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MPs to grill Adil, Morobo Commissioner over illegal logging

By William Madouk


Members of National Assembly have resolved to form an ad hoc committee to probe mass illegal logging in Morobo County.

Central Equatoria State governor, Emmanuel Adil Anthony and Morobo county commissioner are to answer some questions on the matter.

Other relevant persons in authority are also liable to be grilled by the ad hoc committee.

The recommendation for the Speaker, Jemma Nunu Kumba to form a seven-member ad hoc committee to investigate into illegal logging was arched on Friday.

A lawmaker representing Morobo County at the National Parliament, Remijo Lasu said there is mass tree cutting and depletion of forests in the Payume area, causing a negative impact on the environment.

“Foreigners and South Sudanese nationals involved in the depletion of forests in Morobo County include Italians, Lebanese, Ugandans, and Congolese,” said MP Lasu.

He added that, due to the skirmish of 2016, many civilians left and took refuge in Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo as refugees.

However, in the course of implementing the 2018 peace deal, Payume became a selected cantonment area for forces of some parties.

“Logging of trees for timber and depletion of forest for charcoal is ongoing unabated,” Lasu lamented.

The area lawmaker cited that despite prohibiting illegal cutting of trees such as Mahogany, Vuba, Afzellia, Balanites, Acacia Spp, and Ficus Spp, in Ministerial Order No. 3/2018, nothing has changed.

Lasu suggested that Mr. Adil, the governor of Central Equatoria, needs to be summoned to explain how such activities happen under his noise and to form an investigation committee to do further scrutiny on the ground.

Another lawmaker said illegal logging must be treated as a national issue because it is happening countrywide.

“Our timber is being taken out of the country, so it’s not a matter of debate; we need facts to be brought to this house,” he said.

Similarly, Mark Nyipouch, who seems to be reading from the same book, said, “The country is being looted in broad daylight.”

He agreed that a selected committee be formed as soon as possible to fully investigate the illicit cutting of trees.

Another lawmaker argued that men in uniform are embroiled in logging due to their dire situation, and he urged that the government must address soldiers’ welfare to enable them to cease depleting the forest.

He emphasized that parties should expedite the graduation and deployment of unified forces, adding that ‘tress can live happily.’


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