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Land eviction turns violent in Aweil; residents injured

Residents at Kuom village near Aweil Town in Northern Bahr El Ghazal are left wounded after a police eviction turned violent as they resisted the authorities' efforts following a court order in a land dispute case.

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A land eviction enforcement by police left some residents living at Kuom village, near Aweil Town in Northern Bahr El Ghazal, which lies on the Aweil-Wau road, wounded due to a resistance staged against the police on Friday.

The eviction occurred on Friday morning following a decision by the police forces sent to the area to evict the residents from the site that the authorities claimed was being claimed in court by two parties, the complainant and the accused.


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Northern Bahr Ghazal State police spokesperson, Guot Guot Akol, told Talk of Juba that significant injuries were sustained during the fight as local residents resisted the eviction exercise but never mentioned the figures of the injuries.

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The high court in Aweil Town on February 21. gave a jurisdiction/verdict to evict residents of Kuom from a site there and on February 22. The police were given a directive to implement a verdict, so we were told to go on March 1, so the police were complying with the directives of the court, so the forces went for eviction. Unfortunately, it was met with severe resistance from residents, so they clashed with the police,” said Guot Guot.

Whenever there are clashes, there are always injuries sustained, and people are now taking medication in the hospital. I don’t have a number now; people were numbers, and no statistics were obtained as we were gathering. The language we use is that there was a complainant and the accused, and that is why the court decided to evict people from the site,” he said.

Akol didn’t reveal the identities of the two parties that were having a case over a land dispute at Kuom but said it was between the accused and the complainant, saying they were given directives and the location to be evicted.

Guot said they were never shown the place to relocate the people by the court ruling, saying no other place was shown to them to vacate the residents.

He revealed that they were acting as enforcement agents solely after a fight took place, injuries were escalating, and the police personnel withdrew from the scene back to the town to avoid incurring casualties as the resistance was too significant and serious.

Local residents at Kuom accuse state finance minister Lual Buola of having a hand in the eviction, as he had a case at court for the land at Kuom.

Elizabeth, who preferred to have her first name used, only said that the forces stormed the area with stern warnings to leave the site without any place shown to them. She said they jumped out of the pickups and started shooting into the air and beating people without notification earlier on.

They started telling people to move, and when the young men started resisting, they shot into the air, and the men and adults all emerged out and were being told , “Shot Us, Shot Us!” and they beat four young men seriously who were very hurt in the heads and backs and were profusely bleeding. The four men’s cases are too grave,” added Elizabeth.

Local residents in the area say it is hard to know the gist of eviction, as others say, it is a matter of being an elite.

Talk of Juba attempted to reach out to the accused finance minister for a comment, but his office manager said the minister could not talk over the eviction case as it lies in court and is a police matter altogether.

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