News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Aweil land dispute turns violent

By Deng Athian


A clash between residents and armed police unfolded on Friday in Kuom area of Aweil, leaving several people injured.

The confrontation arose from a long-standing land dispute, with the police allegedly acting on orders to forcibly evict residents following a court ruling in favour of State Minister of Finance, Andrea Lual Buola, against local elder Deng Dhieu Nyiwel.

Eyewitnesses reported a heavy police presence, armed with weapons. The clash quickly turned violent as residents resisted the eviction attempts, leading to injuries on both sides.

The area residents, who claim ancestral rights to the land, expressed frustration and anger at what they perceive as an unjust ruling by the court.

According to their accounts, the court’s decision favoured the State Minister of Finance, disregarding their longstanding connection to the land.

Meanwhile, the Police Statement issued after the clashes confirmed that the police were implementing a Court order to evict the disputed area between the complainant and the citizens.

“We are mandated to maintain public order and enforce the law and therefore, police is mandated to implement directives from the court and the public prosecutor as well as enforce the law on cognitive crimes that do not need the attention of the court or public prosecutor,” it added.

The statement stated that in any resistance, there always has been a minimum or maximum use of force to enforce the law however, “the police has no intention to harm anyone under whatsoever circumstances and therefore, the police should not be pinned on any injuries encountered during the clash.”

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