Gov’t urged to urgently address rampant land disputes

A Juba-based civil Society Organization, Integrity South Sudan, has called on the government to urgently address land disputes in the country.

By Awan Achiek

A Juba-based civil Society Organization, Integrity South Sudan, has called on the government to urgently address land disputes in the country.

Lodiong David Lubang, Communication and Media Officer of Integrity South Sudan made this call in the aftermath of recent killing of people in land-related disputes in Abyei and Juba County.

On 25th June 2024, suspected to be armed youth from Twic County of Warrap attacked Alal County, Abyei killing seven civilians, including two children, and left one person injured.

On Tuesday, three women and a child were killed in a land-related dispute in Molobbur Boma north of Juba.

In a statement issued on Thursday, it said the land dispute has intensified, exacerbating existing grievances and endangering the lives of individuals causing insecurity.

“Integrity South Sudan expresses its concern with the recent escalation of violence over the issues of land ownership marked by recent incidents in Juba County and Abyei,” David said.

David called on the government to investigate and hold accountable individuals behind the recent killings in both Juba and Abyei.

“Should strengthen land rights and to ensure that land rights are protected and respected as well as implement measures to prevent illegal land settlement and provide legal avenues for resolving disputes,” he said.

He stressed the need to initiate dialogue between affected communities, and herders to find an amicable solution to address the land dispute to prevent further violence.

“South Sudan’s path to peace and prosperity hinges on addressing land-related violence, thus the necessity for holistic and sustainable solution approach.”

Land conflicts over Juba city have been going on for several years since the establishment of the government of South Sudan in 2005.

Members of the host community, the Bari, have been accusing inhabitants from other states of grabbing their land.

They also accused them of not following the legal procedures of acquiring land through the Central Equatoria state’s ministry of physical infrastructure.

 On 11th August 2021, President Salva Kiir issued an order forming a committee to address issues of rampant informal settlement and land grabbing in Juba city and its environs.

The Committee was mandated to map out areas affected by informal settlements and land grabbing in Juba City and Juba County, including estimates of populations, household members, and other related demographic data.

It is also tasked with ascertaining the causes of informal settlement and land grabbing in Juba County.

The order mandated the committee to summon and interview any person or persons including community leaders where it is appropriate to establish any information relating to subject matter.

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