At least three cattle keepers have been arrested in Amadi State for violating an order not to enter into grazing lands with their animals.
The order banning cattle keepers from entering States in Equatoria region where farmers cultivate was issued three years ago by President Salva Kiir. The President had instructed cattle keepers mainly from Terekeka, Jonglei and greater Lakes states to leave farming lands.
This was to help prevent violence between farmers and cattle keepers, and to keep the farmland safe for production.
The national army and state officials were instructed to facilitate the return of the pastoralists to their home areas. However, there have been several reports of cattle keepers refusing to cooperate with the authorities.
Amadi State officials said the continued presence of cattle in the area violates the President’s decrees. John Obote, the State Minister of Information said cattle mainly from Yirol, Terekeka and Bor have remained in the state.
“They are 4 groups; Mundari , Atuot, Aliab and Bor. So they are basically three,” said Obote.
He said the pastoralists declined a meeting called by the County authority to discuss their presence in the Mundri, prompting the Commissioner to order for their arrest.
“They are under the custody of the police until when their colleagues from the other cattle camps appear. They will be taken to the court,” Mr. Obote.
He revealed that there are about forty cattle camps still existing in greater Mundri alone.
In 2015, cattle keepers, who came from Jonglei and Lakes states agreed to move out of Western Equatoria. Those in Mvolo and Mundri East left, but seven camps reportedly remain behind.
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