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South Sudan suffers as cattle rustling intensifies

Thousands of cattle stolen have been stolen and more than 200 people killed in cattle raids in South Sudan this year

As Africa's newest nation, South Sudan has been facing up to a host of agricultural challenges including cattle rustling in remote and inaccessible areas where there is no government control, security presence nor NGOs, according to a report by CNN. 

"There is a lot of tension between ethnic groups in Southern Sudan. Herders from different tribes often fight over access to water or grazing land, and they often steal each other's cattle," said CNN producer JaredFerrie.

After nearly 40 years of fighting and two civil wars, the South Sudanese have found themselves highly armed and militarised. The country has been plagued with poverty and high economic pressure.

Village elders said that cattle raiding actually intensified after the 2005 Peace Agreement because the youth suddenly returned to their communities with nothing to do.

Instead of traditional cattle raiding with spears, it has been men with military experience raiding cattle with RPGs and AK-47s.

South Sudan's new police force is severely understaffed and often outgunned by the cattle raiders. It has been a huge challenge to extract weapons from anxious tribes clinging to the only form of security they have ever known, the police have pointed out.

The tribals elders, however, stressed that what they need is not disarmament, but good governance and real reconciliation among the groups.

View the CNN report here


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