At least three people are nursing injuries following Saturday’s scuffle with “armed land grabbers”, a youth leader in Garbo Boma of Mangala County has said.
Garbo is situated 13 kilometers from Juba on the eastern bank of the Nile.
On Saturday, residents of Garbo clashed with a group of men, some in army uniforms, in a land dispute.
The residents reportedly wanted to bury a dead body but were prevented by “land grabbers”.
A youth leader in the area, Richard Tombe, said they then brought in a security force and graders to demolish the makeshift structures they had erected.
This, he says, led to the scuffle whereby some people were injured.
“The joint operation soldiers were brought and graders to demolish the area. Then the land grabbers attacked local farmers who were working in the area,” said Richard.
“They beat themselves up; some people sustained injuries. They also shot in the air anyhow until the security personnel calmed the situation.”
In January 2021, residents of Mangala’s Garbo Boma had accused some members of the organized forces of illegally demarcating land in their area.
According to the locals, armed individuals intimidated and beat up locals who were trying the stop them from their work.
Later in February, 45 people suspected of grabbing land were arrested but were later released.
According to the youth leader, many of those involved in Saturday’s scuffle are those initially arrested but recently released.
In October 2020, the Governor of Central Equatoria State, Emmanuel Anthony Adil suspended land allotment and demarcation pending the establishment of state and local government structures.
There have been conflicts related to land grabbing and unlawful allotment of land in the capital Juba and other areas around Central Equatoria State.
In September last year, six people — most of them soldiers, were arrested in Rajaf County after the community accused them of illegally selling land.
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Published Friday, May 14, 2021
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