The civil society organization known as Foundation for Democracy and Accountable governance has accused the South Sudanese military general and unidentified politicians of land grabbing. They launched a report on Tuesday in Pyramid Continental Hotel about Land Reparation. Activists launched the report in partnership with the Institute for Security Studies.
Both organizations have conducted a survey this year about the perception of South Sudanese over the land issues in the country.
The report was about the outcome of the survey conducted this year in Juba, Wau, and Yambio. The areas mentioned were said are the most specific town affected by serious land grabbing.
From March 2013 to August 2013, the South Sudan Law Society (SSLS), with the support of the World Bank, has conducted a comprehensive assessment of land governance in South Sudan.
Their report claimed the “governance institutions in South Sudan suffer from a lack of accurate information, poorly defined roles and responsibilities relative to one another, and systematic financial and human resource constraints”.
The Executive director of the Foundation for Democracy and Accountable governance Jame David Kolok said the parties should include land in the legislation process. The peace agreement requires a review of land policies during the transitional government of national unity.
The report raised great concern if the issue of land grabbing is not addressed, it would create a continuous dispute in society. The activist urges the parties to implement the presidential order on land grabbers to face justice.
Kolok worried that land grabbing is a violation of human rights which was a punishable crime under the law.
“First of all, we have acknowledged that there are many concerns in terms of cases of land grabbing. And unfortunately, this report signals that some of these violations of land are attributed to a specific time. It escalated after 2013 and after the 2016 crisis because the conflict resulted in the displacement of citizens that have r become refugees”. He noted land grabbers took advantage of people displaced and seized their land.
Jame further said some generals played central roles in land grabbing, and intimidating judicial officials in this country.
Paramount Chief Gabriel Magga Baba from Kajo-keji County urged the accused military generals and politicians to respect the law. He admitted that some chiefs are also making corruption as well in the communities.
“As a community leader, I want to just to beg them, if the law is there, let them just respect the law. Let them respect their dignity because you here, you can’t go to somebody place and grab it without permission”.
Retired economist Dr. Logo Molokot who participated in the event acknowledged that there is a lack of implementation of laws to resolved land disputes. He said respect for the rule of law to address land grabbing is vital.
“My take on the land grabbing, as an economist the land has become very profitable, the economic part of it has appreciated and so people are using it to make wealth, like particular in the city here. Many people are taking lands from people because they want to build hours because they want to rent it out to investors”.