National, News

Insecurity; MPs Demand end to illicit logging


By Bida Elly David


Lawmakers representing Kajo-Keji County at the Central Equatoria State Transitional Legislative Assembly have called on the county authority to immediately stop logging activities for security to prevail.

Kajo-Keji County has witnessed series of ambushes and surprise attacks by unidentified assailants, in last two weeks, leaving two security officers and a civilian killed as others nursing wounds.

Hon. Yugu Alex, representing Nyepo Payam of Kajo-Keji County while speaking to No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper on Friday said that the on-going insecurity, which he tied to illegal logging activities, have already interrupted the return of people from the camp.

“The logging must stop. And if it is going to happen, it should come from the community. The people, lawmakers, landlords, and people from the Diaspora should be consulted,” he echoed.

The MP slammed the county commissioner for having failed to use a security mechanism to save lives.

“Instead, they should come up with tangible projects that will benefit the community. I think this is the best way,” he said.

According to Yugu, the illegal logging activities in the county have severally caused total insecurity and unrest, often resulting in killings and displacement of civilians.

He described the on-going logging project as illegal since it has been carried out without the consent of the local community, which sometimes fights for its own resources.

“The resources God gave to the county are not for individuals; they are for the people. It’s for the people of the payams and Boma of the county, and all of us and the commissioner must review the project before it finishes our people,” he demanded.

“Killing our people has no benefit. If there are issues, they have to register a concern. So that dialogue must be organized because killing cannot benefit since it is a loss to all of us,” he added.

Yugu urged the need to see peace prevailing among the people.

“We need to see peace exist in Kajo-Keji, because all the state government, members of parliament were all emphasizing on the return of the people to come back home from the refugees camps,” he expressed.

They conveyed their condolences to the affected families of those killed in the recent attacks and called for calm in the county.

“We have seen the suffering of people outside Sudan, and with this concern, we need to assure the people of Kajo-Keji to calm down, and we want to register our solidarity with the families of the deceased who lost their own beloved ones,” he consoled.

Yugu called on the County commissioner to bring the perpetrators behind the killings to books.

“Our real message to the county commissioner and the county authority is that they should pursue peace with the security personnel. They have to work with the people of the county,” he noted.

Despite the tragedy, the lawmakers still advocate for the return of the people from the camps to come and rebuild their broken walls.

Another MP Hon. Milla Amos Peter representing Lire payam Constituency said they were shocked to see and hear transportation of logs from the County again after their fight to stop the illegal business.

“We have just been taken by surprise, and when we tried to inquire as to what happened, we were told that there was a company that has been allowed to collect logs that were impounded because of our concerted effort,” he said.

He noted that the same company that participated in the collection was once stopped by the communities of Nyepo and Dindiro in Litoba, adding that some individuals are behind the game.

“They illegally started doing their work, and it has not taken them long since they met that kind of resistance where two of the security personnel guarding them lost their lives,” Mila stated.

He hinted that the lawmakers would have stopped the logging if they were informed about it.

According to Hon. Mila, no citizen of the county has ever benefited from the illegal logging project, yet their resources are the ones being stolen.

“There is no single project in the name of resources that the people can see, it has not been there. They don’t believe it can be there, unless there is a people driven consensus, nobody will believe that such a project would benefit,” he echoed.

Last week, a logging company vehicle came under attack, resulting in death of NSS security officer guarding the workers and a cook was wounded.

Also on Wednesday night, armed assailants ambushed and killed a veteran police officer identified as 2nd Lt. James Tomba at his house in Kajo-Keji.

Furthermore, a youth leader from Gaderu Boma, Nyepo Payam, Kajo-Keji County, known as Lisi Joseph, was also shot and wounded at his home on Thursday night.

The disturbing insecurity has tormented the county prompting the lawmakers to demand action from the local government, over the deteriorating situation.




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