South Sudan

Two kidnapped children freed from Lake State cattle rustlers

News and Press Release
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By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

January 31, 2012 (BENTIU) - Group of criminal gangs suspected to have come have stolen over 300 head of cattle and abducted two children in “Dhorkiere” from west Pachar payam of Payinjiar County of Unity State.

Unity State officials allege that the cattle raiders came from Amongpiny and Malek Payams of Rumbek Central County of Lakes State.

According to Peter Gai Joak, the area commissioner, said that the South Sudan army (SPLA) and police recovered the stolen cows and the two abducted children on Monday 30 January.

One of the cattle owners was shot dead in the raid, the official said, with two others seriously wounded.

Payinjiar County held a disarmament campaign last year but now they say this has left them vulnerable to attacks.

The county was affected by a flood last year. Many families depend on their cows to survive and they extremely valuable for status and bridal wealth. .

The Payinjiar County commissioner strongly condemned the brutal attack by the group of armed cattle rustlers.

“It is unfortunate that some people are still continuing with these brutal activities and frustrate government efforts of bringing peace into the region”, said Joak.

Joak told Sudan Tribune on Tuesday that now security is back to normal following the return of the stolen cattle. The attack was one of the first such attacks in Unity State since South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.

Last year the Payinjiar County commissioner together with local chiefs and SPLA forces collected more than 300 guns from civilians. Joak has made wide campaign in the disarmament exercise by convincing the local population to handover their weapons freely without the use of force, saying that he would guarantee their security.

Joak promised the civilian population in his county that security was his priority.