Farmers urge cattle keepers to vacate farm land
By Wek Atak Kacjang
Farmers in Western Bahr El Ghazal State are urging the cattle keepers from Tonj County of Warrap State to urgently vacate their farm land.
Last week, fighting erupted between farmers and cattle keepers in Mapel. One person was reportedly killed and four other injured.
The violence erupted in a place called Akau area of Mapel over misunderstanding between farmers and cattle keepers over water point.
Speaking to Juba Monitor on phone yesterday from Western Bahr El Ghazal State, Uling Upar said the presence of cattle in the area would affect the water sources negatively.
“I call on state government to see the issue of cattle movement in civilian’s farm land. We all know cattle herders from Tonj, Gogrial move their animals to greener pastures near Wau but not to damage our crops,” he said.
According to Upar, the cattle keepers move with arms creating more tensions with farmers in the area.
Udo Uguak, another Farmer from Mapel who was also affected said the cattle keepers were deliberately grazing the cattle in their crops.
“When I asked him, he told me that let my cow eat your crop to change diet like the way people change balance diet in town,” he said.
“There was no reason for them to move with heavy weapons,” Uguak said.
In every year between January and April, cattle herders in Tonj and Gogrial move their animals to greener pastures near Wau.
This annual migration of hungry cattle and often with armed owners creates tensions with farmers in the area, as cows tend to be happy on their crops.