Forojolla (2010). Land Tensure Issues in Southern Sudan.
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The nascent Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) has come into existence when globalization and liberalization are the defining principles for the management of national economies and resources. These imperatives present critical challenges to the new administration, especially in the light of the acknowledged land and natural wealth of Southern Sudan.1 Recognizing the central importance of land to the people of Southern Sudan, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) mandated the establishment of the Southern Sudan Land Commission (SSLC) to address the issues of land tenure and property rights in Southern Sudan. This new organization is faced with daunting challenges of how to resolve differences in expectations about land-use at all levels, from the national government down to communities. The Land Commission first developed the Southern Sudan Land Bill, which was passed into an Act by the Southern Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) in January 2009. What is envisaged to follow is the formulation of land policy and laws, which is a long-term undertaking, requiring wide consultations with the communities at large and will be supported by evidence-based research.
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID) has contracted Tetra Tech ARD to collaborate with the SSLC through the Southern Sudan Property Rights Program (SPRP), in order to assist the GOSS in development of a land policy. The SPRP and SSLC have convened consultation workshops in each of Southern Sudan’s ten states.
They are continuing to implement a program of consultation and land tenure and property rights (LTPR) research to inform the process of land policy development.
To pursue the research aspect, the SPRP has subcontracted the Nile Institute of Strategic Policy and Development Studies (NISPDS), a national think tank, to research specific areas of land tenure and property rights issues that would contribute in the development of evidence-based land policies and laws. To undertake the research, the NISPDS has been entrusted to establish a Research Standing Committee, whose functions are twofold: (1) develop criteria and guidelines for selecting relevant research topics and proposals, and (2) review and approve research proposals. The starting point is to review the existing literature to identify what has been done and what needs to be done on the subject under study. It is in this context that this scoping paper has been prepared.
This scoping paper has drawn from numerous documents in the form of studies, reports of consultation workshops, and papers, mostly written on land tenure and property rights in Southern Sudan in the post-conflict period.