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Cattle keepers, farmers blamed for insecurity

By Kitab A Unango

The National Dialogue Steering Committee (NDSC) yesterday has said the conflict between agriculturalists and pastoralists is a threat to the ongoing peace process in the country.

The Co-Chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, Angelo Beda said the disputes required urgent solutions before total peace is achieved in the country.

Cattle keepers mainly from Jonglei State are said to have migrated with their animals to some parts of Equatoria region.

The relations between the two communities’ remains tensed with Equatorians, who are mainly agriculturalists, complaining that their crops are being destroyed by cattle of armed pastoralists.

This has resulted into fighting and displacement of the host communities in areas they settled with their herds.

Beda said they cannot wait for the resolutions of National Dialogue because the issues were sliding people back to war and sufferings.

“We cannot wait for the resolutions of National Dialogue Conference so that government can do something to solve the issues. These are serious issues and people are dying,” Beda said.

The body tasked with reconciling South Sudanese met at Parliamentary Affairs to discuss and find amicable way of resolving the conflict.

Members said the ongoing peace process cannot be achieved while disputes exist at grassroots levels.

They stated that conflicts between the two communities has displaced some South Sudanese, mainly from Equatoria, many of whom could not return to their places for fear of attack by armed pastoralists.

Last year President Salva Kiir Mayardit ordered pastoralists to drive their cattle out of Equatoria region to prevent more conflict. Yesterday the committee said the order is yet to be adhered to.

The committee called on government to deal firmly with unruly youth groups terrorizing city residents.

They said the groups of young boys and girls commonly known as “Negas” has been a nuisance.

Janet Ayaa, a Member of the National Parliament who is also a member of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, said the “Negas” were causing instability in residential areas in Juba.

“Something must be done to end activities of Negas. They recruit young boys and girls into their groups even as old as eleven years,” Ayaa said.

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