Cattle Rustling and its Effect on South Sudanese Communities  

TR Number



Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title


Virginia Tech


This exploratory mixed method study on "Cattle Rustling and its Effect on South Sudanese Communities" was carried out in the five South Sudanese states of Unity, Lake, Warrap, Jonglei, and Central Equatoria.

The study commenced with the qualitative phase with the specific objectives of determining the cause of cattle rustling; defining the perception of cattle keepers, farmers, chiefs, youth, and women about cattle rustling; evaluating the effect of cattle rustling, and drawing possible mitigating strategies.

After targeting 30 interviewees and corroborating their testimonies with observations, the study revealed that cattle rustling has existed for years among the tribes; however, the phenomena has shifted now to the community level with the usage of sophisticated automatic weaponry. The thematic analysis found expensive marriage/remarriage, revenge, pride, accumulation of wealth (resources), poverty, joblessness, and trade in livestock to be the major causes of rustling. It also underscores that during the process; properties are damaged and many innocent lives are lost.

The survey questionnaire from the initial phase developed the following quantitative phase of the research with the purpose of corroborating, expanding, and triangulating the preliminary phase keeping in mind the following specific objectives: description of the respondents; determination of the cattle rusting attitudes, norms, control, intention; and explanation of cattle rustling intention with demographic and the other constructs.

The primary data obtained from the stratified clustered 544 respondents revealed that attitude, norms, and control significantly explained cattle rustling intention; 22.6% [F(532) =154.050, p<.05], 31.8% [F(531)= 72.571, p<.05], and (34.9.0%) [F(530)= 25.983, p<.05], respectively, and the three constructs significantly contributed to the perception and cause of rustling. As a result, there was strong and significant (p<.05) correlation between intention with attitudes, norms, and control (r=.476**, .489** and .505**), respectively. However, literacy and gender correlates with intention (r=-.100*, p<.05 and =-.001, p>.05), respectively. On the other hand, norms correlate with attitude (r=.469**, p<.05), and control correlates significantly with attitude and norms (r=.553** and .572**, p<.05) respectively.

In conclusion, the analysis revealed that cattle rustling is caused by the salient beliefs that accounted for (R2=35.7%, F(530)=25.983, p<.05) of the variables in cattle rustling intention, and as remedies, the study suggested the establishment of agricultural extension, educational services especially for women and youth, empowerment of chiefs, comprehensive disarmament, among others before cattle rustling activities escalate.



Cattle Rustling, Pastoralists, Nomadic, Nilotic, Transhumance