National Dialogue, Equatoria Regional Conference discussions
By Anna Nimiriano
On Wednesday 28th of August, 2019, the conference was opened with a word of prayers, immediately Co- chair Angelo Beda asked group four to present their report as the two groups were left on Tuesday due to lack of time. Recommendations from the group said pastoralists should move away from Equatoria areas to allow farmers cultivate. The group said they want to produce their own food, famers cannot live together with pastoralists because their animals destroy farms. So, they said that what had happened to Messiria of Sudan with Ngok Dinka of South Sudan shouldn’t happen in other states.
The issue of cattle raiding needs to be ended, as it has caused major problems in Equatoria and other areas. They said that the owners of the cattle are armed; they hold guns and famers cannot discuss with them issues of common understanding. All guns are to be taken out from them in order not to cause insecurity in the states.
Chiefs should be given powers to handle the issue of cattle in villages. They should make sure that cattle herders confine their animals in one place of their own. Not moving from one state to another.
However, it was said that six countries neighboring South Sudan have entered in to our boarders. This matter need to be resolved by stopping cattle raiders from the neighboring countries form coming to South Sudan, like Ambororo of Central Africa, some of them occupied areas in Yei. There should be laws to regulate cattle movement, internal and external.
About the boarder issue, it was discussed that boarders between states caused problems due to ethnic division. Thirty two states created by government on ethnic line resulted to misunderstanding between citizens. It was suggested that a committee should be formed to look in to the issues of boarders.
During the presentations, there were critical discussions on the above topics; it took time for the participants to move to the next topic. Participants needed to have more time to say what they have in minds. That was what they came for. Co- Chair Beda was trying his best to control the participants to keep time so that they finish early.
If the recommendations are put in to consideration, South Sudan would change. The issue of cattle is to be tackled for all communities who are pastoralists in South Sudan. Like in Equatoria, the Mundari and some Bari people have cattle. The most important is how cattle could be kept. System of putting them in one place or allocating specific place for them is required.
May God bless us all.