Open Letter to H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit The President of the Republic of South Sudan
Re: Cattle in Equatoria from other states of South Sudan
May 9, 2020 (Thessherald)–The Equatorian community leaders in the Diaspora express their deep concern regarding the cattle influx from Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal Regions into Equatoria Region, and the associated security risks and socio-economic implications that is negatively impacting on the people of Equatoria.
As the people of Equatoria depend mainly on agriculture and the pastoralist earned their living from the cattle, the two communities cannot co-exist peacefully together, when such forceful displacement is encouraged and/or condoned by the State.
The manner in which these cattle are transported and/or brought into Equatoria Region is puzzling, as some of them are brought by vehicle and dump in the areas, while others are escorted by heavily armed people, in the process forcefully displacing the local communities.
The history and pattern of this cattle movement has been an ongoing issue for more than three decades, even when there had been some periods of peace in the country. The pattern of cattle migration, along with the community associated with these cattle, into Equatoria suggests that the intention is that of land occupation not peaceful coexistence.
Mr. President, on 8th April 2015, you issued a Presidential Decree number 17 to remove cattle from Greater Equatoria Region that belong to pastoralists from other states of South Sudan to their state of origins in Greater Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal. It is surprising to note that this decree is not being implemented.
We urge you to ensure that this decree is implemented to the letter and spirit in which it was enacted.
The act of allowing cattle and their owners to forcefully settle in Equatoria Region is contrary to peacebuilding. As our President you are expected to champion the implementation of peace in South Sudan and the issue of relocating cattle and their owners into Equatoria Region is very damaging to the communities in Equatoria whose livelihoods mainly depend on agriculture.
Without any decisive action to revert this trend, we will be led to conclude that your
Government may be behind and/or is supporting the influx of these cattle into Equatoria Region as a tool of land occupation and displacement of the local communities in Equatoria.
Unless you demonstrate otherwise by actions and remove the cattle and their owners to their respective states of origin, in line with your Presidential Decree issued on 8th April 2015, we believe that the peace implementation in South Sudan will be in jeopardy.
Dr. Jane Kani Edward – President, Equatorian South
Sudanese Community Association–USA (ESSCA-USA)
Mr. Alex Harun – President, Equatorian South Sudanese Community Association of Canada (ESSCA-
Mr. Federico Vuni – Chair, Equatorian Community Organisation in the UK (ECO-UK)
Mr. Juma Piri Piri – National President, Federation of Equatorian Community Association in Australia Inc
(FECAA) —For correspondence email: email@example.com