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Aweil authorities issue ultimatum for acquisition of land titles

Authorities in Aweil town have issued a week-long ultimatum to all residents who applied to the land office to acquire land titles.

The director general of the Northern Bahr El Ghazal ministry of physical infrastructure, Akot Anguei Akot said on Wednesday that the decision comes after delays by some applicants to pay the mandatory fee of 35,000 South Sudanese Pounds to acquire land titles.

“Many people have rendered in their applications and have delayed to come to the ministry of physical infrastructure to acquire their land titles, as a result we have been forced to issue an ultimatum to people who went away with tokens,” Akot told The Juba Echo in Aweil town.

He warned that they may be forced to transfer land titles for those who have delayed to turn up to other people willing to acquire their land.

Akot said they previously extended the timeframe to provide opportunity to many people who are struggling to acquire the money required for the land titles.

He said the latest ultimatum is meant to speed up land allocation within Aweil town.

Akot also said that the influx of thousands of returnees and Sudanese refugees has put pressure on resources such as land, adding that the market price for land has shot up.

Adut Garang Aleu, a tea-maker in Aweil town, said the ultimatum issued by authorities will disenfranchise many of the poor people who are unable to afford the high fee for the land titles.

“Where do they think we could acquire money to get the title deeds as they expect, it’s better for the authorities to compensate us and we go and buy plots elsewhere,” she said.

Under the newly introduced South Sudan land policy, ownership of land is vested in the government. Previously land used to be under ownership of the communities.

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