AWEIL, SOUTH SUDAN
— Cattle grazers from South Darfur say a mystery illness is killing their cows, and they have brought them to Aweil in South Sudan to be vaccinated.
But that has alarmed locals who are afraid their cows will also become infected.
"Our cows are dying, one after the other. We want our cattle to be vaccinated,” said Seleman Issa Ahmed, one of the Rezigat Arab nomads who have brought their cattle to South Sudan.
The Rezigat are allowed to graze their cattle inside South Sudan under agreements signed between communities on both sides of the border.
But with the nomads from Darfur bringing infected cows into South Sudan, local residents, like Major Dut, say they are concerned for their own cattle.
“We have asked the Rezigats to pay money so that a report is sent to the state’s authorities so they come with vaccines for the cows. Their cattle are mingling with our cows and we fear that ours will get the disease,” Dut said.
Stephen Ajok Mou, Director General at the Ministry of Animal Resources,
said state officials are taking action to try to allay the fears of locals and save the Darfuri nomads' cattle.
Mou said the authorities suspect anthrax and hemorrhagic septicemia
may be what is killing the cattle.
Cattle are highly prized in South Sudan as a source of wealth.