By James Gatdet Dak
January 19, 2009 (JUBA) - Demolition of squatters targeting a number of residential areas in the Southern Sudan’s capital, Juba, will begin before the end of this month, a senior official said today.
The Central Equatoria state governor, Maj. Gen. Clement Wani Konga has announced that the demolition exercise was aimed at immediate recovery of grabbed land by unauthorized squatters, saying it was in accordance with the town’s Master Plan.
This phase of demolition exercise will target the residential areas of ‘Juba Na-Bari’, which is popularly known as ‘Tongpiny’ located north of the town, ‘Mere Lotor’, also popularly known as ‘Jebel Dinka’, west of the town and squatters surrounding the Mouseleum of late Dr. John Garang as well as some petrol stations placed in residential areas.
The supervision of the bulldozing exercise will involve the Survey Department and several organized forces that will include Joint Integrated Units (JIUs), Military Police and some Legal Advisors.
The demolition of the squatters in Juba, which also serves as the capital of Central Equatoria state government, is expected to affect thousands of people in the town.
It is not clear how the affected residents will cope up with the situation or whether the government has a plan to relocate them to other new residential areas.
The areas targeted are predominantly occupied by citizens from other states who put up illegally in those areas and could not legally obtain plots because of unsettled misunderstandings over the issues of jurisdictions and land ownership among different levels of government and local communities in Juba.