By Keji Janefer Silver.
The National Dialogue Steering Committee held a two-days’ discussion in Juba on land policy and its administration under the theme: “Proper Efficient Land Management Systems”.
The objective of the training was to create awareness in the minds of citizens about land policy and to allow participants discuss land issues. Meanwhile recommendations were expected to be presented to the national dialogue steering committee for further discussion before presenting to the Parliament.
During his opening remarks on Monday 24th February 2020, the Co-Chair of the National Dialogue, Bona Malual, said they want to make a document for the upcoming national dialogue conference in March and the resolutions will be presented to the government.
Addressing the participants in the same workshop, Ambassador Gordon Yekelo of South Africa, encouraged South Sudanese to use the formation of the new government for developing the country. “During this time, you will have to focus on drafting your permanent constitution, you will have to focus on peace building, nation building and repairing your broken social fabric” urged Ambassador Gordon.
Reacting to the question of who owns land, Dr. Jacob K. Lupai, Assistant Professor at the University of Juba who spoke on behalf of the participants, said he doesn’t see any difference whether land is owned by government or the community if people serve the same interest. “The problem is lack of trust, suspicion because of experience. Somebody mentioned that Juba University has land, but where is the land. It was taken by the government and occupied by individuals” Dr. Jacob said.
In his closing remarks on Tuesday 25th February 2020, Dr. Lual Deng a member of the steering committee said the committee will possibly sit with the technical committee and get back with a policy document in the inform of recommendations which the steering committee will discuss on before the national conference.
Dr. Lual also gave this advice to political parties, “if you are going to defeat the SPLM, you better look at the documents which have been prepared, because the people have spoken even there were communities headed by the members of SPLM. look at what the people have said, and design your own programs accordingly. You will not defeat the SPLM by insulting them by whatever, you will defeat them through Program” Deng emphasized.