Thomas Aban murdered over Malakal land disputes, five arrested over his murder | RB

File photo: Militia wadding in Malakal in 2015.

The Upper Nile State’s senior counsellor/persecutor, Thomas Aban was murdered on Monday in his home town, Malakal over land disputes in the State Capital and on Tuesday, Five suspects were said to have been arrested by the State police.

“We have arrested five men. The suspects are at our custody and investigations are ongoing,” Upper Nile police commissioner Chol Atem told Radio Tamazuj on Wednesday.

“Previously, Aban received death threats from a group which accused him of freeing an arrested restaurant owner called Hussein. The restaurant owner was having differences with the group over a goat,” said Chol Atem.

“The murder of the public prosecutor is work-related, it is not political. So I urge all South Sudanese to remain calm,” he added.

But the background to his murder, according to a senior official in Upper Nile State, is due to constant land disputes between Chollo and Dinka Apadang around Malakal.

Aban is reportedly said to possesses land disputes documents and topographical maps of the Malakal Town which show rightful ownership of the land and land-cases involving Chollo and Dinka Apadang community members

The move, according to sources, is also to create tensions and to put pressure on the central government in order to implement the recent request of Padang for Administrative Area in a move to reject the appointment of Gen. Johnson Olony who hails from Shilluk.

Land dispute in Malakal have been a red hot topic which the Chollo have always decried. Many Pandang in fact believe Johnson Olony would return back the grabbed lands from the natives as soon as he steps into power. A move which many already foresee.

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