Pastoralism, poor infrastructure threats to returnees -Governor
By Bida Elly David
Central Equatoria Government yesterday pointed out that the security situation and the return of the refugees who fled the Country to Uganda have been affected due to poor infrastructure and the rampant proliferation of cattle keepers’ aggression.
This came during a media briefing held at the Central Equatoria State Secretariat regarding the outcome of the Governor’s visit to Kajo-Keji and Moyo to address border issues as well as the return of the people who fled the country during the war.
Speaking to the media yesterday, Central Equatoria Minister of Information Andruga Mabe Saverio pointed out that the security situation and the return of the refugees from Uganda to Kajo-Keji, Yei, and Lainya have been hindered due to poor road infrastructure and the rampant proliferation of cattle keepers’ aggression as well as failure to meet their basic needs upon return.
‘’We went to Kajo-Keji because it was one of the productive Counties of Central Equatoria State having a greater population as per the Census of 2008 the population of about 196,000 households. All of them were productive towards development but then the war interrupted and most of them went as refugees to Uganda. Among them, many intended to return to their villages to cope with the new dimensions created by the revitalized peace agreement but its poor road infrastructure, atrocities on the crossing border and livelihood amenities such as food, shelter, water, the proliferation of cattle keepers’ aggression and security that became their threats’’ Andruga stated
He further added that the cattle keepers and the illegal logging imposed by some chief business people to ferry logs into Uganda and other Countries have been hostile expecting no return of the people with an intention of taking advantage of the land for pastoralism and deforestation
‘’The cattle keepers who are already camping their cattle in those areas of Kajo-Keji become hostile with the return of the population to their locations. Predominantly the people of Kajo-Keji are agricultural people and they are coming upon getting the cattle keepers and loggers shall create more hostilities and conflicts’’ he stressed
Furthermore, Andruga echoed that the visit of the Governor to Kajo-Keji was to encourage the people, the security organs to enhance and improve the condition of those who expected voluntary return back to their places as well as talk to the Ugandan Government to join hands toward facilitating the return of the refugees back to their deserted land.
He concluded that communication with the pastoralists has been done and they had agreed to vacate the land for the people of Kajo-Keji and other affected areas.