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‘Corruption in Nyala land selling’: South Darfur committee

November 6 - 2014 NYALA

Corruption and serious violations in the selling of investment lands took place in Nyala locality, South Darfur, without the knowledge of the Director of Lands of the state. The lands were distributed to chieftains and non-eligible leaders, resulting in South Darfur’s loss of SDG 4 million ($698,390).

A committee formed by the South Darfur government reported that there were 110 investment lands in Nyala that were distributed by normal price at less than SDG 1,000 ($175) per a piece of land, while the true price range between SDG 12,000 and SDG 16,000 ($2,095 - $2,793).

The report revealed that those who were given lands were “ineligible”. They were given the lands through a Minister’s instruction to the investment manager, to distribute them to the leaders and chieftains.

Critique on South Darfur Governor

Legal sources criticised the work of the inquiry committee formed by the Governor of South Darfur, Adam Mahmoud. They pointed out that the report did not recommend legal action against the violators, nor return of the lands for public interests, and recovering them as public money.

They also criticised the report as being “deficient, non-neutral and non-transparent”. The legal sources called upon the judicial entities to take serious decisions in order to return the money that was taken. They stressed that South Darfur is suffering from a deficit in the employees' salaries and development projects.

State encouraged the investments

South Darfur State Minister in the Supreme Council for Investment, Abdel Rahim Omar, issued a decision to revoke licenses for plots of unimplemented projects in August this year. "The council has taken this action to encourage investment at this time, since there are local and foreign investors who wish to invest,” Omar said.

The Unregistered Lands Act of 1970 entitles the Sudanese government to use force in safeguarding land and encouraging the accumulation of land by a minority of rich investors (local or foreign), causing the alienation of pastoralists from their hawakeer (lands traditionally used by a particular clan or tribal group).

File photo: Valley in Nyala city (Sudanisms)

Related: South Darfur to redistribute unused land (1 August 2014)

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