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Lakes State urges civilians to vacate school lands

Author: Chany Ninrew | Published: April 2, 2023

Rumbek National Secondary School. | Photo: Eunice Malath

The government of Lakes State is appealing to some illegal occupants of school lands in the state to evacuate the properties or risk forceful eviction.

The information minister, William Koji said the state government has demolished at least 400 houses built on the land of Rumbek National Secondary School in the state capital.

Koji said the houses were flattened to execute a 2021 Governors Forum 2021 resolution that all school lands be vacated across the country.

According to him, the demolition started two weeks ago, after the civilians failed to honor the deadline of an ultimatum to leave the area. The ultimatum expired in January last year.

He, however said, the displaced civilians protested the demolition on Tuesday and clashed with security forces.

The incident, which happened resulted in the shooting of two people – one of whom has passed away, according to the official.

Speaking to Eye Radio on Sunday, Koji appealed to those reportedly occupying schools in other parts of the state to comply with the government directive.

“My message to the people of Lakes State is they have to accept development, and development cannot come if there are no spaces for development. Development should not come if what belongs to others is not returned to the rightful owners,” he said.

“Even the government has started with those who have raided cattle that do not belong to them, it must be returned to the owners and it has been returned.”

“Number two is those who have been victimized, if you don’t have land, you have a right to go to the ministry concerned to allot your land. Why should you sit on land that does not belong to you and cause issues there?.”

Last year, the national Minister of General Education Awut Deng Acuil said several secondary schools including Juba Day, Juba Girls, Supiri, and other schools have been encroached upon.

Speaking to the governors, she appealed for the restoration of school properties across the country.

“So, I am asking every one of us who is looking for land to go to the ministry concerned. If you come from the villages, it is understandable those villages were having insecurities and that’s why people decided to come to the town. But it is now time to go back home and develop your villages.”

Last week, the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) urged the Mayor of Rumbek Municipality to unconditionally release the two civilians without preconditions.
In press release seen by Lakes State media CEPO Coordinator in Lakes State Mr. Daniel Laat Kon Explains that Mayor authorized armed men from joint Security Forces to arbitrary detained two civilians in Lakes State.



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