Child abduction and cattle raiding pose a threat to sustainable socio-economic development among the Dinka, the Nuer and the Murle communities in Jonglei State, South Sudan. A 7-month study was conducted to investigate the impacts of child abduction and cattle raiding among the three communities-Dinka, the Nuer and the Murle community. Two hundred fifty households, one hundred fifty two Key Informant Interviews (KIIs) and fifty six Focus Group Discussions (FGDs) were investigated using semi-structured questionnaires, interview guide and observation checklist. Simple random sampling procedure and proportionate stratified sampling were used to select respondents from each community. Both qualitative and quantitative data were concurrently analyzed and interpreted. Analysis of FGDs revealed that the increasing need for bride wealth and the availability of small arms or light weapons were the major driving factors behind cattle raiding and child abduction among the three communities. Consequently, increasing death rates, illiteracy, displacement, poverty, and loss of properties were rampant threatening social coherence among these communities. Disarmament, demobilization and re-integration, and other peace building processes are highly needed for sustainable socio-economic development among the Dinka, the Nuer and the Murle communities in Jonglei State, South Sudan.
Key words: Child abduction, cattle raiding, local communities, peace building, Jonglei State.