CES warn against illegal land allotments

CES warn against illegal land allotments
Central Equatoria State Governor Anthony Emmanuel Adil. [Photo: Courtesy]

The governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, is warning the people against improper land allotment. 

Adil issued a caution during a meeting with the 12-member High-Level Committee on rapid informal settlement in Juba on Tuesday.

The committee—chaired by Minister of Land, Housing, and Urban Development Michael Chianjiek—was established by President Salva Kiir through a Republican Order to address the concerns of rampant informal settlement and land grabbing in Juba County. It called on the public to follow due protocols in acquiring land.

The committee further directed that all substantial action in the highly contentious areas be halted immediately until it submits its comprehensive conclusions to the top leadership for adoption.

It also revealed plans to launch a large-scale effort to free the land’s legitimate owners shortly in the locations previously identified.

In February, Governor Adil banned the illegal issuance of land, including the use of the “token” system in Juba County.

This was resolved in a meeting held with the state land authorities in Juba on February 14.

The office of the governor said the meeting was meant to address the land-related crisis and to forge robust mechanisms for land acquisition and its management.

The meeting resolved issues and “banned in totality the use of tokens and urged the general public to uphold the legitimate ways of land acquisition as enshrined in the country’s laws.”

The state authorities also resolved that the state government would start the exercise of showing plots to their owners from February to April. Governor Adil directed the state ministry of land, housing, and public utilities to liaise with other authorities to implement the directive.

“The state government would formulate land management mechanisms to stop land grabbing and there would be weekly review meetings for plot showing and giving advice,” the statement read in part.

The meeting called on the public to cooperate with the relevant authorities and warned those who would continue with illegal practices.

Last month, the high-level committee on land and informal settlements urged the community to join hands with them after their visit to Jebel-Dinka.

Chiangjiek said the community should support the government in addressing land disputes.

“The chair, who also doubles as the National Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development, Michael Chiangjiek, urged the communities residing around him to embrace peaceful co-existence, especially the host community of Bari, as the government expedites efforts to find an amicable solution to persisting land grabbing issues,” read the statement.

Governor Adil, the co-chair of the committee, called for cooperation from the civil population as they embark on their major executions across Juba County on mapping the demarcated areas in Juba County.

The commissioner of Juba County, Charles Joseph Wani, promised to promote peaceful coexistence within communities.

 “Notably, the residents of the area have appealed to the state authorities to expedite the process of obtaining legal documents and official showings to curb other illegalities perpetuated by some defiant elements of the community,” he said.

The areas said to have issues of land grabbing are Gumbo, Korok West, Lukwili, and Tokiman East and West.