The Role of United Nations (UN) and NGOs in Fueling Conflict and Legitimizing Land Grabbing and Occupation in Pageri County, Eastern Equatoria

Concern South Sudanese In Uganda

(Equatoria and Western Bahr El Ghazal)

Press Statement


Nov 24, 2017(Nyamilepedia) — Recently, Imatong State Peace and Reconciliation Commission presented a concept paper to Civil Affairs Division (CAD) a section in UNMISS mandated to support the government and communities in mediation, dialogue peace building between conflicting parties. They also work with government, SPLA and other organized forces, local leaders, communities, MPs from various areas and other peace organizations.

The concept paper dated November 03, 2017 shared with CAD seeks support from partners to organize peace forum on civil – military relations. Some NGOs and Donor Agencies mentioned by name reportedly “…. will attend as organizations that have contributed to the success of the forum and to report to its head office in Juba”.

This concept paper defined the civilian party as ‘communities in Pageri County’; though not all named, nonetheless provision has been made for them in the conference as ‘representatives of other communities’ and Ma’di community. The concept paper was justified by the need of community “… to identify and address the perpetrators to make them accountable for their negative actions” and so that “they could make their voices heard, share their problems with the military and collectively device solutions …”

Ironically the concept also outlined the problem as insecurity issues in Pageri County ranging from military abuses of power and orders to intimidations, harassments, denial of access to farmlands, arbitrary arrests, killings and other forms of actions that infringe on the rights of individuals or a community by the military whose camps spread all over Pageri County; Nimule, Melijo, Aswa, Loa, Pageri, Nyogwa, Kerepi and Moli. The paper clearly asserted that these actions “consequently led to massive displacement and exodus of civilians to Uganda ….” The question is who are the communities the concept paper refers to; who need to reach understanding with the army?

Any keen observer should know, the legitimate indigenous people of Pageri County are the Ma’di people. The Ma’di people have been displaced from their ancestral land in Pageri County; therefore the unnamed communities are people who are occupying the land after the rightful indigenous community was chased away by the government army and their militias. This is a public knowledge, they came with their cattle settled in the land and now the State Government wants to find a way to legitimize their stay in Ma’di land as owners of the Ma’di land at the absence of rightful owners of the land through support of donor and aid funds which are supposed to help the needy people who have been displaced from their homes within the country or across the border in the country of refuge. Is aid money resolving conflict or consolidating land occupation in Pageri County? It is an act which donor Agencies whose interest is purely humanitarian are to refrain from.

Signed

Sebit Sabasio

Focal Person,

Concern South Sudanese in Uganda

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