IDPs in Mahad demand land for settlement

By Adia Jildo

The IDPs residing in Mahad Secondary school have called on the government to allocate land for their settlement as Mahad School administration demanded their evacuation. It has taken nine years since the IDPs built camps for their settlement. The chairperson of the Internally Displaced Persons said the school had been offering them shelter since the outbreak of 2013 conflict.

Mayen Kur Kuer, chairperson of the Internally Displaced Persons said they are unable to evacuate the school premises if the government is unable to provide land for them to settle.

 “We demand our leaders to look for solution, a land that we can settle in. We request the administration of Mahad secondary school to also give us more time,” Mayen said.

He said the IDPs took refuge at Mahad since 2013 conflict and feared to return to their places due to insecurity in the region.

Mahad had agreed to offer the IDPs to settle in the area for about 3 months before taking refuge to another place or returning to their original places.

Makur called on the government to help the IDPs by allocating land so as to evacuate the area.

Joseph Majier Akot, the general secretary said they were affected by the 2013 and 2016 conflict as well as the flooding.

“If peace is in place then we shall return to our homes. Since the war broke out, how many people fled their homes,” he said.

 “We are all South Sudanese and it’s our right to live in South Sudan, so let the government allocate for us land so that we evacuate the school premise” he said.

 “Now that Mahad has told us to leave, where should we take these children? If the government cannot give us land, let them take us back to Jonglei,” Joseph said.

He called on the school administration of Mahad to talk with the government to give them agreeable duration of time or allocate another land for settlement.

Athuor Omot, a women leader in the IDP camp said their children are unable to go to school due to expenses in schools in Juba.

“We are trying to hustle hard to get something to be able to feed our children and ourselves,” she said.

“Get for us a place to stay since we have not yet seen the peace we yarned for so that if one day peace comes, you will be able to knock our doors and we shall return home,” she said.

Athuor said most children from the camps have become street children without future.

 “Most children who have been born here and growing here don’t have a future. They don’t attend schools and how will they be able to learn,” she said.

He said displaced people within the country can seek refuge and rehabilitate themselves within places of refuge and not to be forced to return to their unsafe home place.

We appeal to the Central Equatoria State government for us to rehabilitate ourselves because our place of origin is not safe for living” Athuor said.

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