By Hou Akot Hou
Chiefs in Twic Mayardit County, Warrap State have given all returnees a two-month deadline to settle their debts with those whom they owe.
This comes after a lot of cases have been heard by the chiefs in court between the host community and the returning community.
Executive Chief Pasquale Kuol Majok told this outlet by phone on Wednesday that they reached the decision because they realized the destitution that the returnees are facing as some host community members started opening cases against them.
Kuol said they saw it as important to give the returnees two months so that after this hunger gap, they could start answering the cases of those who need their rightful possessions.
“Some people escape to Sudan, sometimes back with the girls and women of some people,” he noted.
…and whenever the relatives of the girls back home ask them, they deny being related to those who escape with girls. Such scenarios are complicated, and as they have returned, some people have started coming to us now to open cases,” Chief Kuol stated.
He said they have told those with grievances with the returnees to wait until the new harvest season before they could launch their complaints.
Some residents welcomed the decision taken by the chiefs but warned the returnees against taking the chiefs’ ultimatum for granted.
Maguek Garang said they can’t be allowed to think that it is a privilege and used as a trick to loot people.
“It is not a freedom per se for these people to dodge people on the ground that the Twic Chiefs have given them the right not to be sued. We need to know that we are all suffering,” he stated.
The ultimatum or decision of the Twic Chiefs drew mixed reactions, as some people say some returnees had properties back home even before they left the country for Sudan, and now their relatives have properties.
Deng Dut, a resident of Turalei, disagrees, saying some of these returnees’ families are well-off and it does not make sense to give them those two months.
He appeals to the local chiefs to look into matters in good faith and not be bribed by the returning community.