National, News

Lakes State bans illegal land sales

By Yang Ater Yang


In a bid to curb land disputes and conflict, Minister of Local Government and Law Enforcement Agencies in Lakes State, Chol Kuotwel Manhom, has banned the sale of land in rural villages across all eight counties.

During a briefing with local chiefs and administrators, Minister Manhom directly addressed the issue of corrupt practices and bias in land dispute resolution.

He warned chiefs who get involved in land disputes instead of resolving them fairly that they will be investigated and potentially removed from their positions.

The Minister emphasized the importance of fair land dispute resolution at the village level, directing chiefs to settle cases without favoring any party.

He further instructed administrators at the Payam (sub-district) and Boma (village) levels to arrest those who violate the ban on land sales, with the exception of surveyed land with proper documentation.

“The rampant illegal sale of land has emboldened individuals, groups, families, clans, and sections to engage in land grabbing for commercial purposes,” Minister Manhom stated.

“This often involves chasing away longtime neighbors from other clans, annexing their houses, and preventing those who fled due to insecurity from returning home” he continued.

Manhom elaborated on the prevalence of land disputes even within clans, where individuals clear large tracts of land not originally theirs, sparking conflicts with those who rightfully claim ownership.

The minister also highlighted the prohibition on allocating un-surveyed land to government institutions, saying this can create conflict between the involved parties.

“Land cases must be approached on an individual basis,” the Minister stressed. “Incitement of clan disputes, eviction based on clan affiliation, threats, and forceful expulsion are strictly forbidden. Violators will be prosecuted according to the law.”

Sultan Manyang Derder Ajiing, Paramount Chief of Aduel Payam Regional Court in Rumbek East County, acknowledged the prevalence of land disputes in his area. He cited a specific case involving Gen. Bona Abank Dhel, where he is working to return land wrongfully claimed by another party.

For his part Sultan Nyinde Mading, Deputy Paramount Chief of Malek-agok Payam in Rumbek East County, assured the Minister of his commitment to implementing the new order and ensuring the return of illegally grabbed land to its rightful owners.


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