A South Sudanese MP advocated setting up special courts to punish cattle rustlers.
A legislator from Yei River in the South Sudan national legislature has proposed the formation of special tribunals to prosecute livestock rustlers across the country.
Cattle raiding is the theft of livestock, most notably cows.
Cattle raiding is a prevalent occurrence among South Sudan’s pastoralist communities.
Over 200 head of livestock were allegedly raided by suspected raiders last week in Lun village, Mugo Payam, Yei River County.
The Honorable Paul Yoane Bonju explained in an Eye Radio report seen by NCMP this morning that special tribunals should be formed to combat livestock theft and cow-related crimes.
According to the MP’s honest view, there are two things that must be addressed in order to handle the problem of livestock raids holistically. To start with, South Sudan needs a special court to deal with the problem of livestock raiding and theft across the nation.
The second thing that Honorable Paul recommends is to hold the leaders of these communities who are generating issues in various places of our nation accountable, and they should face the law.
According to the Secretary General of the Pastoralist Union in South Sudan, there is no government strategy in place to oversee pastoralists in the nation.
Concerns were expressed when the nation documented multiple cases of violence caused by the presence of cattle in rural areas.
“As a leader, people are expected to follow and respect whatever you say. But if what you say as a leader is not recognized, something is amiss somewhere,” he continued.
Unlike in Central Equatoria, herders and farmers in Upper Nile have established procedures to cope with pastoralist-farmer conflict.
“When we reach the location, we send explorers to assess the areas of agriculture and the routes that we may travel after making sure that there is no farm in the area in which we will settle after that, we will camp there,” said Chief Ahemad Omer Yonis, a nomadic herder in Upper Nile state.
This, according to Yonis, helps to reduce bad blood between herders and farmers.
“The connection between farmers in the region is excellent, but if cattle damage crops, we always attempt to sit down, agree, and recompense the farm owner.”
Yonis said that herders in the Renk region pay what he refers to as “traffic fees” to the local administrative officer in order for their livestock to pass through.