The Murle cattle raider is a National Threat, not Greater Jonglei region’s threat alone

Posted: January 27, 2019 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Noble Leek Goi, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Noble Leek Goi, Jonglei State, South Sudan

Murle dancing

Saturday, January 26, 2019 (PW) — The government of South Sudan should look at the Murle cattle raider as a national threat, not just as a threat to the communities of Dinka and Nuer in the Greater Jonglei or Upper Nile regions only.

Murle cattle raiders should be included among the deadliest world terrorist groups. They can best be ranked as South Sudan terrorist just like Al-Shabaab in Somalia, Boko Haram in Nigeria, ISIS and ISIL in Arab world and the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Murle cattle raiders have claimed lives of so many Dinka and Nuer of Greater Jonglei region since the 18th century. Oral history has it that they were the one who killed Dr. John Garang’s mother and the toddler Dr. John Garang might have narrowly survived child abduction in that process. They raid, abduct and kill. They are terrorists. Period.

According to Genesis 3:19, God said, “You will have to work hard and sweat to make the soil produce anything, until you go back to the soil from which you were formed. You were made from soil, and you will become soil again.”

The rest of Greater Jonglei communities, especially the Dinka and Nuer, have greatly understood this verse in Genesis, and that is why they are good farmers as well as cattle keepers. They made soil produce something for their living. It was God’s command for the man to get something out of the soil including the Murle cattle raiders themselves. Why they are not great farmers like Dinka and Nuer, is their laziness.

Unfortunately, the Murle cattle raiders only survive on the sweat of Dinka and Nuer in Greater Jonglei. They abduct their children and raid their cattle, goats and sheep. In the process of raiding, they have to first kill the headman/cattle keepers or parents before forcefully taking the animals and children. Therefore, they kill and raid in that particular order.

In the book of Genesis 1:28, God said, “Be fruitful, multiply, fill the earth, and subdue it. Rule the fish of the sea, birds of the sky, and every creature that crawls on the earth.” As a matter of fact, Dinka and Nuer are the largest tribes in South Sudan, it could be because they took that verse in the Bible so serious than other tribes.

The Murle cattle raiders, as ones from the smallest tribes in South Sudan, have decided to increase their population by abducting Dinka and Nuer children of Greater Jonglei state. The Dinka and Nuer of Greater Jonglei produce their children and Murle cattle raiders take them, instead on them (Murle cattle raiders) producing their own children so that they reach their targeted population.

To all mothers in the world, those who ever produce, how do you feel to carry your baby for almost nine months in the womb, deliver after nine months, take good care of him/her until he/she can speaks, and all of the sudden, someone comes and takes him or her away from you? Imagining the labour pain you have gone through for nine months, the sleepless nights you spent while taking good care of him/her, and surprisingly a man who never labored at all comes and abducts your baby!! That is the situation in which the Dinka and Nuer mothers and fathers of Greater Jonglei are experiencing. It is very horrible.

Murle cattle raiders attacks on Dinka and Nuer of Greater Jonglei state is in various forms. For instance, they carry out surprise attacks in villages at night, like what happened in Duk Payuel on 28 of Nov-2017 and very many attacks in Jalle in the years 2015/16/17/18

They also carry out surprise attacks in cattle camps, just like what happened in Jalle on 31st of October 2018, Duk Payuel on 30th of October-2018, Duachan and Kolabiel on 6th – 7th of January 2019.

They also ambush and attacks individuals and vehicles carrying passengers on the roads. Recently in January 2019, they attacked a vehicle carrying passengers from Duk to Bor Town in Kolmerek, leaving five women dead; you can imagine, five women dead!! Other deadliest attacks were those of Bor – Juba road ambushes.

The government of the Republic of South Sudan can learn from the bold actions taken by the government of Uganda and Kenya to handle their cattle raiders in their respective nations that had also experienced something like what is happening in South Sudan.

Some of the communities like Karamojong in Uganda, Pokot and Turkana in Kenya were raiders just like Murle of South Sudan. They survived on raiding as one of the ways for earning their living.

However, when the governments of Uganda and Kenya realized that their activities were national threat, they (Karamojong, Turkana and Pokot) were forced to choose another economic activities which is not disturbing the peace and wellbeing of others. Currently, those communities are no longer a threat like they used to be.

The government of South Sudan should do a research on how Uganda and Kenya handled their raiders. The government is taking it as Greater Jonglei issue, but once Dinka and Nuer who are always attacked by Murle cattle raider carry out a joint revenge on Murle cattle raiders, that is when the government will know, it is a national threat.

Our government should know that, ‘prevention is better than cure.’ Disarmament can eradicate raiding.

The author, Noble Leek Goi, is an opinion writer, and graduate of Bachelor of Engineering in Civil from NDEJJE UNIVERSITY, UGANDA. You can reach him via his E-mail:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Man of UT says:

    I think there is great differences between how the two governments look at cattle raiders of Karamojong in Uganda, Pokot and Turkana in Kenya; and how the South Sudan government looks at Murle raiders. The government of South Sudan support Murle in many ways, example by giving them arms, threatening Dinka and Nuers not to attack Murle otherwise the government will take actions against Dinka of Jonglei or Nuer. When the removable of arms from civilians was conducted that time, Murle wasn’t disarmed while the Dinka of Jonglei was disarmed. Murle leader, Yau yau is with the government, but he has never been told to disarm his people, instead, he was promoted when Murle killed a lot of Dinka of Jonglei. So, Murle is the left hand of our government. The government is using Murle to try them to push Dinka of Jonglei to western side of the Nile River into Bhar El Ghazal, for reasons I don’t want to talk about now.
    I think, our government likes problems or likes to see its people continuing fighting. Otherwise the government would had already stopped the Murle, Dinka and Nuer fighting each other. Is this cattle raiding of Murle bigger than the fighting between Arabs of northern Sudan and SPLA/M?
    Thank you,
    Man of UT.

    Liked by 1 person

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