Farmers, pastoralists dialogue in Juba
By Wek Atak Kacjang
Six communities of farmers and pastoralists have begun dialogue that would lead to the smooth repatriation of cattle to their origins.
In 2017, President Salva Kiir ordered for the repatriation of cattle back to their places of origin to avoid conflict between farming communities in the Equatoria and the pastoralists’ communities.
The ongoing dialogue named Community Engagement Committee for the Implementation of the Presidential Order 25/2017 would enable the farmers and pastoralists agree on a strategy that would facilitate the repatriation of cattle away from the Equatoria region.
The farming communities include the Bari, Ma’di, Acholi, OLubo, and Kuku who engaged in the dialogue with pastoralist communities of the greater Jonglei area.
Speaking during the opening day workshop, Gabriel Yuol, Deputy Co-chair of the committee said conflict between farmers and pastoralists has become one of the serious issues in the country.
“We have to organize our cattle in a way that we can all benefit from them. You are here responsible to find solution to this particular problem,” he told the committee members.
He urged state governors to take the resolutions from the dialogue very seriously in order to ensure all communities live peacefully in the country.
Juma Stephen, Jubek State Minister of Information who represented Jubek State said the dialogue forum will address vital concerns between pastoralists and farmers in Equatoria.
“In the spirit of peace and harmony that has taken place among our leaders is to reflect within pastoralists and our farmers to come to a solution,” Juma said.
“Today the situation has become worst because the number of cattle has increased especially in Mangala County, there are also many cattle in Lobonok County and Kajo-Keji,” Stephen stated.
He said some of the cattle destroy farm lands, leaving farmers with meager harvests every season.
“If the crops are destroyed it is a negative impact economically to our farmers but it is positive to the side of the pastoralists,” Stephen added.
Meanwhile Joseph Ngere Paciko, the Amadi State governor, who represented state governors, urged cattle keepers to ensure their cattle do not destroy farmlands.
Speaking at the same event, Olivia Victoria Davies the UNMISS Civil Affairs Officer, said the UN will facilitate reconciliation and social cohesion between the communities.
“We aim to see peaceful coexistence among communities about peaceful co-existence and it is our wish to see communities succeed in their entire livelihood,” Ms. Davies said.