South Sudanese police in Kapoeta trained on preventing crimes related to livestock

unmiss unpol un united nations peace cattle livestock transhumance capacity building south sudan kapoeta

In Kapoeta, South Sudanese police officers enhance their capacities to deal with crimes related to livestock and transhumance, thanks to UNPOL officers serving for peace with UNMISS. Photo by Moses Yakudu/UNMISS.

9 May 2024

South Sudanese police in Kapoeta trained on preventing crimes related to livestock

Moses Yakudu

EASTERN EQUATORIA - Peace begins when there are limited crimes in every community.

In Kapoeta East county, crime investigators from the South Sudan National Police Services have been equipped with special skills to control and manage transhumance and livestock-related crimes in the area.

Communities from Eastern Equatoria state living in border towns of Narus and Nadapal within Kapoeta county, and their immediate neighbours from Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia are pastoralists.

Cross-border livestock movements, which take place annually, have resulted in a disturbing spike in crimes such as cattle rustling and revenge killings. Often, such cases aren’t fully investigated and perpetrators aren’t held accountable.

To bridge this gap, the United Nations Police (UNPOL) officers serving with the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) held a two-day workshop to enhance capacities of local policing counterparts in helping reduce such crime.

“Cattle rustling and revenge attacks have led to great suffering for these border communities,” revealed Police Adviser Abubakar Musibo, who leads the UN Peacekeeping mission’s specialist anti-cattle raid unit deployed to Eastern Equatoria.

“We, therefore, designed this training to touch upon theoretical and practical aspects—including established protocols—of reducing conflict during transhumance. What’s more, we factored in the need to manage cross-border crime so that it is relevant beyond South Sudan,” he added.

Interactive sessions focused on how to track, recover and return raided livestock to their rightful owners; bringing perpetrators to justice; and vitally, controlling cross border movement of cattle.

It was a timely intervention, given that Kapoeta county continues to be a hotspot for cattle raids in recent weeks.

For his part, Krasimiro Okomos, an Inspector with the SSNPS in Kapoeta, urged participating officers to be proactive in ensuring such crimes are prevented.

“I expect all officers attending this workshop to be motivated to apprehend suspects and make sure justice is delivered speedily,” he stated.

The sheer size of Kapoeta leaves residents vulnerable to such crimes and Abdallah Angelo Lokeno, County Commissioner, called for greater support from the government.

“Despite the encouragement and help from partners like UNMISS, it’s tough to guarantee the safety of every community member given our porous borders and I call on the state government to boost our capacities and numbers of law enforcement personnel so that every citizen can be secure,” he stated.

Similar sensitizations are planned in counties which have suffered from livestock-related violence.