Kajo Keji County, Central Equatoria
2016 population projection: 270,138
Major population centers: Kangapo II, Kangapo I, Liwolo
Major ethnic group: Kuku is the main ethnic group, but there is also a small minority of Lugbara
There is low risk of internal displacement linked to the national conflict; however, the county received thousands of South Sudanese returnees from Uganda in late 2014, as a result of a border dispute.
Economy & livelihoods
Residents engage predomnantly in subsistence farming (39 percent) and livestock rearing (39 percent) for their livelihoods, with a small group also engaging in fishing (6 percent), according to a 2013 IOM assessment. The county, like others in the greenbelt, has significant amounts of arable land and high potential for agricultural development. The most popular crops grown are cassava, sorghum, groundnut and maize.
The presence of migrating cattle herds, particularly from Jonglei State, has led to tensions with the local population in recent years, with no apparent sign of resolution. Residents in Kajo-Keji (and Juba County) clashed with Dinka Bor cattle keepers and SPLA soldiers accompanying them in at least two incidences in early 2015, over destruction of crops and competition for grazing land. In a 2013 IOM survey, livestock herders in Kajo-Keji cited disease as a major problem affecting their livelihoods (22 percent), followed by market facilities (20 percent) and water (19 percent). In addition, 17 percent cited conflict and 15 percent cited grazing land as issues.
Though relatively well off compared to other regions in the country, Kajo-Keji has nonetheless been affected by rising commodities prices, including fuel, due to the economic crisis. Armed robberies are common on the road link with Juba.
IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016
Kajo-keji County is classified as “Minimal” for this time period. According to the Annual Needs and Livelihood Analysis 2014-2015** report, the food security situation in the county had improved within the reporting period, with a surplus of 34,400 tons of cereal in 2015. Arable land, proximity to the international market (e.g. high-quality seed imports) and lack of large-scale violence contributes to the relatively low level of food insecurity in this county.
**A collaborative effort by the Republic of South Sudan, UN agencies and development partners
Kajo-Keji has been spared from large-scale violence as part of the national conflict and there has been no significant displacement from the war. However, there are ongoing intercommunal conflicts, the motives for which are not always clear. There has been at least one case of intercommunal violence linked to religious discrimination. Lack of police capacity and effective legal infrastructure means that this and other local conflicts are prone to mob justice. In May 2015 around 80 residents of Jalimo Boma allegedly forced a family to leave their village, accusing the father of witchcraft. Some members of the family subsequently sought protection at police headquarters. Police, however, declined to investigate or get involved, citing their own fear of the mob.
In addition, disagreements with the Moyo community, of neighboring Uganda, over border demarcation remains a flashpoint. In September 2014, tensions over land rights erupted into a deadly conflict which killed dozens on both sides of the border. Many Kuku peoples had also been living on the Ugandan side of the border, some for decades. The conflict resulted in an influx of approximately 15,000 South Sudanese returnees into Kajo-Keji by November 2014.
The county has a significant Christian population and is home to the Kajo-Keji Christian College.
Geography & logistics
Kangapo I, Kangapo II, Lire, Liwolo, Nyepo
A distinctive dome-shaped hill called the Jale, sits near its southern border with Uganda, where the River Nyawa is also located. The Kaya River at its north separates the county from Yei County. The Nyiri mountain range at its east separates Kajo-keji from the White Nile. KajoKeji is not prone to flooding or drought, according to a 2013 IOM Village Assessment.
A primary road running north to Juba County, west to Yei County and south to the border with Uganda. The road north to Juba is open to trailers (>20 metric tons) all season within Kajo-Keji County, but the conditions deteriorate as it enters Juba County and is only open to trucks (<20 metric tons) in dry season. The road west to Yei is open to only trucks (<20 metric tons) and in the dry season. The road south to the border with Uganda is open to all vehicles in all seasons. A secondary road runs east to Eastern Equatoria State, with the closest town being Pageri, Magwi County. The road is passable only in the dry season, and conditions for specific vehicles are unknown.
All season fixed-wing airstrips
Information last updated: 26/08/16
For more information, please contact us