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IKOTOS - 23 Jan 2024

Tension brews in Ikotos over killing of cattle herder

Tension is rising between Cahari and Isohe payams of Ikotos County, Eastern Equatoria State, following the killing of a cattle herder on Sunday, authorities have said.

The authorities in the defunct Kideopo Valley of Ikotos County confirmed that a 25-year-old cattle herder from Cahari was shot dead while harvesting honey by suspected Woroworo youth of Isohe payam.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj Monday, Tito Abas, Chief Executive Administrator in Cahari, said: “I have some urgent security issue, which is disturbing me here in Cahari and Isohe…. a very serious one. All the animals were migrating from here to Isohe and yesterday (Sunday) some people were gathering this honey and they were shot at, one of them by the name Imoli Okiek was shot dead.”

He appealed to security agencies to intervene in the situation before it gets out of hand.

Father Peter Ben Louis, the Catholic Priest in charge of St Theresa Isohe Parish in the Catholic Diocese of Torit, confirmed the tension, saying the church and county government are already in picture and were in the process of ensuring peace prevails in the area.

“Right now we are just in Isohe, trying to talk to the relatives of the late not to talk the law into their hands. We are trying to make sure whatever happens should be solved in a peaceful way,” he said.

Fr Ben said they had been in touch with the county authorities including the commissioner, the head of the police and the head of the army.

“We will meet the family of the deceased and it is there that we shall establish what happened, for now we treat it as a hearsay but the truth is that somebody is dead and was shot by assailants. We are on the ground, the commissioner will take the lead and follow-up with them to the headquarters,” Fr Ben said.

The catholic priest urged the communities to live in peace instead of engaging in conflicts that do not benefit them.

Joseph Odongi, the Paramount Chief of Ikotos County, confirmed the presence of the county authorities, saying they were there to contain the situation.

“All the payams are peaceful except Isohe Payam and Woroworo boma where an incident happened that is why the commissioner went to the ground and has not returned. This case can be resolved because there is a law, people should not take the law into their hands,” Joseph said.