Land rights organization appeals to Kiir to check land grabbing

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Land rights organization appeals to Kiir to check land grabbing
Land rights organization appeals to Kiir to check land grabbing

Africa-Press – South-Sudan. The South Sudan Land Alliance (SSuLA), a network of 50 civil society organizations (CSOs) and community-based organizations (CBOs) has appealed to President Salva Kiir to take stringent measures against land grabbers in Juba and across the Country.

In a letter to the president which has been seen by Radio Tamazuj, the Network said it is deeply concerned about the current trends of land grabbing in Juba and other parts of the country have gone unaddressed for a long time and is affecting land tenure security systems in South Sudan.

‘’This kind of lawlessness actions by individual errant Senior Army Generals, individual senior government officials and business tycoons who believe they are above the rule of law or they are the law themselves must be stopped,” the letter signed by the SSuLA Chairperson Dorothy Drabuga and dated 4 March 2024 read in part. “The law is clear and for one to acquire land, one has to follow legal procedures not using their powers by force to grab land which is contrary to sec 7 (2) of the Land Act 2009 spelled out how land can be acquired i.e. (a) customary, (b) freehold and(c) leasehold respectively and they are 3 classifications of land (private, community and public land) read together chapter 111 sec 9 Land Act 2009.”

It added: “Therefore, due to lack of respect for the rule of law all the three classifications of land are under great tenure insecurity and this requires top political leadership actions or interventions.”

SSuLA recommended four action points to be taken seriously by the top leadership in the country to improve land governance systems.

“Expedite the process of land reforms agenda not limited to institutional reforms and passing of the national land policy and review of the land laws as well as digital land registration as stipulated in chapter four of the Revitalized Peace Agreement 2018,” the Network suggested. “SSuLA appeals to the president to discipline individual generals, individual senior government officials, and other individual business tycoons who are illegally involved in land management and grabbing.”

The Network also recommended that President Kiir constitute an independent committee comprising civil society organizations and other stakeholders led by the Ministry of Land, Housing and Urban Development (MLHUD) and South Sudan Land Commission (SSLC) to investigate and conduct a land audit in a transparent and accountable manner and make the information public to recover the grabbed or lost land and return them to the rightful owners to build trust and confidence among the civil population.

“SSuLA appeals to the top leadership to strengthen the capacity of the land institutions at all levels both financial and human resource to improve on land governance in the country,” the letter concluded.

SSuLA is a network of 50 Civil Society Organizations and Community-based organizations in 10 states and 3 administrative areas of South Sudan promoting equal access to land rights for all.

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