FANGAK – Fangak County authorities are raising alarm over an alleged plan by a local spiritual leader to cross the River Nile to raid cattle from neighboring Ruweng Administrative Area, appealing to him to abandon the plan.
In a statement yesterday, the office of the Fangak county commissioner, Biel Boutros Biel, expressed concerns that such actions from the spiritual leader could disrupt the ongoing efforts aimed at restoring peace in the county.
He stated that he met with Gattang on November 27, 2023, and explicitly advised him against proceeding with the cattle raids. However, Gattang reportedly dismissed the advice, asserting his determination to carry out the raids.
“Gattang on 27/11/2023 frankly stated that he would go for cattle raid in Ruweng Administrative Area (RAA-Parieng) and no one would stop him,” the statement reads in part. “The commissioner advised him that going to Parieng amounts to gross violation of peace Agreement 2018.”
The commissioner highlighted the potential consequences of Gattang’s actions, emphasizing that they would constitute a clear violation of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
The Commissioner further informed the government in the statement that the communities of Greater Fangak (Ayod, Fangak, and Pigi counties) are not responsible for actions of the spiritual leader who he said is camping outside the county headquarters.
He also revealed that the notorious spiritual Gattang arrived in New Fangak (Phom) town on November 19, 2023, accompanied by approximately 100 heavily armed youths.
Biel emphasized that the areas of Fangak, Panyikang, and Pigi counties have been enjoying relative peace with neighboring Ruweng Administrative Area and stressed that any disruption could have detrimental consequences.
The commissioner called on First Vice President Riek Machar, who is also the leader of the main armed opposition SPLA-IO, and Jonglei Governor Denay Jock Chagor, to dissuade the spiritual leader from pursuing his plans for cattle raids.