By Godfrey Olukya
Local governments in South Sudan have begun enforcing forceful disarmament to eliminate cattle rustling and clashes between communities.
Officials in the East African country have long decried armed cattle rustling, which has often caused bloody tribal clashes among communities. Awash with arms, after over two decades of civil war, South Sudan still suffers from communal rivalry.
"The initiative is aimed at restoring peace and security in the state that has been affected by cattle raids. At any time we will stage a forceful disarmament, we will deploy a large number of security force at county and village levels to carry out the exercise," said Unity State Security Advisor, Manyiew Dak.
With a long tradition in livestock farming, South Sudan has the fourth largest herd of livestock on the continent, according to United Nations Food and Agricultural Organisation.
But after over two decades of civil war, there was weapons proliferation when ex-soldiers kept their arms.
Illegally held guns, suggests South Sudan senior security officer, John Lyong, have led to an escalation of the violent cattle rustling practice.
Lyong said that many of the guns were "in the hands of the civilian population" and getting rid of them will reduce the cases of cattle rustling and tribal clashes. More....