Central Equatoria State, News

CEPO tasks parliament to identify illegal loggers

Charles K Mark


Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) wants the Transitional National Legislative Assembly (TNLA) to investigate and identify the individuals involved in illegal logging in the state to face sanctions.

CEPO’s executive director, Edmond Yakani, is advocating for an in-depth investigation into the act of illicit logging that he deems an enemy of the efforts toward fighting climate change.

He said the individuals identified after the investigation by the TNLA’s committee should be subjected to targeted sanctions.

Mr. Yakani said that though previous similar investigations have not yielded any positive results, civil society will not put it to rest until stringent measures are taken against the destroyer of the forest cover.

“As CEPO, we will be closely watching the committee. This time around, we’re stepping strongly, proactively, and effectively into this fight,” he echoed.

The activist revealed that the vice of illegal logging does not only deny communities the benefits of natural resources but also serves as a source of communal violence.

“It is our responsibility to see to it that people who are involved are held accountable. They cannot just walk away with it,” Yakani echoed.

He alleged that the activity is run by a syndicate of both national and international or regional actors.

“We are serious; some people, whether nationals or foreigners, should be profiled for targeted sanctions. We call on the international community to take action.” CEPO’s urged.

The National Assembly, in its extraordinary sitting on Friday, 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 being put on notice for a potential parliament summons to answer some questions on the persistent logging scandal plundering the state natural forest cover.

Other relevant persons in authority are also liable to be grilled by the national parliament once the ad hoc committee submits its fact-finding report to the august house.

A lawmaker representing Morobo County at the National Parliament, Remijo Lasu, who moved the motion on illicit logging at the floor of parliament, said there is mass tree cutting and depletion of forests in the Payume area, hurting the environment.

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

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