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Torit asked to halt encroachment on game park

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Monday, November 25, 2019

A part of Nimule National Park | File photo

The Council of Ministers has directed government of Torit State and Madi community to halt construction of a university on the top of Mt. Gordon.

The directives come after the Minister of Wildlife and Tourism submitted a report on the encroachment of the society on the game reserve.

Encroachment leads to loss of habitat or changes in the natural ecology for plants, animals, fish, and other living organisms that live in the area, studies show.

According to reports, an organization called Far-reaching Ministries plans to build a university and chaplain training base on the mountain.

It reportedly got a green light from the Madi host community.

“Jebel Gordon is part and partial of the Wildlife National Park. This was discussed. The governor came in and he was convinced that it is true this is part of national park,” Michael Makuei, government spokesperson, told reporters after the weekly cabinet meeting.

Another faith-based group named Operation Nehemiah Mission has a radio station on Mountain Gordon and allegedly plans to build a five-star hotel there.

“And as such, those people were advised not to work there, not to build there and those infrastructures which were setup there, are removed,” he added.

Nimule National Park was established under British rule in 1954, and the park reportedly extends 540km2 along the border with Uganda, with wildlife moving freely back and forth, and straddles the White Nile River.

Other game parks include Bandingilo, Boma, Lantoto, Shambe and Southern.

South Sudan boasts some of the most spectacular and important wildlife populations in Africa and supports the world’s second-largest terrestrial wildlife migration of some 1.3 million white-eared kob, tiang antelope, Mongalla gazelle, and reedbuck.

“Wildlife conservation must play a vital role in the economic future of South Sudan,” WCS President Steve Sanderson said on Independence Day in 2011.

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