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S. Sudan lawyer challenges Nimule eviction order

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March 4, 2013 (JUBA) – A lawyer representing 39 businessmen whose shops and hotels at South Sudan’s border town of Nimule could be demolished following a ministerial order has challenged the legality of the process.

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A vast land at Nimule border (freeweb)

Last month, South Sudan deputy interior minister, Salva Mathok Gengdit gave a 21-day ultimatum for individuals with shops, restaurants, hotels and homes to vacate by 11 March, an area he claimed the Madi community gave to the immigration and customs unit.

Located in Magwi County of Eastern Equatoria State, is located about in 192km south-east of the South Sudan’s on the border with neighbouring Uganda.

However, William Kon Bior, a lawyer from the firm representing the complainants insists there is no legal ground for carrying out the eviction, if no compensation is made.

“I am writing on behalf of my clients to advice […] ministry of interior to [also] order the compensation of the thirty nine businessmen including to provide alternative plots of land,” partly reads the letter seen by Sudan Tribune.

The lawyer, who advised the minister to get legal advice, also said his clients were not opposed to the eviction process, but insists “no eviction of any kind shall be carried out, unless, those citizens affected by that eviction order are compensated for whatever properties to be destroyed,” in accordance to Public Premises Eviction Act, 2006.

Meanwhile, Bior has given a 60-day ultimatum for an out of court settlement of the land matter, beyond which he will launch a civil suit in the Judiciary of South Sudan.

The lawyer, in the letter, further describes as “baseless” government claims that the community in the area gave them the land for migration and custom offices.

“No community in the middle of government containment (Nimule town) could offer a government department in a part of a town which has not been planned,” the letter adds.

Abraham Makur Duot, a representative of the affected businesspersons, said the legal step against the ministry of interior was a “litmus test” to land issues in South Sudan.

“Every minister or senior government official could order demolition and go away without compensating the affected people, this is unconstitutional,” said Makur.

He added, “The land belongs to the community, but the government can take it when it has a plan for development. What we need is compensation and resettlement”.

In February, South Sudan launched a customs development and trade facilitation programme on the Nimule border, seeking to help the country diversify its economy away from oil revenues. The project, estimated to cost £7 million (about $11 million) is to be funded by the UK aid arm (DIFID) over a three year period.

(ST)

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  • 5 March 2013 08:19, by BM Bol

    I don’t think demolishing people properties is the proper way to go...unless if the intention is to create further conflict. The owners of these properties wouldn’t mind being compensated.

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  • 5 March 2013 08:37, by Eastern

    This land in question was given to the government by the community. The Dinka businessmen are just trespassers on the land. The community leaders will have to testify against this move by economic land grabbers otherwise it will set a bad presidence for others to sue government in future. The land in question is in Nimule WHEN did those businessmen aquire the land and from WHO? Lawyers can be funn

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  • 5 March 2013 10:06, by Jojo

    That piece of land is given to the government by the rightful community leaders. The government has right to demolish and do whatever they wanted.
    Those business men build their hotels and etc.. without the consent from the community because they ignore and were not respecting the community of Madi. The gov’t maybe will compensate them, but the gov’t have not legel right to give them another land

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  • 5 March 2013 10:12, by Jojo

    Cont.. the government have no right to give them Madi land in Nimule except through mutual understanding with the community of Madi. As an advise, don’t spit into the community face by looting their properties because you have power to do so. Ask them and they will stand with you in such a time like this. Thank you Madi community to give that land to the gov’t.

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  • 5 March 2013 10:18, by Jojo

    I think those lawyers were foolish. How can you stand with a person who did not have a piece of paper of the land? Your group might be the wrong lawyer who are practising their ethic when their stomach is full. Look into the whole story then you can defend. Not just because you were given money. Try to be PROFESSIONAL PLEASE!!

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  • 5 March 2013 10:43, by Makunon

    If community could decided to gave somebody shop or house to the government or anyone without your knowledge is a crime and South Sudan will be in chaos if this malpractices is allow to continue. We have enough free land in Nimule where immigration department can put their offices.

