Land groups settle land dispute

National, Normal

The National – Wednesday, June 29, 2011

A 20 Year-old land dispute over ownership of Gobe oil and gas fields has ended with a compromise agreement reached by the 17 disputing clans and incorporated land groups.
The 17 ILG of Gobe petroleum development licence (PDL) 3 and 4 last month reached an agreement through the alternative dispute resolution process.
They identified genuine landowning clans and agreed that they were the final ILG and deliberated on their benefits-sharing and representation on the board of Petroleum Resources Gobe (PRG).
PRG chairman Soso Tomu, from PDL3, and directors Jerome Kairi (PDL4), both from Southern Highlands and Bonny Kapua (facilities) from Gulf said at a press conference yesterday that the agreement was unique in that “it binds all 17 ILGs together through a clan to clan landowners identification using customary means and it forms the core of project ownership and benefits sharing for the 17 clans”.
“It is a milestone achievement for Gobe project landowners after 20 years of land dispute among the clans from the project areas,” Tomu, a former MP for Kagua-Erave, said.
“Through this exercise, we have identified 17 legitimate landowners from the 21 original ILGs and associations.”
Tomu said some were ghost clans and associations from outside of the PDLs  and, through the process of identification, they have been eliminated but “are still beneficiaries”.