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Mundari cattle herders trigger emergency security meetings

Merio Jimmy, Juba

The commissioner of Lainya county, Central Equatoria, has held a number of emergency meetings with the heads of all national security organs to discuss insecurity caused by the local incursion of armed Mundari cattle herders.

The herders have been involved in numerous incidents of violence across Equatoria in recent months, being blamed for outbreaks of conflict in Mundri East and Terekeka as well as the current situation in Lainya.

Officials at a recent Mundari peace meeting in Central Equatoria, January 2021.

Following the meeting, the county commissioner gave all Mundari cattle camps 72 hours to leave Lainya county. Parallel to this, the county security committee directed the local police chief inspector to open a criminal investigation against the heads of the cattle camps. On this, a list of names have been published for arrest.

Security officials have also been instructed to arrest any male, female, old or young cattle keeper found loitering near military barracks, in civilian areas or markets. They are reportedly authorised to shoot to kill any armed Mundari herders who resist arrest and attempt to attack local forces.

The commissioner has also announced plans to compensate the families of those killed by trespassing herders, and to return all looted cattle to their rightful owners.

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