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    • 5 March 2013 10:58, by Jojo

      The land was not given to any of them. They threatened the community by guns. But now time of threaten by gun is gone!
      Those houses will be demolished and no compenstion as it used to happen in Juba and others States

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    • 5 March 2013 11:48, by Eastern

      Amok noun, Nimuel is not a medieval town where chaos was the order of the day. Dinkas settled in Nimule in mid 90s when they fled their homeland in persue of better environment. So when did Dinkas become the owners of this contentious land. The land in Nimule in this place called Abila was given to the custom department (during the CPA time) before the country gained independence.You’re trespasser

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  • 5 March 2013 11:57, by Brainz

    Makunon. what are you putting here. Remember no single member of the communiy is willing to give a piece of land to an arogant intruder. what compensation is being talked about here. I’m sorry Madi have seen enough of these bad neigbhouliness. " stay alone and in peace than with an arrogant and hostile neigbbhour’ enough had been felt.The lawyer talks about town planning and resettlement. SHAME!!!

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    • 5 March 2013 14:57, by Nuer Empire

      They ran away from hungers in their States and claim to have land in Numile!! Fucken Lijoj

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  • 5 March 2013 15:07, by Jojo

    Nuer Empire,
    You are out of your mind, for sure robbing people lands, properties and killing people during the night had damage your reasoning capacity.
    Nimule is for Madis’ and that place in Abila will be demolished. Why don’t you go and settle your self in your own inhabitant place instead of lingaring around like night hynas or dogs. GET SETTLE AND YOU WILL BE RESPECTED!!!!!!

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    • 5 March 2013 15:16, by Eastern

      Jojo, continue to educate those who run away from their homeland in Duk Padiet, Duk Payuel, Maar and other parts of Bor Dinka bodering the Nuer. As you move in this vast lands, they are largely deserted thanks to 1991 Nuer onslought on Dinkas. The Nimule land in question in NOT TERRA NULLIUS. Let this lawyer know this fact. Let the Madi elders seek for permanent injunction from the high court!!

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  • 6 March 2013 07:08, by AMOKO

    i would like to ask the lawyer representing the traders, are there legal documents to proof ownership of the said area being given to immigration? if no, please, Mr. lawyer revise the legalities of the claim. otherwise, the land is already for immigration and no one has among the traders requested permission from the indigenous of nimule.

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  • 6 March 2013 07:37, by Jojo

    LAND LAND LAND! Why is it that people refuse to settle in their own place and disturbing others in their own land. Why don’t you develop your own place instead of causing chaotic to others? I tour all the ten States of ,in some of these States there are no hotels and in some, people are loging in hut (Rokuba) with a grass and useless matress. Go and develop your place. Madi can improve theirs.

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    • 6 March 2013 08:35, by denng

      Jojo, is this how we are gonna live in this country? I can understand if you don’t want dinka soldiers in your area. but You are saying that dinkas can not open shops or restaurants outside their states. Please let the lawyers do their work because without laws, only the strong survives.

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      • 6 March 2013 08:49, by Eastern

        Deng aka denng, it is true that without laws as was the case in the medieval periods only the strongest survived.The lawyer needs to know that the land in question belonged to the community and the community donated it to government. The land is not terra nullius. The lawyer must be aware of this legal fact before he wastes his valuable time. This is typical of Khartoum trained lawyers!!!

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        • 6 March 2013 09:22, by denng

          Eastern, i never said that Nimule is no man’s land. All i’m trying to tell Jojo is that all south sudanese should be able to practice commerce in any town they please as long as they respect the law. I don’t want to judge this particular case yet because i dont know how they got permission to build there in the first place. Maybe they rented or bought the land from someone who claimed ownership.

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  • 3 April 2013 15:51, by stefan

    That piece of land is given to the government by the rightful community leaders. The government has right to demolish and do whatever they wanted.
    Those business men build their hotels and etc.. without the consent from the liquidy community because they ignore and were not respecting the community of Madi.

    repondre message

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