Jubek State discusses land matters

By Khamis Cosmas Lokudu

Land ownership in Jubek State dominated a recent dialogue forum organised by partners to find lasting solutions to the myriad challenges facing the sector.

Saferworld in collaboration with organization for Nonviolence and Development convened and facilitated a two-day discussion on land related issues in the state.

The event at Juba Grand Hotel was attended by 40 participants who also discussed land grabbing as a major problem in Jubek state.

Hon Kose Andrew Wani, Chairperson of Jubek State Land Commission said, the emotive land issue should be discussed openly and candidly.

“It’s always hard to talk about land practices in Jubek state or South Sudan without recalling the experiences of the colonial government” he said.

Kose said lack of proper records dating from the colonial era is to blame for some of the land disputes.

“Land policy doesn’t exist in the Republic of South Sudan and what is in place is set of statutory laws enacted without a written policy,” Kose said.

He observed that legal experts and land authorities believe that land settlement and Land Registration Ordinance of 1925 is the most important land legislation the colonial government had ever made in Sudan.

Kose stated that in their opinion, this law and the Town Planning Act 1948 are the basis of land administration and management in Sudan and South Sudan.

After independence, the Government of Sudan made more land related laws, which include, but not limited to, the Registered Land Act 1970, Urban Planning and Land use Act 1976, and the Encouragement of Investment Act 1996, 1999, which was amended 2000.

From 2005 – 2010 the government of Southern Sudan enacted some land related legislation like the land act 2009, Investment Act 2009, Local Government 2009 , however the Republic of South Sudan only passed the Interim Constitution of South Sudan 2011, which contains  some provision of the land.

“Additional the customary laws and the local regulations are also applicable, but when appropriate, Kose said.

He said, Jubek State Land Commission has the responsibility and mandate to monitor and evaluate the application of the laws, hence the commission has monitored, diagnosed and recoded challenges facing the land authorities as well the land owners.

The common challenges include unethical practices by some officials in the offices of land allotment and tittle deeds, unlawful demarcation and land distribution, land grabbing, illegal building of land houses and many more.

“Blames are here and there for who the lad grabbers are in Jubek State, one thing I want people to know is that Juba is the capital city of South Sudan and Jubek State respectively,” Kose said.

He said most South Sudanese would want to acquire land tittles and therefore the need for Jubek State Assembly to work hard to formulate the Land Act to minimise problems associated with land grabbing.

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