Audio slideshow: Sudan's love of cows

Cattle are central to the lives of many communities in both Sudan and South Sudan, where they are used as a store of wealth and to pay bride prices. However, they are so prized that they are also a source of conflict, with rival groups launching cattle raids with deadly results.

For South Sudan's Dinka people, cows take precedence over almost everything else. In the dry season, they have traditionally shared grazing lands with the Misseriya and the Rizzigat - Arab tribes from the north, who cross into the south with vast herds. But during the long years of war between north and south this migration was accompanied by violence, killing and rape.

BBC World Service's Africa editor Martin Plaut visited Northern Bahr al-Ghazal state in South Sudan and met community activist William Kolong Pioth and Joseph Akot Dut, who was trying to buy a bullock at the cattle market in the state capital, Aweil.

To see the enhanced content on this page, you need to have JavaScript enabled and Adobe Flash installed.

African Perspective: Sudan's cows - from the BBC World Service - will be available as a podcast from 0900GMT on Saturday 26 February.

Photography and audio by Martin Plaut. Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 25 February 2011.

More audio slideshows:

Living in fear of the LRA

On the map - Africa's biggest slum

Masai warriors graduate

Sea nomads

More World stories


Copyright © 2018 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.