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‘They’re criminals,’ says Mangalla Chief on individuals allocating land

Author: Madrama James | Published: Monday, August 21, 2023

Pio Tombe Tongun, the Head Chief of Bilnyang Payam in Central Equatoria State - Credit: Madrama James/Eye Radio

The Head Chief of Mangalla Payam in Central Equatoria State has refuted allegations that he and his fellow chiefs have unilaterally agreed to allocate land to internally displaced persons in the area.

Pio Tombe Tongun said Monday an unknown group of landgrabbers have impersonated his administration and claimed to have given land to the IDPs.

According to him, the illegal groups allegedly working with armed elements have forged a stamp and are currently allocating land in Bilinyang.

Chief Tombe says the land dealers have also threatened the local authorities with firearms for speaking out against their operation.

He says the group in question met the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs in Juba – while claiming to have unilaterally agreed to settle the internally displaced persons.

Speaking to Eye Radio Monday, August 21, Mr Tombe is now petitioning the Minister of Humanitarian Affairs to regard the dubious group as fraud and criminals.

“It happened on 17th August, we got this information on the media, there were people claiming to be community leaders of Bilinyang and suggested that local chiefs of Bilinyang have unilaterally agreed to accommodate IDPs in the area,”

“As the real head chief of the area, I want to say that the resolutions made have no meaning to me because the chiefs or thieves who represented the team on the media are not under my jurisdiction,” he said.

“I know all my chiefs by their names and each of the 8 Bomas they’re representing. I, therefore, termed those who met the Minister [Humanitarian] and hold a news conference and claimed they’re local chiefs from my area as criminals.”

“I don’t know them for real. That’s why we’re planning to meet with Minister and assure him that those group does not belong to us and declare them as criminals.”

Tombe and his group have attempted to meet the National Minister of Humanitarian Affairs Albino Atak at his office in Juba.

However, the chiefs could not meet the minister at the time as he was not available.

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