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Rejaf residents call for government intervention to curb widespread land grabbing

Residents of Rejaf payam under Juba County of Central Equatoria State have asked the national government to intervene in curbing suspected land grabbers from illegally settling on their land.

The administrator at Rejaf payam, Juma Emmanuel on Friday said that cases of land grabbing are on the rise in Rejaf, adding that the situation has overwhelmed local authorities.

“Authorities of Rejaf are not able to resolve the issues of land grabbing, you may jail a land grabber today but after two days you see him released,” said Emmanuel during a dialogue on community issues held in Rejaf payam.

 “We asked the national government to see into issues of land grabbing because it will bring problems between the community and the settlers, they are threatening the community with guns,” he added.

In January 2022, President Salva Kiir instituted a committee led by Michael Chiangjiek, the Minister of Land, Housing and Urban Development co-chaired by Emmanuel Adil Anthony, the Governor of Central Equatoria state to look into the rampant land grabbing and informal settlement in Juba County.

Emmanuel also revealed that the security situation in Rejaf payam has recently deteriorated, leaving farmers unable to cultivate on their land.

 James Wani Dimo, the Director of Peace for the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Peacebuilding said that the community members of Rejaf payam need to dialogue to find solutions to their problems.

“Rejaf needs special consideration, it is a priority for us to look into the issues and address some of the issues, there is no one who will come from outside to help, we need to take steps to resolve issues affecting the community,” said Dimo.

David Dagu, Program Manager for Whitaker Peace and Initiative said the dialogue was organized to help resolve issues affecting the community, adding that issues affecting the community will be resolved by the community.

“We organized the dialogue to settle issues in the community, we brought together the chiefs and the government to find reliable solutions to problems in the community and we need to find the root causes and the solutions for the problems,” said Dagu.

South Sudan continues to grapple with administration of land matters due to lack of a national land policy.

Land conflicts between pastoralists and farming communities have been occurring over the years.

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