We should stop entertaining cattle raiders

We should stop entertaining cattle raiders
A herder holds a high caliber riffle as he guards his cattle. [Photo: Courtesy]

On Monday, a Member of Parliament representing Yirol East County in Lakes State, Dr Awel Mawien, presented a motion in Parliament to seek an efficient response to the frequent cases of cattle raids that have paralysed parts of the country.

In his presentation before the House, Mawien cited an in incident of cattle raid in Aliet Cattle Camp and highlighted that the problem is chronic and widespread, hence, the need for immediate response.

It was during his presentation that he did not only call for intervention from the national government but also a detailed plan from the Ministry of Interior on how the national government will respond to the problem.

“It is essential for this August House to recommend to the national government to find holistic and national approaches that will reduce or eradicate cattle raid activities in the country,” he stated.

“Its impacts are profound, for it is the main cause of insecurity and inter-communal conflicts that claim lives of many youth, women and children across the country,” the lawmaker added.

Rightly so, the lawmaker said the minister, Angelina Teny, whose docket is in charge of security and prisons service should explain why these cattle rustlers remain untouchable.

The move by the member of parliament should receive overwhelming backing by the South Sudanese legislators, especially those whose areas are facing the snag of cattle rustling. States such as Jonglei, Lakes, Warrap, Unity, Central Equatoria and even Abye and Pibor Administrative areas are currently facing this problem.

Apart from the political instability in some parts of the country, cattle raids remain one of the major sources of insecurity. It comes with a culture of hefty dowry payments and a serious gap in the justice system which allows criminals to raid villages with impunity.

It is about time that our society and the various levels of government face this problem head-on. We must acknowledge the fact that cattle raids is theft and the culprits, once apprehended, should be jailed without a question. Our societies have been masked by killings and abductions which should be equally condemned and their perpetrators severely punished. However, we should not overlook the fact that cattle theft is in itself a punishable crime.