Home | News    Saturday 2 March 2013

Unity state returnees given land after two year wait


By Bonifacio Taban Kuich

March 1, 2013 (BENTIU) - Nearly 900 returnees have been allocated land in Bentiu town for the first time after two years of being stranded in the state upon arrival from the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, ahead of South Sudan’s independence in July 2011.

South Sudan returnees at Kilo 8 listen to Unity state authorities allocating land in Bentiu town, March 1, 2013 (ST)
South Sudan returnees at Kilo 8 listen to Unity state authorities allocating land in Bentiu town, March 1, 2013 (ST)

On Friday officials from the oil-rich state officially handed over four blocks of land to the returnees. For the past two years returnees have been stranded at Bentiu Port and Transit camp just eight kilometres from Bentiu town. The transit camp housed 400-500 people.

Over half a million South Sudanese have returned from Sudan and East Africa in the last few years but adapting the conditions from South Sudanese cities has been a major challenge. Many returnees have struggled to get access to land to settle on.

Unity state, which borders Sudan, has received a high influx of returnees, the majority of which went to their original counties for settlement after returning from Khartoum. According to officials, the 900 returnees who have remained at the were left behind wants land allocation within Bentiu.

Lubna Abdelgani state Minister of Gender and Child Welfare says the contribution made by the state government in giving land to returnees is an important step.

’’We have today given 109 block to returnees coming from Khartoum who had been in transit camp for longtime, and from today onward they should feel free and interact with indigenous community of South Sudan particularly those living in Unity state, and now they should feel proudly to have ownership of land in the state’’, said Abdelgani.

The minister urged returnees to collaborate with the area’s resident to promote unity and become a loving community. She promised her ministry will work in cooperation with international organisations to facilitate their stay in the new blocks.

Unity state's minister for gender and child welfare Lubna Abdelgani addressing returnees at Kilo 8 outside Bentiu town, March 1, 2013 (ST)
Unity state’s minister for gender and child welfare Lubna Abdelgani addressing returnees at Kilo 8 outside Bentiu town, March 1, 2013 (ST)

Having ownership of land or plots in town like Bentiu require fees payment. But state government says the land is free for returnees settlement.

Abraham Dak Turoah, the state minister of physical infrastructure in Unity state, said the land had been given to the returnees for free.

’’We are allocating land, this land we are giving you. No one should come and tell you to move away from here, you should keep the responsibility of your land entitlement for life and come generation of your children, and you should not go for bush this our capital city’’, added Turoal.

Mary Nyadiet Machar who came from Khartoum in 2011 says she felt happy after being given a plot of land.

’’We are happy, and congratulate South Sudan government, because the time has come to give us land for settlement, we still urges on the government to offer us services like water, good roads construction and even clearing for us farms in order to cultivate and improve country economics’’, said Machar.

Although the returnees have now acquired land they still face many challenges, such as lack of proper roads, electricity and water services.

The United Nations World Food Programme in collaboration with South Sudan Relief Commission are working towards giving the returnees three months of rations once they settle at their final destination.


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  • 2 March 2013 07:13, by Tong dut

    Much thanks for giving land to the returnees,keep on with such life,to help your own people.
    Don’t be like BARI who wants money for land and after they get their money, they told you get away to your state.

    • 2 March 2013 09:13, by julia

      Tong dut.
      what u re doing is old fashion of fake arab politic!u were acting as a nuer in this web,&ur pseudnomy falicifying to be a Dinka.but u re known that u re fake arab.fuck u son of prositute of poor northern sudan.mind ur own business,u re now provoking ethiopia.u re coursing for u another problem in horn of Africa men(Ethiopia) where u go fake Arab.

  • 2 March 2013 09:11, by AUGUSTINO DENG

    This is a part of corruption too.I believe all of these people they had a place where the came from whether they came from Ruweng of Biemnom, Panaruu of Panrieng and Nuer as well. Giving the land is a part of creating a problem. What if the government give somebody land and the person who had that land came back and claimed his land? Will it not be a problem? I doubt about this.
    By Augustino Deng

    • 2 March 2013 09:24, by julia

      oh mr Augustino Deng.
      How re u young patriotic,nationalist&hero, u re right bro, imagine in 2010 our displace of Biemnom came from Jebel Aulie to Bentieu,it was difficult for them to reach Biemnom until the current commissioner Arop Turuk,Anthony,Arop Yuot contributed their persanel salaries to rent vehicles.is that not injustice?

      • 2 March 2013 09:36, by AUGUSTINO DENG

        You are right and I totally agree with you. In South Sudan, there are no right leaders to lead, except only the people who can loot. It is true that the people of Dinka Ruweng Community of Biemnom were not even recognized. I remember that what you said was true.

      • 3 March 2013 05:57, by Monydit

        Julia, Julia,
        talking about your community always make your community a selfish community, please be a nationalist, what is wrong with state government giving land to its citizens or you checked the list and there is no any single person from your community?. I support Aug. Deng that he is worried about the natives of the land given to those,they may complains later otherwise nothing wrong.

  • 3 March 2013 00:47, by Kim Deng

    Don’t forget that you’re female who cannot be seen in the field of death. Yes, in some cultures, females go to war, but not in Dinka and Nuer cultures at least for this time. I’m sorry for you if you happen to use female’s name for whatever reason known to you.

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