What you need to know:
- Two weeks ago, a group of gunmen shot dead several cattle allegedly belonging to the Bor community. The two communities of Bor and Nuer living in the Kajo-Keji areas have been rivalling over land for grazing and farming for decades.
At least 27 farmers were on Thursday killed in Kajo-Keji County in South Sudan following a deadly revenge attack by cattle keepers.
The Commissioner of Kajo-Keji County, Mr Phanuel Dumo, told the Monitor that the incident happened in Likamerok village (Boma), in Lire constituency (Payam) when cattle keepers believed to be from Bor conducted a house-to-house murder of “innocent farmers”.
“The attack was a sheer revenge attack after an unknown armed group launched an assault on the camps in a hit-and-run mission. Among those gunned down are 21 farmers and 6 herdsmen while two youths escaped with injuries,” he said.
Two weeks ago, a group of gunmen shot dead several cattle allegedly belonging to the Bor community. The two communities of Bor and Nuer living in the Kajo-Keji areas have been rivalling over land for grazing and farming for decades.
According to preliminary investigations by the government of South Sudan, the actions angered those from the Bor community who mobilized and took revenge on Thursday.
“We earlier expressed concern over the existence of the cattle keepers in Kajo-Keji who have crossed the line causing insecurity in my area, I agreed with my Bor counterpart that the herdsmen should go back and they were given February 1 as an ultimatum, but before they could relocate, some unidentified individuals attacked their camp killing people and cattle,” he added.
Plans are underway to bury the dead in a mass grave according to Mr Mabe Saverio Andruga Mabe, the head of information and communication in Central Equatorial State.
“On Thursday, the people and government of Central Equatorial State woke up to the saddest news of the renewed bleeding of Kajo-Keji County following the massacre of civilians at Likamerok Boma in Lire Payam. The cattle herders conducted a savagery house-to-house murder of innocent unarmed civilians,” he said.
The Governor of Central Equatorial State, Mr Emmanuel Adil Anthony, said: “I condemn the barbaric and systematic killing of innocent civilians and I send my deepest condolences and sympathies to the grieved families, the people of Kajo-keji and central equatorial state at large.”
“I reiterate the government resolution to implement the presidential orders of unconditional return of the problematic armed cattle herders to their areas of origin. This will bring peace in our communities if implemented,” he added: