protocol on transhumance

The 13 resolutions developed during the meeting among them is the enactment of national law towards domestication of the protocol on transhumance and other necessary laws by the national legislature.

The meeting further resolved to fast track implementation of laws on combating interstate cattle rustling and disarmament among others.

“When we get rid of cattle rustling, we make everyone go back to school we are to put off this cattle rustling is to put everyone to go to school, because people who go to school have other ambitions rather than engaging in fights,” said Dr Adam Bika, IGAD representative.

Mary Nyarieka Lorjok who is a Member of Parliament said such conflicts are part of the reasons why developments cannot take place in some parts of the country.

“We can have more development in Africa like China if we get rid of these gridlocks and focus on development,” she said.