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Rock City residents urge govt to stop allocation of playground to individuals

Author: Moyo Jacob | Published: Tuesday, July 5, 2022

Part of Rock City public playing ground that is allegedly allocated to individuals - Credit | Laku David/ Eye Radio | July 5, 2022

Some residents of Rock City in Juba have called on the higher authorities to intervene in the allocation and distribution of public playing ground as plots for individuals.

This came recently after the residents witnessed the demarcation of parts of Rock city playing ground.

According to them, the showing of the allocated plots will take place today Tuesday.

Rock City playing ground is home to several activities including football, basketball, weddings, funerals, and religious crusades.

Charles David is one of the residents of the area. He told Eye Radio that the intended allocation of the playing ground to some individuals will deprive the locals of sporting activities in the area.

He calls on the President to come to the help of the local population of Rock City.

“There is something that is happening on Tuesday [today] in Rock City. There are some people coming to take Rock city’s playground as their plots and this is what is going to happen on Tuesday,” said Charles, a resident in Rock City.

This thing is not good, and these are the things we did not expect to happen to our communities. This is what has angered us as the youth of Rock City,

“We are trying to stop this from happening and we are making this appeal so that the President hears it.”

Meanwhile, Simon Wani, another resident, appeals to President Kiir to intervene in the matter.

“It now looks like some people want to take our field. Where is our government and where is the President of this nation on this issue? “The field helps a lot and there is an upcoming generation,” said Wani.

“This field is not only for football, but it also has many activities. It hosts weddings and activities of organizations and government. As the youth of Rock City, we have come here to find our right in this field.”

In response to the concerns of the citizens, Flora Gibril, the Minister of Housing, Land, and Public Utilities in Central Equatoria State terms the claims unjustifiable following consultation with her technical team.

She however says she had dispatched a team of security apparatus to the ground to monitor the situation.

“Actually, when you asked me, I started calling my people to know exactly who the people are who are doing that. They called the survey, that there is nobody who went there to do that,” Flora told Eye Radio on Monday.

“Now, I have sent my security personnel to go and check on the area.  I have asked the people concerned, if there is any demarcation, is the survey to do it with the consultation from the first Director-General but there is nothing of that.”

In November last year, President Salva Kiir formed a 12-member committee and tasked them to investigate the Garbo village incident and address the issue of rampant land grabbing around Juba city.

But the committee’s work stalled in December after illegal settlers clashed with its members appointed by the President, east of the Nile River, and as a result, two civilians and a soldier were reportedly killed.

This then prompted the state government to deploy security forces to diffuse tension in the area.

However, the security forces deployed in the area to prevent land-related -conflicts reportedly became involved in demarcating the land for themselves.

Following complaints from the Garbo native, the forces were removed a few days later.

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