The police in Juba County of Central Equatoria State have arrested 39 suspected land grabbers along the Juba – Mangala road.
The director of Juba County Police, Brigadier General Wilson William Adiang says the arrests were made yesterday afternoon at Kubri Mohandisiin – north-east of the capital.
General Adiang told the suspects at Juba County Headquarters that he was ordered to end land grabbing in Juba County.
Adiang He says the 39 land grabbers will be investigated – adding that the law will take its course.
Addressing the suspects at the county police headquarters in Kapuri on Wednesday, the security official said majority of the land grabbers are military officers.
“Why are we spoiling our reputations as soldiers, all the time land grabbers are those who are wearing army uniforms,” Adiang said.
“Let’s leave this land grabbing. We are the ones spoiling this country and you say, foreigners are the ones spoiling it, which is not true because if you look at yourselves all of you are Dinaks, Nuer and Shuluk and some Equatorians.”
Juba County has witnessed unprecedented incidents of land grabbing – with perpetrators going unpunished in recent months.
In some of the areas, locals have been forced to leave their native homes for fear of harassment.
The local authorities said they have arrested at least 500 land grabbers including military officers in different suburbs of the capital this year.
Some of those land grabbers explained why they decided to grab the land.
“In South Sudan companies are more important than citizens, because all those areas are full of companies, and citizens are just there without houses like this Gumba is full of companies,” Khamis (not his real name) said.
“This place, we found it empty and if we developed it, those of Mapao and Kubri Teman will come here and this place will be under the administration of Mangala Payam.”
“We went there because some of us are tired of trauma inside this UNMISS here, like us we don’t have anything, when there’s peace like this you got free and you go anywhere,” said John (not his real name).
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