Herders kill three people in Wau state
By Moses Gum
Authorities in Wau State said three people had been killed and seven women allegedly raped by a group of herders believed to be from a neighbouring state.
Mary Rose Marial,Minister of Information said armedherders believed to be from neighbouring state clashed with civilians mostly farmers and killed three people on spot.
“There were clashes between farmers and cattle herders. They killed 3 people including 17 year old boy”, she said.
According to Marial, the herders had raped seven women including two young girls of 11 years old.
She said the presence of the herders in the area has caused havoc, destruction and displacement.
“The herders killed a 17-year-old boy in the first day of the clash. They came again and killed another two at the funeral rite prayers”, she narrated.
Although the minister was not specific of where the cattle herders came from, she said she believed they came from neighbouring state.
According to the Information Minister, the migration of cattle into the area has caused a lot of displacement and a mess in civilians’ lives.
“Many civilians fled their homes due to this violence. We don’t know what would be the fate of children and women running,” she stated.
Ms Marial said that the fight between the two groups took place in an area bordering Wau and Tonj state.
She said a team headed by Wau state governor had gone to the area to quench down the situation.
In response, Tonj state Minister of Information William Wol Mayom denied any clash and looting of properties.
“I refute alleged killing of people and looting of properties in Kuajina County,Wau state. There is no any fight”, he said.
However, he confirmed that there was rising tension between farmers in Wau and the herders.
“It began as propaganda where some authorities reported about the burning of houses, looting and even killing. It was just a great lie. There has been no fighting or looting of property,”Mayom confirmed.
He said a committee formed by Tonj state Governor travelled to the area and found nothing of such claims.
He said the herders had been told by state authorities to evacuate the area to avoid further misunderstanding.
However, according to media earlier reports,about 3,000 people had been displaced in Kwajina County of Wau state as a result of Wednesday’s clashes between farmers and herders.
The incident was said to have occurred in War bet and Alel Dong areas.
The Director of Relief and Rehabilitation Commission for the greater Bahr el-Ghazal region, Michael Gebatin Okello, confirmed the incident and admitted that thousands of civilians fled violence to Kwajina town over the week.
He appealed to aid agencies to carry out the assessment and help the victims.
This is not the first time Wau state residence complained of disturbance due to cattle migration from neighbouring states.