Easter Equatoria State, News

Torit objects ‘land belongs to the people of South Sudan’ clause

By Ijoo Bosco

Land administrators in Eastern Equatoria State have expressed confusion over the statement “land belongs to the people of South Sudan” as outlined in the proposed land policy.

Participants who attended a consultative workshop on the Land Policy, after deliberation, decided that the phrase be replaced with “land belongs to the community.”

The one-day consultation workshop last week was organized by the South Sudan Land Alliance with support from the United Nations Food and Agricultural Organization.

The purpose of the workshop was to gather insight into the roles and responsibilities of land administrators to inform the national land policy before the president signs it into law.

Attendees of the workshop included representatives from local government, lawmakers, civil society groups, religious leaders, and traditional chiefs.

They raised worries that the phrase being used by the National Ministry of Land was perplexing, and it may be used as a tool for land grabbing in the future.

Wodcan Saviour Lazarous, the Secretary-General for South Sudan Land Alliance and the Executive Director for Support Peace Initiative Development Organization (SPIDO), recommended a comprehensive examination of the phrase ‘land belongs to the people’ in the national land policy document.

“This expression has been a source of conflict in discussions across all five states,” he mentioned.

From the workshop, several resolutions were made, such as providing further training for land administrators and establishing grassroots land committees, including state-level land commissions, to better address land issues.

Abdallah Hassan Famai, the Director General in the State Ministry of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies, expressed worry about the drafting of the land policy in Juba without prior consultations at the grassroots level


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