Squatters occupying Custom and immigration compound in Nimule Border Post

Press Release: MAR/11/2013, SSN;

Squatters occupying Customs and Immigration compound in Nimule Border Post
Date: March 09, 2013

The Ma’di Community in Diaspora and back home have been following closely the emotional
reaction in the media regarding an eviction order issued by South Sudan’s Deputy Minister of
Interior, Mr. Salva Mathok Gengdit.

As stated in the ‘Sudan Tribune’ published on the 4th of March 2013, the Deputy Minister of
Interior “gave a 21-day ultimatum for individuals with makeshift shops, restaurants,” to vacate
an area of land in Nimule border town.

We would like to make it crystal clear that the individuals seeking compensation and
relocation are unlawful-tenants (squatters). As non-indigenous of Nimule or the Ma’di area,
they do not own any land in Nimule nor have they ever acquired any land in Nimule through
legal means.

It is absurd for them to ask to be relocated anywhere in Nimule or Ma’di area.
What they should rightfully ask for is repatriation to their place of origin.

The Ma’di Community would like to inform the lawyer representing the affected individuals
that the land in question belongs to the Ma’di people and has been given to the Ministry of
Interior for Custom and Immigration Services, RSS. The government will use the land for the
said purpose and has all the rights to evict any squatter and illegal occupants on that piece of
land.

We must stress that the Ma’di people will not allow these individuals to grab land again
or settle anywhere in the area.

Further, we would like to bring to the attention of the government that we are utterly
dismayed and disturbed by a letter authored by Abraham Makur Duot; the so-called leader of
the squatters dated 16th February 2013 in which he issued threats advocating for violence.

The threat unequivocally reads, “We shall […] do what is possible to defend our premises
in the border or deal with the community who took the lead of targeting Non-Ma’di
community in the border.”

These blatant and irresponsible utterances seek to advocate for chaos, lawlessness and disorder.

The Ma’di Community will not tolerate any uncivilized behavior and such barbaric act will be
severely challenged, furthermore we ask the law enforcing body to bring charges against these
individuals for publicly inciting violence within South Sudanese communities.

The Ma’di are peace-loving people and do not wish to be drawn in any form of disruptive
behaviour and violence that would undermine the normal functioning of the government
systems, and impedes our efforts to build a peaceful, democratic and prosperous South Sudan.

Benjamin Taban

Chairman
Ma’di Regional Council
Email: btavelin@hotmail.com

15 Comments

  1. Eastern says:

    Thank you so much for clarifying on these matters. The land in contention has been given by recognised Ma’di community leaders. It is not ‘no man’s land’ – it is not terra nullius. The lawyer must not be pushed by tribal interest to misunderstand the law. The 39 traders are trespassers on that land. They can be evicted and their structures demolished at their own costs.

  2. This barbaric community is always the agent of chaos in this country under the protection of their government in Juba. how can you just claim to cause violence in someone’s village if you are not really irrational or cursed animal in this country? if they thought that they are the best fighters, why did they run away from their areas? their evil strategy of occupying Equatoria, marginalizing Equatorians, are now back-firing on them and still we are waiting where this strategy will take them with animals plus their government of barbaric community.

  3. Let the law take its course.

  4. Deng Deng says:

    Taban/Madi,
    Take it easy my people. Don’t jump a gun here on this issue. The former combatant soldiers turned traders in question are your brothers and sisters that have shared a huge commonality of peaceful staying with you for over decades. They may have no direct blood line with locals, but the few inter-marriages and friendships that have been built and sustained overtime are important. They have shared the pains be it defending the Nimule’s land in question and joys– come peacetime as of now. The outside born and dwelling Madis may see them as encroachers, but the living locals know them very well though now fear retribution for intellectuals if they give them their fair dues.

    If truths are there and to be realized, it was not an individual’s choice, intention, or motive to come to Nimule town or other lands that have in the past been embroiled/mired. It was the people cause that brought them this far. The same gov’t under which the Deputy Interior Minister was part and still is that has now turned against and about to rob them of their property’s right was the one that brought them here to fight off the enemy. I can dwell on the negativities in between but I see no importance.

    With that said, if things have totally changed and yesterday is treated as yesterday and today is today, I urge the know-better Madis to not dance to the tune they have not understood well and remain non-party to who wants to rob our hard working former combatants turned merchants of their property’s right. The physical buildings that are being called makeshifts by these folks who want them demolished are their God-given rights as well as the inventories in them. They got them through their hard work. They needed not to be robbed of.

