By Beek Mabior
OPINION – There is a serious growing crisis of land ownership in South Sudan. There’re deep-seated grievances of land ownership that is seriously fueling conflict, hatred, division and tribalism amongst the communities in South Sudan. There’s a silent conflict with land ownership in the country. Moreover, since South Sudan achieved her independence on 9, July 2011. The country has been facing crisis of land ownership and South Sudanese people are having issues of lands.
Furthermore, in the major cities such as Juba, Wau, Malakal, Bor, Bentiu, Torit, Rumbek, Aweil, Kuacjok and Yambio; there’s a serious growing crisis of land ownership going on there as I speak and it has been fueling hostilities and animosities amongst South Sudanese people for many years now and it is getting worse day by day across the country. And for instance, in Juba city in Central Equatoria state which is the capital city of South Sudan; there is a heart-breaking crisis of land ownership in it and it has been fueling conflict, tribalism and animosity amongst South Sudanese citizens in the city.
There’re deep grievances over land ownership and there has been conflict and disagreement over the lands for many years now. Furthermore, it is crucial for the government of South Sudan to makes itself clear in terms of the policy that shall influence the question of the land ownership in the country. Additionally, South Sudan is in the process of putting up the permanent constitution and it should clearly define whether land belongs to the community or government. Because doing so will lay the clear foundation for a strong land act and land policy that’ll fuel economic growth and sustainable development in South Sudan.
Moreover, the land act and land policy will reduce cases of violence, killings, division and hatred amongst South Sudan citizens. It’ll eradicate cases of land scrabbling and killings across the country. Additionally, land is a precious environmental resource and its needs to be regulated and manage well in a manner that’ll not create pointless hostilities and animosities amongst our beloved sixty-four cultures. Every living citizen has a right to own land in South Sudan and there must be a clear land’s law to guarantee that. It is disheartening for our citizenry to fight amongst themselves over land cases in South Sudan. South Sudanese people don’t deserve to kill themselves over land issues.
They simply need to share lands peacefully because all the lands in South Sudan belong to them all without segregation. It is this very same land that they sacrificed their precious souls to fought with the past Khartoum’s authoritarian regimes until the time they got their hard-won independence and control over their natural resources. There must be clear guidelines and laws that regulate the process of land ownership in South Sudan. Moreover, there’ve been complaints and disputes over the lands in various cities and towns across South Sudan.
There’s a wide report from credible sources that some of the lands and homes of those who deserted them during the wartime of 2013 and 2016 in South Sudan have be occupied by others and they’re refusing to allow their rightful owners to reclaim them back after they return when the revitalized peace agreement was signed. It is significant that those people who unfairly occupy the lands and homes of others in the cities and towns abandon those lands and homes and let the rightful owners resume them so that they can settle down and rebuild their lives once again during the current peacetime in South Sudan. Additionally, the government have a bigger role to play in that task and to assist the victims reclaim their rightful homes and lands in order to settle down and move on with their lives. also, we South Sudan Environmental Advocates (SSEA) need lands to be acquire by citizens lawfully and peacefully. Finally, I’d like to kindly appeal to the National parliament and states’ governments to come up with clear land act and land policy in South Sudan. We don’t need our citizenry to fight and kill themselves over the cases of land ownership in our country. South Sudanese people must understand that land is acquire lawfully and fairly and not through senseless scrabbling, killings, hostilities and animosities in South Sudan.
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