Africa-Press – South-Sudan. After a bruising encounter with informal settlers in Garbo village east of the capital, the land committee appointed to address land grabbing in Juba, yesterday said they were now turning to Jebel Dinka suburb to tackle the conflict laden land dispute there.
Michael Chiangjiek, the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development who is also the Chair of the committee said members of the body will meet residents of Jebel Dinka next week to discuss the illegal acquisition of land ahead of eviction and demolition of structure informally erected.
“Next week, we are going to start our meeting in Jebel Dinka with all the local residents and settlers to tell them what we are going to do,” Chiangjiek said in their briefing to the media in 2022. He also revealed that the committee will register all those residents at Garbo and relocate them where necessary.
Meanwhile, Governor Emanuel Adil Anthony of Central Equatoria state who is also the co-chair of the committee reaffirmed their commitment to start its work immediately in the coming week with the road map of visits and meeting with all the stakeholders involved in land disputes.
“We have just concluded the plan of the committee which is meant to solve the problem of land grabbing and informal settlement in Juba city and surroundings of Juba City which is in Juba County,” Adil said.
“First of all, the committee is going to continue with its work of mapping, registration, determine exactly the number of informal settlers and lands that are grabbed as directed by the president in his presidential address” he added. He stressed that the committee was ready to provide solutions to land issues on behalf of the president and government.
“This is the new year we hope that in the next few months we would be able to accomplish this task and definitely the question of land grabbing and informal settlement will be a history not only in Central Equatoria but in South Sudan,” he vowed.
Governor Adil called upon the public to be patient and cooperate with the committee. “The committee has started its work, therefore the public has to cooperate with the committee as it undertakes this noble exercise,” he said.
He called on the public to stop illegal demarcation as part of the cooperation to jointly bring everlasting solutions to land issues in the country. “Further illegal demarcation allotment has to stop as a matter of importance so that we really solve this problem” he said.
“I know everybody needs a piece of land for settlement and as a nation we need to have clear methods of acquiring land and people must decease from demarcating and acquiring land in illegal ways but without government recognition that land will have not valve” he explained.
“People have cooperated with the committee and we really want to announce that this year we hope that with this committee meant to solve the issue of informal settlement and land grabbing we would succeed,” he added.
Last year the President Salva Kiir Mayardit formed 12-member adhoc committee to address the growing land grabbing and informal settlement in Juba City and the environs of Juba City.
Late last year, two people were killed in Garbo village when informal settlers there tried to resist eviction by the committee, according Major General Daniel Justin the national police spokesperson. The two, residents of the informal settlement, were reportedly shot dead after they confronted security forces accompanying the committee.
Days later natives and elders of Garbo village accused the land committee of aiding land grab in the area saying security forces deployed to protect the place were involved in distribution of land.