JUBA, 27 January 2021 – The massive increase in cattle rustling in South Sudan has been blamed on armed and security forces as well as in-laws, seeking to settle high bride prices.
Officials in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, blame government soldiers and fighthers from the armed opposition who have deserted training centers on account of tough living conditions in the camps.
Ceasefire monitors says hundreds of South Sudan opposition fighters and government forces have left cantonment sites set up to prepare them for formation of the country’s first professional army, over lack of food and medical supplies.
Supporters of the professionalization of the South Sudanese army are urging the unity government in Juba to graduate the 83,000 unified forces to help mitigate issues of security in the country.
Officials in Juba have also blamed the rise in cattle rustling incidents to young men, stealing cows to sell in order to honor payment of increasingly expensive bride prices.
Part of the insecurity has been blamed on unhealthy rivalry between the armed opposition (SPLA-IO) and South Sudan People’s Defense Forces (SSPDF).
There has been fighting in recent weeks between the two in both Upper Nile and Central Equatoria states.
The SSPDF on Tuesday “attacked the SPLA-IO assembly area of Bankida in complete violations of the Permanent ceasefire,” according to Colonel Lam Paul Gabriel, a spokesperson for the armed opposition.
The SPLA-IO says it organized a “tactical withdrawal” from the area in order to avoid further clashes.