April 9, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — South Sudan’s incumbent President, General Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a Republican decree to evacuate all cattle; cows, goat, sheep and chickens from the three states of Greater Equatoria to the respective states of the internally displaced cattle keepers.
The republican order no. 17, which was read on the state owned television, SSTV, yesterday is President Kiir’s response to the people of Greater Equatoria who have repeatedly aired their grievances and recently staged violence at the outskirts of Juba at Jopa Village.
“Republican order no 17 for the year 2015 for the evacuation of the cattle camps of the pastrolists of Jonglei, Lakes and Warrap for the safer of Central Equatoria, Eastern and Western Equatoria with their respective states and Counties 2015AD titled as cited.” the Republican Decree reads.
“This order must be cited as Republican no 17 for the year 2015 for the evacuation of cattle camps of Jonglei, Lake and Warrap States for the safer Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states with their respective states and counties 2015AD and shall come into force of the date of the signature by the president of the Republic” the Republican Decree read on SSTV.
The President, who owns herds of cattle at the outskirts of Juba, explains that the cattle of the pastrolists are destroying farms and causing insecurity in Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria States.
Although the security of the three states of Jonglei, Lake and Warrap continue to deteriorate, Mr. Mayardit believes that this presidential order will evacuate the cattle and reduces insecurity in Greater Equatoria.
“Based on numerous complains of the farmers due to the fact that usually the cattle of the pastrolists destroy their farms together with constant cattle rustling among the pastrolists constantly leading to lost of innocent lives.” The president narrates.
“Therefore, to arrest that and the whole situation I, Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, do hereby issue this republican order for the immediate evacuation of the cattle camps of the pastrolists of the Jonglei, Lakes and Warrap states from the Central, Eastern and Western Equatoria states with their respectives states and counties” Salva Kiir explains the order.
The president has issued an order to his ministers of Defense and Veteran Affairs, National Security Service, Interiors, and Wild Life Conservation and Tourism to impose the presidential decree without delay.
The republican decree, which was to be imposed from 8th, April, 2015 is expected to be observed by the cattle keepers, mostly from Dinka Ethnic group, who evacuated their respective states and counties due to the ongoing conflict in the country.
Despite the turmoil in the affected Equatorian states, cattle rustling and inter-communal violence have ragged Jonglei, Lake and warrap states within the last three days.
While Jalle Payam pastrolists of Jonglei state lost nearly 100 heads of cattle in cattle theft on Tuesday, Lake and Warrap states experienced major inter-communal fight on Monday and Sunday respectively.
In Jonglei state, the Dinka pastoralists accuse the neighboring Murle tribe of having stolen more than 112 cows in Jalle Payam.
In Rumbek North of Lake state, the Dinka pastoralists accuse the Nuer youth from Unity state of a deadly attack that has claimed more than 20 lives.
Lake and Jonglei states have witnessed major inter-tribal violence in which hundreds of people were killed and thousands of cattle were stolen in a matter of days. Several tukuls and other property were destroyed in such raids.
The Dinka pastolists from these states find security for their people, cattle and property in Greater Equatoria, however, the host community accuse the IDPs of land-grabbing, insecurity and marginalization.
Based on an assessment carried out by our editorial team, the presidential decree was poorly received by many South Sudanese intellectuals.
While a few correspondents appreciate the presidential order, many analysts believe that the president has reduced his office to handling issues that could have been handled by a lower authority, such as County and state authorities.
“Yes yes and finally the president is doing something useful” Mr. Wani said.
Others believes that the order was just a political card to attract support from the Equatorian people.
“President doesn’t know his duties thinking issuing of this order will give him popularity in Equatoria. Indeed it’s city council work not even the governor of state…cleaning streets in Juba will be also presidential duties” Mr. Manguat reiterates.
“Since when have cows become objects of Republican orders? Equatorians have complained about the useless cows eating their crops year in year out and no action taken. This order is in response to political pressure on Kiir and it is not going to stop Equatorians from demanding for Federalism, removal of the dictator and transfer of the capital from Juba to anywhere but not in any part of Equatoria again” Sandrai wonders.
“Just Asking: When is the Decree on land? First to return all land grabbed in Equatoria to the rightful and legal owners. Secondly ban land-grabbing in Equatoria” Mr. Modi questions.
Other observers have raised security concerns for the returning pastoralists, noting that it is not the right time for the cattle keepers to return home.
“Another decision driven by internal politics and falling policies of this government, you cannot put those cow owners at theme categories, some of them, were displaced by current war in most volatile region, in upper Nile, these people cannot go back without st abilities in their home state” Wiyual said.
Like Wiyual, Agutmakueirial didn’t expect the pastoralists to return home at this time given the level of security in his home county in Jonglei state.
“Yasalam Kiir Mayardit I never seen a thick minded Dinka in My life but today I prove you are just a leader without any vision. This shouldn’t be your work; where exactly in Jonglei do you want them to go. Imagine my home area has been deserted since the fighting and no one live there because of the war, or do you want all the militias to go and hunt them down” he said.
Unlike Wiyual and Agutmakueirial others such as Machar, and chief Alier Aluong believes that the pastoralists will protect themselves and improve the security situation of their respective counties and states if they return.
“We will work hard to bring them back home. Once they are here, the criminals who steal cattle and abduct cattle will return and people will have significant confidence in terms of security as they prepare to go back to the villages for farming,”Aluong said.