Community Leaders Chat Out Ways To Combat Cattle Rustling

A section of the leaders during a county forum meeting in Torit. [Gurtong]

The leaders included Executive Directors, Paramount Chiefs, Youth representatives, Women representatives, Civil Society representatives, among others, drawn from the eight state counties of Eastern Equatoria State though Ikwoto County was not represented.

The one-day interactive workshop was organized by community organizing program with support from National Democratic Institute and discussed root causes of cattle rustling which include among others; high dowry, youth unemployment, revenge, poverty, lack of education among others.

The Juba Based Assistant Program Manager of the Community Organizing Program Alimure Ali Awuda told press their ultimate goals was to foster citizens’ participation and government’s accountability.

The Cattle rustling was identified as number one issue during a recent youth forum held in Torit and during pre-issue forums held last month in five counties including; Torit, Ikwoto, Budi, Lopa/Lafon and Kapoeta South counties.

Director General of the Ministry of Local Government, Law Enforcement and Wildlife Conservation Abdalla Hassan Famai briefed press on some of the suggested solutions to reduce cattle rustling.

However the participants demanded more issue forums to be conducted at County and Payam levels to allow youth who may be active in cattle raiding to reduce the activities.

Among recommendations documented were, full implementation of local government act 2009, improvement of law enforcement and deployment of police personnel in Payams and hot spot areas, formation of community policing, empowering of chiefs by appointing Sub-Chiefs, Retainers and clerks.

Other recommendations include; provision of markets to bring together people who raid each other and establish a law to be put in place to unify bride price and allow inter-marriages to be encouraged among different communities.

The leaders recommended that any person arrested because of cattle raiding should be taken for imprisonment in another state to avoid them escaping from prison.

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