Kapoeta East County, Eastern Equatoria

General information

2016 population projection: 241,295

Major population centers: Narus town (Narus Payam), Kuron town (Kauto Payam)

Major ethnic group: Toposa (minority of Jie and Nyangatum)

Displacement risk:


* about this map

Economy & livelihoods

The Toposa people are mostly pastoralists and herd cattle, sheep and goats. Some estimates conclude 80 percent of the county’s population is dependent on livestock as their sole source of income. Kapoeta is a semi arid region with insufficient rainfall for agriculture. Some cereal production takes place, mainly sorghum, but on a limited scale. Cattle raids are a primary source of insecurity in the county. There have been frequent clashes between the Toposa and Buya tribes over cattle in Greater Kapoeta. Competition over water and pasture has been the primary driver of these conflicts. The Toposa tribe also reportedly honors those who die in cattle raids as heroes, which could be a contributing factor. Kapoeta East shares a border with both Ethiopia and Kenya, but the border towns in Kapoeta East County are less significant for trade than Kapoeta Town (Kapoeta South County) or Torit (Torit County).

IPC projection for Jan-Mar 2016

Kapoeta East County is classified as “Crisis” 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. However, there still was a deficit of 11,995 tons of cereal in 2015. Threats to food security across the state more broadly include conflict related insecurity that disrupts market access, inclement weather, deprecating currency, rising market prices and dwindling cereal stocks at household level.
**A collaborative effort by the Republic of South Sudan, UN agencies and development partners

Historical context

Dominant Control during conflict: SPLA

Eastern Equatoria has not witnessed major fighting in relation to the national conflict. The major threats to people’s livelihoods in Greater Kapoeta (Kapoeta North, South and East) are cattle raiding, armed banditry and persistent droughts. There has been no significant internal displacement or influx of refugees from other countries into Kapoeta East.

The Ilemi Triangle, an area claimed by both Kenya and South Sudan and controlled by Kenya, is located in Kapoeta East County. The area spans approximately 10,000 square kilometers and is inhabited by the Turkana peoples of Kenya. The dispute resulted from unclear wording in a colonial era treaty which sought to grant nomads in the region free movement. To date it has been generally peaceful, though Eastern Equatorian officials raised concerns in 2015 that Kenya was extending the border line deeper into South Sudan. South Sudan and Kenya formed a joint committee to resolve the border dispute.

About the map *

This map follows the administrative county boundaries 2005-2015. Our aim is to identify key geographic, demographic and historical features of the area, rather than political/administrative issues. In doing so, SSHP expresses no view on the development of the 28 state policy

Geography & logistics


Jie, Katodori, Kauto, Lotimor, Mogos, Narus, Natinga

Geographical features

The majority of Kapoeta East belongs to the acrid Pastoral livelihood zone, with a small, southwestern triangle classified as Hills and Mountains. Pastoral zones are characterized by clay soil and thorny shrub. Hills and Mountains regions have thick forest vegetation and alluvial soils. The Kuron River, near Kuron town, flows into the county from Ethiopia.

Main roads

One primary road connecting Kauto Town to Boma in (Pibor County, Jonglei State) to its north, and also Budi County to its southwest. As of 29 April 2016 the Kauto Boma road was classified by the Logistics Cluster as passable with warning. The majority of the road is passable only with vehicles weighing less than 20 metric tons, and only in the dry season.

All season fixed-wing airstrips



Information last updated: 26/08/16

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