Following the immediate capture of Peter Abdurrahman Sule, the security situation in Mundari East County remained calm but there is brewing tension involving the Moru tribe of Terekeka County and the neighbouring Mundari in Western Equatoria State (WES).
Intelligence services had linked Sule, who once served as South Sudan’s Minister of Cooperatives and Rural Development to one of the country’s rebel groups.
Ali Francis, the Terekeka County Commissioner said that the Moru have accused the Mundari of raiding cattle from Terekeka then taking them to Mundari East.
“Two weeks ago some Mundari cattle camps arrived in Kediba Payam. They were about 50 herds of cattle,” Ali disclosed.
He added that the County received a message from Terekeka that these cattle were stolen so their presence in Mundari was causing a lot of conflict between the communities there.
The commissioner said that, “the cattle raiders came within our territory and they want to hide in Mundri East with their cattle, we are trying by all means to arrest them with the cattle.”
Communities in Mudri East complained that the cattle were destroying their crops which were already withering due to lack of rainfall.
“You know this year we dint have enough rainfall and the little the community cultivated the cattle are destroying. The community members came to talk to the chiefs to order the removal of the wondering cattle from the area,” Ali stressed.
The fugitives assured the natives that they will leave but the local people were not happy. “They are used to hiding in our County when they have problems. They are all criminals; this is not the first time,” Ali complained.
Commissioner Ali stated that most communities of the Mundari are coexisting with the locals in the County and that only those who have brought stolen cattle into the area are a threat.
“We are not going to accommodate them because they have a lot of cattle that are destroying our crops. We are calling upon the government to intervene before it develops into a conflict; we need a peaceful settlement to this issue,” decried Commissioner Ali.
Early on September, the Government of South Sudan ordered the SPLA’s sixth division to remove all cattle camps from the greater Mundri to avoid conflicts between the farmers and the cattle owners.