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UNMISS deploys peacekeepers to Kapoeta North following deadly cattle raids

Chinese peacekeepers in South Sudan, marching in UN House during UN Day in 2020/photo by Juba Echo

The UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has deployed peacekeepers to Kapoeta North in Eastern Equatoria state following deadly cattle raids over the past few days by armed youth in the area. 

“UNMISS is deeply concerned about deadly cattle raids over the past few days by armed youth in the area around Kapoeta North in Eastern Equatoria State, reportedly resulting in scores of people killed, injured, abducted, and theft of livestock,” Nicholas Haysom, the head of UNMISS said in a statement issued over the weekend in Juba.

It disclosed that the peacekeepers will conduct long duration patrols over the next four days, to prevent further violence and build confidence among community members.

Esatern Equatoria State has been hit by wave of inter-communal violence involving Dinka Bor cattle keepers from Jonglei State and indigenous communities in Magwi County.

Violence broke out between 20th June till July 6th involving the Toposa community and Murle, Tenet and Buaya communities who invaded cattle camp in Kapoeta North leaving more than 230 civilians killed.

UNMISS said it will continue to maintain presence in the area, including engaging with local authorities and affected communities to further assess the situation and to prevent revenge attacks.

Haysom said they will be supporting the travel of authorities to the area to conduct community discussions and diffuse tensions. 

“The mission is also working closely with humanitarian agencies and the local authorities to facilitate and support the evacuation of critically wounded civilians to the nearest hospital in the state capital of Torit,” he said.

Haysom revealed their concern about reports of some youth planning and mobilizing to mount counter-campaigns to retrieve raided cattle.

 “UNMISS appeals to the national, state, and local community leaders to take urgent steps to prevent the violence from spiraling, specifically to resolve disputes through dialogue; in addition to holding accountable those responsible for the violence,” it said.

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