Equatoria chiefs threaten to use jungle laws to defend their ancestral land

Honorable Governor, let the government(s) not force us to take the law into our hands or use jungle laws to depend our ancestral land.”

A group of local chiefs from Gumbo, Tokiman, Loggo East and West, Kansuk, Gorom and Somba has presented a petition letter calling on the Central Equatoria state government to urgently resolve land grabbing, insecurity and cattle rustling or else they will resort to jungle laws to defend their ancestral lands.

“Hon. Governor, Emmanuel Adil Wani Governor, with great pain we are writing this letter in reference to our previous letters to both the national and the State governments in regards to an organized, systematical and persistence land grabbing, occupation, insecurity, child abduction, cattle herders and imposition of the new highways roads construction.”

“Hon. Governor, given the series of the above incidences and the high level of insecurity involved, we do here by emphasize that the following concerns are accorded immediate interventions.”

The following are the concerns raised by the Equatoria community leaders

Land Grabbing

• —The organized, persistent and systematic land grabbing and occupation is causing enormous disposition of our ancestral land; which is the only source of our community livelihood and existence.

• —Categorically we state that the current land grabbing and occupation in Rejaf Payam is orchestrated by armed individuals, internally displaced persons (IDPS), armed ethnic groups from Dinka Bor and Bahr El Ghazal including some top military officers from our organized forces.

• —We have noted with great dismay, that the land grabbers have been scrambling and competing to own, sellI, lease and sub-lease land they grabbed to enrich themselves and their families illegally. No longer an issue of lack of accommodation coupled with rampant insecurity paused by armed land immediate transfer and replace by our sons and daughters from Central Equatoria State.

• —In accordance to the prevailing Revitalized Peace agreement and the government commitment to implement the peace accord, we demand without prejudice for immediate repatriation of the IDPS from Rejaf Payam possibly to their areas of origin.

• —We also demand for immediate relocation of Capital City from Juba to Ramciel as stipulated in CPA and as passed by Council of Ministers meeting in December, 2011 chaired by H.E the President of the Republic.

• —Finally these issues have pushed us very far and have caused unbearable suffering to our communities. We trust and believe that your government will use its mandate and authority to address the issues mentioned above.

• —Honorable Governor, let the government(s) not force us to take the law into our hands or use jungle laws to depend our ancestral land. Hence, we will appreciate if the State Government could respond within a short period possible please!

2 cattle raiders executed by hanging to deter cattle rustling in Jonglei

Pastoralist herding is cattle in one of the cattle camps in South Sudan |Photo: TZ Photography

Oct 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–A judge in South Sudan’s Jonglei state has sentenced two men to death for stealing two cows and killing the man who owned the animals according to VOA’s South Sudan in Focus.

Officials say they hope the judge’s sentence will deter other cattle raiders in Jonglei, where cattle raiding and child abductions are rampant.

High court judge John Yiel Aleu sentenced 30-year-old Kuorwel Majok Mayom and 25-year-old Chol Manyiel Jool to death by hanging on Tuesday in the state capital, Bor.

Majok and Manyiel were found guilty of killing John Buol Dut and stealing his cows last December when the cattle were being moved from Bor to Awerial County in Lakes State.

The judge said the death penalty was appropriate for the crimes committed.
“The court followed its procedures and today it passed its judgment that the accused Kuorwel Majok and Chol Manyiel have been convicted under Section 305 and 206 penal code act 2008 and they are sentenced to death,” he announced in court.

Michael Khor Dut, a brother to the deceased, welcomed the punishment.
“This gentleman was killed intentionally. Why? Because of his cattle. He was not a cattle keeper, he was just a university student who was taking his cows to the cattle camp,” said Dut.

Malueth Nyok, an uncle to both convicted men, called the ruling unfair. Nyok argued there was no direct evidence introduced in court that linked his nephews to Dut’s murder.

“There is no evidence that shows that these gentlemen beat the deceased with the stick, no one saw them doing that. We see that cattle get lost and these cattle were lost and that is why they were being kept so that the owner would come and take them,” Nyok told VOA’s South Sudan in Focus. The family will appeal the ruling within the next 14 days, according to Nyok.

Strong message

Although cattle raids and child abductions are common in Jonglei state, very few suspected cattle raiders are ever arrested or prosecuted.

Activist David Garang with the Jonglei Civil Society Alliance said capital punishment sends a strong message to would-be cattle raiders.

“If they are sentenced to death, that is the right way of doing it because there is no one who has the right to take another person’s life, so it is a very good step for the justice to take its course because this time here we need justice to prevail. If there is justice, then all these atrocities will stop,” Garang told South Sudan in Focus.

Garang said communities will only be safe when cattle raiders, child abductors and other perpetrators of serious crimes are arrested and brought to justice.

Source: VOA’s South Sudan in Focus. https://bit.ly/34UaDMb

4 women rescued as Murle armed men go on kidnapping spree in Ethiopia

Four women rescued from the Murle armed men who crept into the Ethiopian territory | Photo: Unknown

June 14, 2020 (Thessherald)–At least four women have been rescued by local youth after an armed group from the Murle tribe of South Sudan went on kidnapping spree in Nyinyang, a border area between South Sudan and Ethiopia.

“The local youths were able to pursue the kidnappers as soon as they obtained information from the authorities that a group of armed men from the Murle tribe had carried out an attack on innocent women,” said Chuol Bhandak, a community elder interviewed by our reporter on Sunday.

Murle communities are known for their endless kidnapping, cattle rustling, senseless killing and hostile behavior towards other neighboring communities.

This is not the first time that the Murle has carried out attacks on Ethiopian citizens.

In 2016, an armed group from the Murle infiltrated across South Sudan and Ethiopia border, killing more than 200 Ethiopian citizens and kidnapping hundreds of children.