Opinion: Land Grabbing In the Republic Of South Sudan
By Latjor C. Gakah,
June 3, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — Land is an asset which its value appreciates with time and that is the bottom line. Land grabbing is a judiciary debacle in South Sudan that is both silently claiming the lives of many innocent South Sudanese and leaving others homeless. The number of land grabbing cases depicts a full blown war between the grabbers and the future Judiciary system. We cannot talk about this current one because it is not solving anything. Some military generals and people in the position of influence are using their powers day and night to displace or kill land owners across South Sudan with Juba being the epicenter. It will take years for justice to be served or by predetermination of ‘luck and destiny’, may be an inch away government would restore or calm the hearts of the voiceless people whose lands are or have been subject of prey. What a scenario! In a short and polite debate on your mind, who is to be blamed? Is it the morality of a man who fails to respect the natural rights of others or the government that fails to uphold the right of the civil?
The recent shooting incident and deaths of close to nearly 15 civilians in the Shirikaat area in Juba, is just a tip of it. There are thousands of unrevealed cases that are smoldering. Some of these cases are like paternal scams and they will neither be known nor followed, and at least, some date back to as far as 2005 while others to 7 years, beginning with the aftermath of the 2013 crisis.
Teachers are often seen as the light bearers. This same light is passed to the students and uses it to light up the shadowed part of life. In April, 2019, my friends and I were returning from the ‘end-part’ of Gumbo (100 metres off to the right of the Juba-Nimule Highway) and happened to give a lift to a male teacher who according to him, was once in Kakuma Refugees Camp in Kenya and now dedicating his life to feeding knowledge to the hopeful students of a local school named; Promise Land Secondary School or so, I can’t quite clearly remember.
We didn’t pick the teacher from the road but we found him in the school and even had words with us before we took and dropped him near a filling station. While on course, he talked about how some powerful generals have managed to slice the school’s land and squeezed the school to only an area of 2500sq.metre, which is equivalent to a half of a football pitch (50 meters in length, or 50 by 20). It is as small as that and it is likely to be completely grabbed in the near future as the settlement is attracting big names such as those of James Hoth Mai’s and the first Lady who allegedly booked. This is according to the driver at the time and you can articulate that. The teacher talked of how the land was both illegally and forcefully being occupied and, not only around their school, but also in the whole of Equatoria, but Juba being the hotbed. He also decried corruption and in his eyes, you could feel the pain, a knowledgeable South Sudanese child who beautifully volunteered and using his energy to instill and rare a hybrid of heroes that are to free South Sudan from the shackle of despair and the kleptocrats regime being outraged. He was burning inside! Somebody must pay for this and the future judicial system of the Republic knows better. We parted with the teacher and the rest is history and at least, you have taken a sip and you know what this means to you. Yes, you, who is not only a patriotic citizen but a man or a woman in a great sobriety and guided by a good moral compass.
The teacher’s lenses are the epitome of what truly awaits the Judiciary system and if you are studying law, or already have a certificate (Degree/Doctorate), you must toughly be prepared for this. With good governance or government, cases can be solved with or through the right use of the weighing balance: The table of justice! Citizens have lost hope in this one, the current government and it is a bold fact with which by popular opinion, 99% of South Sudanese admit to that.
Land grabbing in some key parts of the country are just on another level which is close to extra-judicial killing. We can talk about Nimule and Malakal apart from Juba. The Madi are complaining of insurgency or gradual occupation of their land and the people in UNMISS are just but a group, perhaps by the narrative of their internal displacement, are not entitled to any land. But they were living outside the PoCs and if, where exactly? This begs the question of ‘will they really return to their lands or houses in Juba?’
All these are chaos and do not express the manifesto of the SPLM or why the country was liberated. These are divisions and sources of future conflicts but with hope burning in the youth’s eyes, we can say that justice will be served in the near future. These events are happening right in the eye of the South Sudanese youth and that is the power. The country will be emancipated and nobody’s land will be grabbed. The constitution or the law will be above anyone just like the sky and the laws of nature.
In conclusion, land grabbing is a crime and should be condemned to the core. It is not within a man’s natural rights to evict or invade the natural habitat of another and therefore, the life and freedom of an individual should not be compromised or throttled. Every person’s land must be free from threats of grabbing and the nation will prosper in peace.
The author is a concern South Sudanese and can be reached through his email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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