    And markedly, they are claiming no ownership of the lands, which is your biggest concern. I, therefore, again urge you to join them in their fight and advocate their plea in writing or in any means, so that the gov’t gives them their compensation. The land will remain intact and they will leave with their inventories to where they are peacefully welcomed and valued. That act alone will say it all as an acclaimed peaceful community that wants to see issues of Junubians get solved amicably. It will thus depict that you want to see the success of individuals and at large the success of businesses across South Sudan which will go in line with how we want our country to move forward economically and socially, though the gov’t is derailing it. Doing the opposite will spell you of no different from the corrupted gov’t that wants to torpedo its future betterment.

    So my advice to the writer and supporters alike is to tune down your rhetoric. Ascertain and crystallize the problem first before you go ballistic for something you and the community will deplore later. In its face-value, the move seemed to be a right call, and a victory to land rightful ownership, but there is something bigger and sinister hidden behind.

    Salva Mathok, the blessed minister, is running his marathon, not yours. Many of you are and may not see it rightfully as of now but tomorrows are there to judge. It is interests infighting (small man vs. BIG MAN) if you don’t know and Madi’s interest is none of them. That’s why I said earlier to not go ballistic. You will be shooting yourself to the move moon which you’re about to do while the land remains. The leaders and the community in large here are being used as a sandwich to stop one interest and bridge the other. He (uncle) has sugarcoated it and maybe selling it to you in a name of a gov’t while in its true sense, as it has been leaked and rumored. It is an opposite of that. He is distanced to renovate one side of the land and sell it to the gov’t and the half is going to be used by relatives and friends that hail from his community.

    You have a right to call it off, trash it , and disbelieve it, or even call it a distractor. However, it’s voluntarily given for consumption. You take it as a publicly confide message or choose not. This brings me to question as to why Madi at home and overseas are so fervently running after a benefit that will not benefit them. Is it the built up hatred of non-Madi/Equatoria that has shrouded their minds and hearts to no see the UNCLE they are running to? This questions the intelligence of Madi’s leaders and the community at large of how serious and concerned they are to their town/land.

  5. Odongo says:

    So long as there is no document shiowing any tranbsaction between madi and the government, Madi have absolute right to reclaim their land from the government or ask for compensation in future. that fact must not be rubbed off

  6. ezra says:

    my friend Deng Deng,
    your claim that ex combatans fight hard and worked hard to earn their success is uncivilized and has no value in civilization or in the interim constitution of RoSS, Spla fought for 23years to say no to oppression imposed on us the southerners by your nephews and cousins in Khartoum, the war of independence was fought jointly, it wasn’t a war of one tribe as it seems to be in today’s menu, there were people from all over south Sudan, Nuba mountain, Kassala and other parts of Sudan who died in the name of the liberation.

    my friend the best thing you can do for your people now before tomorrow, is tell them to go home, the war is finished since 2005, tell them go and build their home areas, their presence in other peoples’ areas is seen as threat, and their presence causes destabilization, it is very uncivilized to use the past war to occupy other persons’ land.

    if you’re claiming for their businesses to be compensated, what about the innocent people whose only pieces of land are forcefully occupied by the very people you support?

    if the interior minister you called your uncle as we all know he is your uncle, will try to use the land for his personal use, we will keep an eye on him too, no one is above the law, whether it takes decades they will be brought to book one day to face justice.

    my advice to you: obey the government order, pack and go, if u need to be compensated it is your own business.
    Ezra

  7. Itikwili says:

    My dear DengDeng,
    you are entitled to your preaching, but with a right mind, you may as well be supporting a bunch of criminal cattle raiders who have caused havoc in their respective states and now hibernating in Nimule and masquerading as traders.
    what sort of paternalistic attitude are you trying to portray when you are talking about these so-called traders having fought for the course? We all know that the war with jellaba did not start in Nimule. in that case people should be grateful to Ma’di to have hosted all of us the retreating soldiers.
    these so called traders are taking advantage of the dinka in the government to threaten our community. Nimule has become like a cattle camp. we are not accustomed to living with cows all in the same vicinity. preach to your people to quit Nimule with all their cattle, cows, most of which have been stolen either from Murle and Nuer. give us a break!!

  8. Eastern says:

    Deng, Deng,
    I hate long useless write-ups in a language akin to English. It has been clearly stated that the land in contention has been given by the Ma’di leaders for government (public) use. These Dinka traders should not consider the land they are occupying at Abila as war booty. Let them leave that land by the expiration of the given ultimatum. They are trespassers and must be treated as such. There are well established Ma’di leaders not the many pseudo-Mad’di leaders masquerading leaders in the land today. Abila is a government land period! I support the minister’s directives.

