The South Sudanese gunmen who made away with over 800 heads of cattle from Uganda’s northern district of Moyo were from president Salva Kiir’s farm, a rebel official said Tuesday.
A Ugandan soldier was killed on Sunday in attempt to recover the stolen animals after a fire exchange with the riders. A police official said the riders sometimes are dressed in South Sudan army uniform.
“We responded to recover the stolen animals but unfortunately because of distances and lack of telecommunication network, we did not recover the animals,” The officer in charge of Moyo Central Police station, Denis Ocircanhe told Kampala-based Daily Monitor.
“These cattle raiders came from across the Nile in and around Pageri and Lobonok where they are herding thousands of cattle belonging to Salva Kiir, Kuol Manyang Juuk, Marial Chinoung and Makuei Lueth,” rebel spokesperson Lam Paul Gabriel said.
“The herders are professional SPLA-IG soldiers deployed, armed and fed by the regime,” he added. South Sudan military officials could not be reached for comment.
Members of Parliament in South Sudan’s Imotong State passed a motion not to disturb the herders in the said Pageri area since they are protecting the cattle of the president.
“Some of these cattle raided can be found amongst the cattle of Salva Kiir and his cliques in Pageri and Lobonok, Lam said.
Two weeks ago, the gunmen from South Sudan also raided about 200 herds of cattle at Gbari village in Lefori Sub-County.