December 17, 2014
(BOR) – Child abductions and cattle rustling have resumed between the Dinka Bor and Murle ethnic groups in South Sudan’s Jonglei state.
Both sides continue to trade accusations over who is responsible for the incidents.
The Murle have accused Dinka tribesmen of stealing cattle at gunpoint from Pibor villages bordering Dinka Bor counties.
However, Dinka communities in Bor county accuse their neighbours in the newly created Greater Pibor Administration Area (GPAA) of stealing cattle a week ago from the Bor village of Kuongo.
In Twic East, the Murle have been accused of abducting a 10-year-old journey while she travelled with her father from while on journey with her father from Nyuak to Ajoung on Monday.
Meanwhile, the Murle have accused the Dinka Bor of being behind the theft of 17 heads of cattle from their area late last week.
The cattle were subsequently recovered from the two thieves near the border with the assistance of chiefs from Anyidi payam (district) and a joint force of police and army officers.
Bor county commissioner Mamer Ruk said his administration had made contact with David Yau Yau, leader of the rebel SSDM-Cobra faction and now chief administrator of the GPAA, to ensure the cattle are returned to their owners.
Bor lawmaker Philip Thon Nyok said increased criminal activities between the two areas was threatening to destroy the peace agreement and disrupt the lives of communities on both sides of the border.
Last month, 15 head of cattle were stolen from Kuongo village in Bor’s Makuach payam.
According to Nyok, the footprints of the cattle could be seen heading in the direction of the Murle stronghold.
He called on the GPAA to make efforts to trace the movements of the stolen cattle and return them to Bor.
TWIC EAST ABDUCTION
On Monday, retired army officer Majom Deng Lueth, who served in the Pibor area, was detained with his daughter, Akuany, by seven gunmen believed to be of Murle ethnicity.
According to Twic East commissioner Dau Akoi, Lueth had almost reached Ajoung village when he and his daughter were confronted by the armed men and taken into the bush.
Akoi said the pair were detained until nightfall when Lueth was released without his daughter.
Akoi said the former officer, who has some knowledge of the Murle language, believed his attackers to be Murle from the way they interacted with each other.
Akoi said the incident is the first of its kind since a peace deal was signed in May between the government and Yau Yau.
He called on Yau Yau and his administration to take swift action to ensure the girl is returned safely to her family.
The peace agreement, which was endorsed by parliament earlier this year, provides for the establishment of the GPAA, to be governed by a chief administrator whose status is equals to that of a governor.