    • Deng Deng says:

      Dear brothers who have responded to my post, let try to be civil when discussing our social issues. I have tried my best to avoid any derogatory or abusive language responding to the author or Madi community at large. I will thus still try to harness my response and stay above what others are attempting to pull me into. That nit-picking undertone, name calling, or menacing will take us nowhere or peacefully solved the pertaining problem. Because for one, every community has the same kind of people who reacts or responds in a same way you are showing. Allowing that to take a course and blur up the issue will take us any miles. I don’t think we want that.

      Coming to what i was advocating in my previous post, i am not implying or saying that the merchants (ex-combatants) have a right to be compensated for the land. What i am calling for is for them to be compensated for the resources they have used to built up their shops or hotels they will leave behind. These are their sweaty rights and entitled to. They did not came or are bundled with the land. They did not found them on the land but came with. For Madis to mutually assent with the crooked gov’t and say that they have no legality because they had illegally built in the lands they had no rightful ownership or allotted to is a broad-day light robbery and universally unlawful. There is nowhere you will find that, but South-Sudan.

      How is such situation handled and dealt with in most places as some are citing the ‘known illegal constitution’ , is to preliminary consider the place as a public domain. Secondly, the gov’t or municipality will state it explicitly what it wants to use a land for and the common benefit it will bring to the entire public. Afterward, the consultation will be done with affected parties and the deal will be reached where affected properties will be valued and compensated. Albeit the preliminary part is in accord, I see no reason for some Madis to corroborate with a gov’t and lauding the call to not compensate the ex-combatant (traders) instead of the opposite.

      This doesn’t support the case of claiming the rightful ownership of the land but a huge bigoted hate. Hiding behind the gov’t now is a short-sight vision. It will hunt you later because it’s the same gov’t that create this mess in the first place. Make a comparison. What has changed in Juba? Nothing. The nagging, threat, even deaths day and night have ragged but nothing has changed instead of exacerbating. Some of the ex-combatants (traders) have lost limbs and suffered dearly traumas and have no fear of sacrificing anything if that come ultimately. Therefore, we need to be objective here.

  9. M. Deng says:

    Benjamin Taban, I would like to thank you for
    your article in which you have referred to your fellow
    citizens as squatters.

    For your info brother, they are not squatters but your fellow citizens
    Who have a right to live wherever they choose to live.

    I am sorry, you missed the point. It is not Madi land but south Sudanese land.
    All our citizens have they right to legally acquired the land in any part of south
    Sudan without being discriminated against on any ground.

    Tell your madi people not to confine themselves to your small locality.
    There are many opportunities for you in other part of south Sudan.

  10. Itikwili says:

    M. Deng,
    What opportunity is there in your part of the state when life has become so cheap, and innocent people are butchered like dogs on daily basis. Civility is thrown to the dogs. Such element of criminality is now rocking Juba. The rest of South Sudan is already fed up and the end is near. it is wise that you go to the grassroots and advocate for change of attitude, behaviour, beginning with your so-called traders.

  11. Tyson says:

    I cannot understand why the Jieng are running away from their land! From all interactions, it is clear nobody wants to be your neighbour. Please use the oil to develop your areas and build camps for your people.
    Learn to be peace loving people rather than agitating for war. You will never win any war especially if you start with Equatorians. Gone are the years when you could misbehave and run to the jungles or to the kraals.
    The ICC is waiting for some of you. The world is watching your actions!!!!!!!

  12. Eastern says:

    M. Deng,
    it is very nauseating to continue hearing the phrases coming from your likes: ‘they are not squatters but your fellow citizens who have a right to live wherever they choose to live,’ end of quote. You are insinuating that the country just started, everywhere was vacant land not somebody’s village, you can just decide to wake up one morning and move to settle here, settle there!! What legal means was used in obtaining the land in contention and from whom? I would like to remind you that these people are not only squatters (claiming to be IPDs long after the war ended) but trespassers (criminal according to law) and hence must be evicted with costs!!!

  13. ezra says:

    M. Deng,
    I advise you to seek for medical help, if your own people in Jongel are advocating for land ownership, and strickly stating that no dinka land are for rent, or lease, how come that the land of madi and other places in great equatoria are belonging to south Sudanes? this is madness and primitive behaviour dark skinny people, I tell you bad days are yet to come. you uncivilized people will regret, very soon very very soon you will see the unseen, people are tired of the madness ideology of you and your people.

  14. Domac says:

    Ezra,
    identify yourself, are you half caste, mixed with Arab blood? if so, please you are not fully South Sudanese compatriot. Don’t ever talk about South Sudan issues, let the darker skinned people talk. you are not belonging here. Equatorians people are so mad on the land issue but they don’t realize that all the cities in South Sudan are all global cities. you can live where ever you like in South Sudan even westerners, Asians, and Middle Easters are more welcome to live in Juba, Nimule, Bortown, Rumbek, Bentiu, Nasir and so on.

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