Maridi County wants cattle herders escorted out of area

Maridi County wants cattle herders escorted out of area
One of the cattle camps in Maridi County, Western Equatoria State (Courtesy Photo)

The authority in Maridi County, Western Equatoria State, is appealing to the SSPDF to drive the cattle herders out of the area.

Speaking to the media from Maridi County, the area commissioner, Mirri Alfred, said the 20 days given to the cattle herders to leave the area have already elapsed.

 “I issued a local directive last year and they failed to honour it. We also agreed and signed a document during the conference where they agreed to leave in 20 days last month and only a few have gone while the majority of them are hiding with their cattle in the bushes,” he said.

 “So, I met with SSPDF on how they can go and escort the herders peacefully, and if they fail again, this is where SSPDF will use force on them,” Mirri said.

According to him, the cattle herders are causing havoc in the area and denying the indigenous people access to the forest.

 “The worst thing now is the cattle herders don’t want to see my people carrying pangas moving around, even though they are blocking access for my people who want to enter their ancestral land as it is time for hunting and bush clearance for the agricultural season,” he said.

“I am calling upon the national government to intervene before it gets worse as both state and county have tried their level and nothing worked out,” Mirri added.

Last month, the county authorities conducted a conference organised by the local authorities which brought in elders from the Bor community, national members of the parliament representing Jonglei State, traditional leaders and community members of Maridi.

During the meeting, the cattle herders resolved to leave the area within 20 days which the authorities said twenty days have already elapsed.