South Sudan Civil War: Government Troops Raid Cattle For “The President, Food and Prestige”!

As many South Sudanese continue to endure political conflict, many others are displaced or killed in conflicts over the cattles(Photo credits: UN/Tim McKulka)

As many South Sudanese continue to endure political conflict, many others are displaced or killed in conflicts over the cattles(Photo credits: UN/Tim McKulka)

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.

9 comments

  • michael nogi lubeno

    you are really about the case of Liang. it was the rebel who attacked Liang village on 11/10/2015 and killed two people from Liang. whatever you are saying thatthe government came and attacked your area it was really totally wrong. can you tell us when did you captured Liang? you are you having your clear vission about what you are doing as rebel? imaging such place Like Liang there is no government troops there and there is no any building for the government. the all building which you people have burned down was just for civilians. why are you killing the civilians in Liang? the way acted it can tell that, there is clear objectives for your movement that is why you end up killing civilians and burning thiers houses. but God knows what you are doing no matter what soever you do. now you are saying the government troops attacked you in Liang meanwhile it was the rebel who attacked the civilians in Liang, and when the government heard the gunshot in Liang and they came and found that the rebel have left the Liang area. please stop what you people are reporting about Liang what took place in Liang.

  • Michael Nogi Lubeno

    your movement is really confused because there is no clear objectives for your movement that is why you are killing civilians, and burning the civilians houses in Liang. this is not your first time to do suchthings in Liang. you have been killing many civilians special in Liang Boma. On the date 24/9/2015 the rebel came and attacked the Liang Boma and the date 3/8/2014 the rebel did the same to Liang people. now this is the third time they came and killed two people in Liang. after doing bad things to people and the same rebel killing people burning the houses of the civilians turning the story to the govenrment. the government troops did not attacked the rebel at any place in Liang. it was the rebel who came and attacked the civilians in Liang by killing them and burning the houses.

  • I know one day part of south sudan will end up in the hand of Arab without everlasting freedom, when one region get every lasting freedom believe me

  • Go back to school Michael, your comment bear no value.

  • YES, if Cattle are not taken and people are not killed then we can not call it war. let people dead so that when peace come to south sudanese. there will be no boby dream for war again i south sudan.

  • Micheal, these are visionless and Fake Rebels, I don,t see the reason as to why they killed innocent civilian, they don,t attack Army base or Barrack but they attacked civilian villages, that is the characteristic of fail movement.Riek machar,s movement is always a fail movement which killed and looted innocent civilian,s properities

    • GatNor

      Cattle raiders with “cowdung mentality”. Micheal & Amen, the culprits you are looking to blame are clearly the same usual suspects from cattle ranches of Warrap so please stop deluding yourself that the raiders come from anywhere else rather than the article allegedly stated.

  • Tolio

    There were no cattle raids amongst South Sudanese cattle keeping tribes between 1983, a year SPLM/A was formed and 1990.

    When all towns of South Sudanese cattle keeping tribes were under control of troops from the National Islamic Front regime, cattle camps,far from the towns themselves,were safe places where local Cattle keeping civilians hide to void both ground and aeriel attacks which Sudane Government troops carried out on the villages of those civilians.

    Those cattle camps ceased to be no longer safe hiding grounds for civilians who fled Sudanese government atrocities. The cattle rather became those civilians,death camps and graveyards with all their cattle and belongings looted.

    Thousands of civilians who were massacred in those cattle camps were mainly from the Dinka tribe.

    It was the first time the poor Dinka civilians heard sounds of guns and explosion of RPGs,fired at them before majority of them met their deaths and fatal injuries in those cattle camps where they never expected Khartoum’s government soldiers who were the only enemy at the time to attack them.

    The civilians’ expectations were indeed right. The deadly attacks on them in their cattle camps happened very surprisingly not be the NIF forces,but brand new enemy that they didn’t know before had just emerged.

    The violent cattle raids began immediately following the SPLM/A split in 1991 between Dr John Garang and Dr Riek Machar.

    Those responsible for the attacks which killed unarmed Dinka civilians and looting of their cattle and other belongings in places such as Bor and Lake States for the first time, were Dr Machar’s military forces and some civilians from his Nuer tribe whom he and the NIF had armed in an attempt to destroy the SPLM/A faction under the late Dr Garang and his Dinka tribe he longs.

    At that time the SPLM/A soldiers led by Dr Garang and his military Chief of Staff, General Salva Kiir saw the cattle raids as a trivial matter whom they shouldn’t put their troops on the grounds to fight against. They left problem there and put their military focus on fighting the government of Sudan, the only prime enemy for whom they went to the jungle.

    Faced with an enemy with no army to protect them from,the Dinka civilians became the Gelweng on their own accord and chosed to protect themselves and their properties such as cattle and other valuable goods against attackers.

    SPLM/A rules which were under our late founding leader, Dr John Garang and now under President Kiir, prohibit them and their fellow soldiers to carry out any forms of looting such as the alleged looting of civilians’ properties like cattle and other belongings.

    In fact,the SPLA soldiers have a moto “Do not loot.Do not let go” as a guiding criterion for sharing bread with a fellow civilian who had such bread during the late civil war between North and South,hence getting a survival win-win for both soldiers and the civilians. Look how far that brought them both? It brought those civilians and soldiers all that long alive to celebrate the independence of South Sudan together and that’s good,isn’t it? It absolutely is.

    If SPLA wanted some food assistance from civilians during the North- South civil war,they made their requests through chiefs of tribe or chiefs of camps in every organized ways. These are called ‘Tayinad’,in arabic, which were either given out as raw food or ready to serve to soldiers.

    As exemplified, President Kiir has never ever been a looter of civilian properties and his soldiers value the nation and its citizens better than enriching themselves with illegal properties acquired from violence against innocent civilians.

    If kiir and his soldiers loot civilians today,why couldn’t they have looted civilians many years ago in the bush, a time when they were not paid salaries and had no country they represented at home and at world’s stage?

    Just because the president has cattle,it doesn’t mean he looted them from the civilians in Unity States. He might have acquired the cattle from men who had married the girls in his family circles like every body else or bought some of those cows with his own salaries.

    Instead of running dirty smear campaigns against the President and the national army,the rebels should work on implementation of peace to take the country forward, so the IPDs go back to their towns and villages. The people who are suffering now,are more important than the President’s image.