JUBA – Kajo-Keji County Director for Forestry in Central Equatoria State of South Sudan, Beden Nelson has claimed that illegal loggers have repeatedly threatened to take his life if he doesn’t grant them access to transport their logs.
Speaking to Sudans Post this afternoon from Kajo-Keji, Nelson said the forest mafia threatened them with violence if they opened their offices.
“Yesterday at around 7 pm, I received a phone call from Juma Madol, one of the loggers threatening me, for not having accepted them to transport their logs out of the county,” Nelson told a Sudans Post reporter this afternoon.
In October last year, Central Equatoria state Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony issued an order banning tree logging in all of its six counties.
The ban came following outcry in most parts of Greater Equatoria where rare species of timber and other wood products are fast disappearing due to illegal logging and charcoal burning.
Cutting of logs has been one of the illegal practices that threaten deforestation in the world’s youngest nation.
“We could go ahead and grant them access to transport their products unless with clear notification from the office of governor,” Nelson said.
He claimed that the forest mafia threatened to do anything possible if they opened their offices.
“Yesterday, they threatened us that they are going to do anything possible for our lives and ordered us not to dare open our office unless we grant them access to transport their products,” he said.
“When we opened our offices this morning, we found one of them in the office but the state director of national security took him to their office for questioning,” he added.
He disclosed that he also received a threatening text message from one of the loggers who lives in Uganda.