National, News

Insecurity instigating land conflict–official

By Gladys Fred


National Land Commission blames insecurity across the country as a driving factor for land grabbing in Juba City, as citizens flee villages for safety, to settle in a peaceful environment.

Mr. Robert Ladu Lwoki, Chairperson of National Land Commission said that cases of land, that they sometimes hear, are not actually land grabbing but need for secure settlement.

He made the remarks during media briefing after a session between officials from Ministry of Lands, Housing, and Urban Development, with partners.

The session presented an invaluable opportunity for insights into collaborative efforts and developments, on land.

Lwoki argued that there is enough land to accommodate everyone in the country, but that insecurity pushes people to scramble for settlement in Juba.

“We sometimes hear of land grabbing; people are not grabbing land; there’s plenty of land in South Sudan, but what people are actually grabbing for is security,” he said.

According to Ladu, people are just looking for a suitable place for settlement where there is proper security and employment, so they can make ends meet.

“They come to Juba not because they want to come and stay in this hot weather; there are better places to live than Juba, but people run here and grab land because of a lack of employment; all the industries, all job opportunities, and security are all found in Juba,” he explained.

The land commission boss stressed that farming in the villages has become a risky venture for the local populace.

“You go outside and cultivate your farm three miles away; you will cultivate, but you will never harvest your crops; somebody else will come with his gun and harvest on your behalf,” he lamented.

Ladu explained that all these issues are related to peace; that’s why land and peace go together, citing that in their land commission unit, they’re working very hard to look into these matters.

The issue of land grabbing has been a persistent problem, despite attempts by the government to address it.

Last month, at least thirteen individuals, including SSPDF officers, were arrested, and later sentenced to two months in prison, and fined 250,000 SSP each for land grabbing and malicious damage.

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