News, Northern Bahr el-ghazal

Aweil residents demand compensation for aggregate extraction

By Hou Akot Hou


Youth in Aweil Center County, Northern Bahr El Gazal state, are demanding implementation of an agreement reached with local company, Wunkoc Engineering Company, to pay for extraction.

The company was subcontracted by Africa Resources Cooperation Company for various projects, including construction of Akon Airport and road renovations in the state.

Youth have now taken a stand against the excavation of aggregates in their area, aiming to exert pressure on the company to fulfil its promises of compensation.

Residents are seeking fair payback for their resources, such as the renovation of schools, hospitals, and damaged roads.

Santino James, one of the leaders of the movement, explained that they resorted to blocking the company’s access roads by placing heavy tree trunks on the routes.

James expressed frustration over the company’s failure to deliver on the promises made by ARC.

“These people are cheating a lot and our goal is to see promises like construction of schools, health facilities and fixing the roads for us” He lamented.

“When we ask the local authorities here In Aroyo County insufficient information is delivered to us and it is not helpful. Our people are suffering a lot even some students are dropping out here as there are no proper high schools here in Aroyo which is far flung from the state,” he added.

Santino clarified that their road blockade was a non-violent means of demanding their rights.

In response to the protest, the commissioner of Aweil Center County, Peter Natale, confirmed that he dispatched a police team to address the situation on Monday.

He assured the youth that he would personally follow up with ARC through the state administration.

“I sent the team and some youth who were the masterminds of these demands they have raised, were picked and I told them to be patient as I will follow up with the ARC through the state’s administration,” Commissioner Natale stated.

He acknowledged the youth’s grievances regarding the damage caused by heavy vehicles and assured them that their concerns would be addressed.

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