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Equatorians call on President Kiir to halt movement of cattle

The Equatorian Community Associations in the Diaspora (ECAD), South Sudan’s largest diaspora community organisation, has called on President Kiir Mayardit to halt the influx of settlers and cattle to the Equatoria region.

In an open letter dated 8/5, the joint presidents of ECAD highlighted the security risks and socio-economic implications brought about by the settlement of cattle and farmers from the Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions in Equatoria.

Arguing that this trend of cattle movement has been ongoing for over 30 years, ECAD have declared the influx of non-Equatorians pastoralists as ‘contrary to peacebuilding’. Pointing to the ubiquitous presence of armed men and heavily guarded grazing in Equatoria, ECAD asserts in their letter that community displacement and land occupation is ongoing.

In 2015 President Mayardit introduced a Presidential Decree to repatriate cattle from the Greater Equatoria region to their home states. Yet, ECAD argue this has not been implemented.

In the absence of government action, ECAD’s letter has vowed to conclude that Mayardit’s government may either be behind or supporting the movement of cattle and settlers into Equatoria. This, states ECAD, will jeopardise peace implementation in South Sudan.

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