South Sudan Civil War: Government Troops Raid Cattle For “The President, Food and Prestige”!
Oct 14, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — Despite a peace agreement that was signed in August this year, the government of Salva Kiir has continued to wage war in South Sudan’s Greater Upper region.
Multiple reports from Unity and Upper Nile States accuse the government troops of attacking rebels’ held areas in Maban and Rubkona counties in the last three days.
According to SPLA-IO military spokesman, government troops attacked their positions at Kewenyji and Lengeji payams in Maban County of Upper Nile State on Monday this week.
“Yesterday at 7:30AM, government troop made an offensive assault to Sudan People Liberation Army in Opposition (SPLA-IO) at Kewenyji and Lengeji payams /Maban County in Upper Nile State.” Col Gatjiath said on Tuesday.
Speaking to Nyamilepedia Press, Maj. Weirial Puok Baluang, the Press Secretary of military Governor of SPLM/SPLA-IO for Unity state, said the regime has launched multiple attacks in Wangjuot, Ruoh, Biew and Chotjaak in Ngop payam of Rubkotna County two days ago.
“The group under Munytuil sons in Lich State who called themselves government but never does any of the government activities like the rest of the world, have today advanced and attacked our defensive barracks at Tuarkiel area south west of Bentiu town but we have repulsed them.” Weirial said.
“This development came after they looted and burned civilians’s properties and villages respectively in Wangjuot, Ruoh, Biew and Chotjaak in Ngop payam of Rubkotna County last two days.” he continued.
Raiding Cattle For The President!
The rebel secretary claims that the government troops have raided 350 heads of cattle in Rubkona county, a report that Nyamilepedia cannot independently verify.
“The so called Salva Kiir’s sycophants in the name of government under Joseph Nguen looted around 350 head of cattle belonging to ChiengLokjaak subclan of Leek-Nuer between 9th-13th October.” he said.
Reliable sources confirmed that the government troops rely on raiding cattle from the civilians for food as they go for months without pay; the rebels, however, believe that the troops raid cattle for president Salva Kiir and his ethnic sub-Dinka tribe.
The armed opposition accuses the government troops for raiding cattle for senior officials including the president who keeps hundreds of herds of cattle in the capital, Juba.
“The worst thing isn’t that the cows were taken to Bentiu but because the cows were either taken to Kiir’s Luri or Gogrial cattle camps as a wealth for president kiir.” Weirial reiterates.
“It’s unfortunate for a president like Salva kiir to have a strong lust of innocent civilians properties by directly looting and transporting their cattle by cargoes.” he continued.
Weirial reiterates that the president distributes cattle to his clan men in Gogrial.
“We have received a report that Salva has opened a vast cattle distribution centre in Gogrial County (Awan Chan) aims at freely giving whoever is seen to have a little livestock. These are the cows looted by the SPLA from the helpless civilians in UNITY STATE between January to October this year.” the secretary said.
Many South Sudanese tribes, mostly the Dinka and the Nuer, keep cattle for food and prestige, a practice that is observed by many including the president who keeps a heavily guarded cattle camp in Luri.
Due to poor regulations of cattle and cattle keepers, the current conflict is dominated by inter and intra-tribal raids of cattle.
President Salva Kiir issued a Republican Decree earlier this year, ordering his tribesmen to move back their cattle from Equatorian region to Warrap, Lake and Jonglei states, where the cattle keepers evacuate raids from their fellow tribesmen or from the neighboring communities.
Despite the decrees, violence continues in almost all the ten states across the countries.
While more than one hundred people were killed and others displaced in Warrap states over land dispute, more than 600 civilians were displaced from Mundri county in Western Equatoria state as the regime struggles to control the county for the past two weeks.
According to observers, Salva Kiir’s attempt to create 28 states out of the current 10 states may intensifies internal tribal conflicts and violets the recently signed peace agreement.