Traders slam Islamic council over demolition threats

By Bida Elly David

Group of vendors at the Northern part of Konyo-Konyo market have over the weekend demonstrated their readiness to face Islamic Council before the law against demolition threats made and called for immediate intervention of the government before the situation intensifies.

This came following a long term rental row between traders in the market and the Council themselves resulting into a deadly fight between officials from the council and one of the traders.

Last week, Juma Abdallah the secretary of the Islamic council threatened to seek a court order to demolish 700 erected  shops  by merchants on their disputed land of 14,000 square meters as a mechanism of eviction.

The dispute between the government of Central Equatoria State and the Islamic Council has been a long term row where both parties demonstrated rights of ownership for the above mentioned market making traders to be victims to the current circumstances.

Speaking to No.1Citizen Daily Newspaper over the weekend, the traders said that there would be no way for the council to evict them through demolition since the establishment of their shops was based on agreement.

They reiterated that the land row between the government and the Islamic Council has nothing to do with their business enterprises but based on defective aspect, they were ready to face the council against the threats.

One of the traders whose name remained unanimous cautioned the Council over the decision taken to demolish their shops and called them to face their opponent against the land low.

He said that the initiative taken by the Islamic Council was lame and a symbol of cowardice to face the government since traders were ignorant of their long term disputes.

“We have got nothing with the land dispute between the government and the Council. We built our shops based on agreement”

“We don’t have the intention to own any land. We are on rental stage. If the council wants to demolish our shops, they should come peacefully to talk with us rather than threatening us,” he said.

“All traders rented the land with different durations. How can they demolish shops before the end period, this does not make sense. We are ready to face them in the court of law,” he said.

Furthermore, the traders underscored that the conflicting parties should finish their issues in the court rather than putting merchants in regular confusion in the market.

“The Islamic Council is fighting for the land, government is also fighting for the land and we are also renting. Let the court come with clear solution based on the facts that both parties would present as evidence. We are now in a total confusion. If we had known, we would have not rented the grounds to construct the shops,” the traders said.

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