JUBA – The Community Empowerment and Progress Organization (CEPO) has warned that the likelihood of a deadly revenge attack in Eastern Equatoria state is high and urged the national government to expedite efforts to bring the warring communities – pastoralists and farmers – together in order to end the conflicts between them peacefully.
Last week, armed men killed around 22 people during a deadly attack on a Bor community cattle camp in Eastern Equatoria State’s Magwi County. The victims, authorities and community leaders said in various media statements, are mostly women, elderly and children who sought refuge in Eastern Equatoria from floods.
This morning, President Salva Kiir Mayardit dispatched a team of top security officials led by the chief of defense forces General Santino Deng Wol, and the Director General of the Internal Security Bureau of the National Security Service (NSS) General Akol Koor Kuc in order to meet the conflicting communities in a bid to bring to an end the disagreement between the two communities.
In a statement, the CEPO welcomed the decision of the government in Juba to dispatch the security chiefs along with the governor of Eastern Equatoria state Louis Lobong in order to diffuse tensions between the communities and described the government intervention as a “positive response” to the rights group’s earlier call for government intervention.
“A high level committee comprising of Eastern Equatoria State Governor, Army CDF, police IGP and Director of National Services for ISB are in Nimule for mitigating the growing frictions among the farmers and pastoralists from Bor following the deadly armed cattle raiding that took place in Mugali and Melijo payams of Magwi country,” the CEPO statement reads in part.
“Community Empowerment for Progress Organization appreciates move and it is demonstration of positive response to our call made on the government to urgently prevent and investigate the occupied deadly cattle raiding,” the statement added.
CEPO’s Executive Director Edmund Yakani further urged the government to identify the identity of the people responsible for instigating violence such as those who were involved in the deadly cattle rate that killed innocent civilians and further warned that a deadly revenge attack is imminent if the government does not take necessary steps to avert it.
“The likelihood of deadly revenge attack will occur is high and it is essential that the government get effective in preventing occurrence of any revenge attack. The tension is growing among the farmers and Bor pastoralists communities. Deploying effective forces to prevent them for further clashes is necessary,” Yakani warns.
“The high-level committee that visited Nimule should help in clarifying the identity of the deadly cattle raiding in Mugali and Melijo payams. Per the identity of the raiders is not clear and contradicting identifies were mentioned in separate official statement release for the public consumption. The Magwi violence is risk since it has direct impact on food security. It needs to be resolve faster so the communities will return to their farms than staying in IDPs camps,” Yakani stressed.
The group further urged “the government to provide security and protection for the cattle herders’ that are returning to Bor. The likelihood of them facing cattle raiders on their way back home is high
In separate development, CEPO condemned the renewal of violence today in Abyei Administrative area in Rumamer County –Agok town and surrounding areas.
“Finally, CEPO is urging the national government to urgently have national dialogue on mitigation of this increasing armed deadly inter-communal violence across the country. Some of these incidences may amount to crime against humanity.”