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About 20 killed in Magwi stand-off

Pictorial of a herder within the scope

By Bida Elly David

At least 20 cattle herders were reportedly killed and 17 injured in combat amid youth of the host community and Pastoralists in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State.

The incident transpired when youth within the host Community resisted allowing cattle herders from Bor and Terekeka to access grazing land in the area since cultivations season were underway.

Recently the governor of Eastern Equatoria State Louis Lobong and the Vice President for Economic Cluster Dr. WaniIgga promised to dialogue with cattle herders to vacate Eastern and Central Equatoria State.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Maj. Gen Daniel Justine the national police spokesperson confirmed that 22 people got killed and 17 others injured in the side of the cattle keepers while five were killed and one was injured from the side of the host community.

Furthermore, Daniel underscored that the host community resisted after urging the herders to extend their cattle distance from where agricultural services used to be practiced by them.

Daniel said that the injured were rushed to Juba Teaching Hospital for speedy treatment while the government of the state held a security meeting resulting to dispatch of joint operation forces to calm the situation.

 ‘’ We have confirmed that 22 people got killed and 17 others got injured in the side of the cattle keepers while five killed and one got injured from the side of the host community. The injured were rushed to Juba Teaching hospital for speedy treatment as the government of the state held a security meeting resulting in the dispatch of joint operation forces to calm the situation.The security situation has been calmed by the forces and the area is cool’’ Justine said

Justine pointed out that the State government was working towards bringing the warring parties into dialogue in order to end the catastrophic situation in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State and the expectation of positive outcome would be the best for all.

An eyewitness ( name withheld) said that within the host the fight which had displaced most inhabitants within Agoropayam of Magwi County after seeing several groups of cattle herders carrying PKM with them and patrolling the whole places during the day and night.

 He said that after a series of consultative talks between the herder’s chief and the chief of the host community regarding their departure from the fertile area, there was no positive agreement.

‘’The incident happened throughout the day and night patrol by the herders to investigate whether the inhabitants were armed or not. Despite the talks between the chiefs, they had not reached into consensus. What made the youth from the host community attack the herders was the threats from the group carrying out patrols at night’’ He said

He termed the occupation of the land by the herders as an organized incident since big artilleries and other small guns were carried by them.

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