Enact laws to crackdown illegal logging – Activist

By Taban Henry

A civil society activist has called on the Central Equatoria state’s government and the Parliament to enact legislative provisions to crackdown the ongoing illegal logging in some parts of the State.

The call came after some two State Ministers of Agriculture, Environment and Forestry, and that of the Local Government and Law Enforcement including the Commissioner of Kajo-Keji County was summoned by the State Transitional Legislative Assembly on Wednesday.

The two Ministers and the Commissioner were summoned two weeks back. Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, the Executive Director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Edmund Yakani urged the state’s parliament to endorse provisional law that would prohibit illegal logging in the State.

Yakani said logging causes undesirable climate impact on the locals and the State, saying since the loggers are doing it illegally, they should be punished by law.

“In the beginning, there has been denial of illegal logging by the political leadership of the state not being real, but now illegal logging has become a factor fueling violence and insecurity among the communities in some parts of Central and Western Equatoria states,” he argued.

“My appeal is that there is need as a government of Eastern, Central and Western Equatoria particularly the parliament to enact state legislation that prohibits logging because logging is an issue at sub national level in which the minister of Environment and forestry have concern over the issue of environment that has direct impact on food security at the same time has impact of creating impact of violence among the communities,” Yakani continued.

The Executive Director of CEPO commended the State legislature, saying they have done tremendous job comparing it to the Governor of Western Equatoria State who has suspended the increasing illegal logging in his State. He said that if the parliament did not take a proactive role in holding the executive that are involving in illegal logging responsible, the problem will not be resolved, as the business of illegal logging is linked with influential political leaders and generals in the security institutions.   

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