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NSS senior officer holds judiciary employees at gunpoint over land issue

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Tuesday, July 21, 2020

National Security Service headquarters in Juba | Credit | Courtesy

Two high court employees were on Monday held at gunpoint and threatened with death by a senior National Security Service officer in Juba.

The incident involving a Brigadier General of the National Security Service and officials working as Chief Registrars took place right at the court premises.

According to police, the general, who has been identified as Gum Agok, stormed into the Office of the Registrar of Land and ordered that his name be recognized as the owner of a disputed land in Juba.

Gum’s security guards reportedly held a gun on the head of the Registrar of Land.

General Gum is claiming ownership of the land at Juba Nabari, an area popularly known as Thongpiny, near Juba International Airport.

But the registrar of land reportedly refused to change the title deed without proper documents to backup Gum’s land ownership claims.

It is said that General Gum allegedly forced the registrar and his deputy into a car, locked the door and threatened to cause harm if they tried to call anyone on phone.

One of the court officials who was held at a gunpoint is Delfino Abbas, chief registrar of land at the High Court in Juba.

“They took the phone of Cosmos (his deputy), but mine was hidden in my pocket,” Abbas told Eye Radio.

“So, after an hour, three judges returned together with the Bridger General Gum, and took us back to the office.”

The Deputy Registrar, Cosmos James, who was also held at gunpoint described the incident as a total disrespect for the institution of justice in the country.

“This is a violation of human rights and disrespect to the judiciary and the country,” James stated.

Rights group say land grabbing remains a security threat caused by senior army and national security generals in South Sudan.

In June, security forces killed at least five people in Juba during a violent confrontation over a land dispute in Sherikat area.

A report on the Sherikat incident is still being studied by the President.

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