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TORIT EAST - 23 Aug 2019

Chief complains after cows reportedly go missing in police custody in Torit

A community leader in Haforiere village in Torit East County of Torit State said more than 700 cows went missing while in police custody, saying his community will lodge a complaint against police authorities over the matter.

The complaint came after government officials on Tuesday returned cattle apprehended by the police in Haforiere Village to their rightful owners.

On 2 August, police authorities seized cattle from four kraals in Haforiere village while investigating the killing of two people from neighboring Geria County along the Torit-Imotong road in July. 12 suspects arrested were, however, released without charges.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday, Chief Michael Mujang said they had received 734 cows only. He added that the authorities returned 734 of 1,518 cattle.

Mujang called on the relevant authorities to recover the animals that got missing while in police custody. The community leader called for a peace and reconciliation conference between his community and the people of Geria County for lasting peace.

Meanwhile, Torit County Commissioner Fermo Peter Isara said the return of the cattle came after the state governor formed a committee to ensure the animals are handed over to rightful owners in Haforiere village.

“What happened was that the state security committee formed by state governor and headed by security advisor was to oversee the issue of Haforiere cattle brought since August 2. The cows reached here and that was why the government went to solve problems in Haforiere, but found civilians evacuated the village,” Isara said.

He added, “That is why it was believed that they participated in the killing incident that took place along the Torit-Imatong road. That was why the cattle were brought.”

Isara said his counterparts from Geria, Torit, and Torit East counties witnessed the handover event in the presence of organized forces.

Geria County commissioner Onyu Paul also confirmed the return of the cattle, but said the killers are still at large. He reiterated the state government’s commitment to apprehend the perpetrators.