Nile Trading and Development / Kinyeti Mysterious Land Deals in Mukaya Payam, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan


In March 2008 Nile Trading and Development (NTD), a Texas-based company, signed a 49-year lease agreement with Mukaya Payam Cooperative, an organization that presented itself as the representative of the local community. The lease land is located in Lainya county, Central Equatoria State, in newly formed (2011) South Sudan, and was ratified in May of 2008 by the governor, Clement Wani. The agreement gave NTD full rights to exploit all natural resources within the leased land, including timber harvesting, agriculture, mining, and the ability to sub-lease the land to other bodies. The lease states the intentions of the venture as 'cooperative', eventually working from a 60% (NTD) - 40% (Mukaya Payam Cooperative) profit share to 50-50%. Mukaya Payam Cooperative, however, is a fictitious entity, according to a report by the Oakland Institute, and the local community only discovered the deal three years after the initial signing, in 2011.

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Basic Data
NameNile Trading and Development / Kinyeti Mysterious Land Deals in Mukaya Payam, Central Equatoria State, South Sudan
CountrySouth Sudan
ProvinceCentral Equatoria State
SiteLainya county, Mukaya Payam
Accuracy of LocationHIGH local level
Source of Conflict
Type of Conflict (1st level)Biomass and Land Conflicts (Forests, Agriculture, Fisheries and Livestock Management)
Type of Conflict (2nd level)Plantation conflicts (incl. Pulp
Agro-fuels and biomass energy plants
Mineral ore exploration
Logging and non timber extraction
Land acquisition conflicts
Specific CommoditiesEthanol
Palm oil
Carbon offsets
Project Details and Actors
Project Details,000 ha was purchased for about US$ 25,000, with a possibility of extending to 400,000 – covering the entire ancestral area of the Mukaya Community – for a total of 1 million ha. This price is about $16 per ha; extraordinarily low.
Project Area (in hectares)600,000
Level of Investment (in USD)25,000 (cost of land)
Type of PopulationRural
Potential Affected Population89315
Start Date2008
Company Names or State EnterprisesNile Trading and Development
Kinyeti Development LLC
Kinyeti Forestis
American Exotic Timber Group
Orbis Associates LLC
Orbis Orient Ltd
Paris Broadcasting Cable 7
Relevant government actorsClement Wani, governor of Central Equatoria State
Environmental justice organisations and other supportersOakland Institute,, Mukaya Payam Community, (link to petition),
The Conflict and the Mobilization
Intensity of Conflict (at highest level)LOW (some local organising)
When did the mobilization beginPREVENTIVE resistance (precautionary phase)
Groups MobilizingFarmers
Indigenous groups or traditional communities
International ejos
Local government/political parties
Mukaya people
Forms of MobilizationCommunity-based participative research (popular epidemiology studies, etc..)
Creation of alternative reports/knowledge
Development of a network/collective action
Development of alternative proposals
Involvement of national and international NGOs
Media based activism/alternative media
Official complaint letters and petitions
Environmental ImpactsPotential: Biodiversity loss (wildlife, agro-diversity), Desertification/Drought, Food insecurity (crop damage), Global warming, Soil erosion, Deforestation and loss of vegetation cover, Surface water pollution / Decreasing water (physico-chemical, biological) quality, Groundwater pollution or depletion, Reduced ecological / hydrological connectivity
Health ImpactsPotential: Other environmental related diseases
Socio-economic ImpactsVisible: Increase in Corruption/Co-optation of different actors, Violations of human rights
Potential: Displacement, Loss of livelihood, Specific impacts on women, Land dispossession, Loss of landscape/sense of place
Project StatusUnknown
Pathways for conflict outcome / responseCorruption
Strengthening of participation
Application of existing regulations
Project temporarily suspended
Project stalled
Development of AlternativesMukaya Payam Community: transparency and community involvement in land deals.
Do you consider this as a success?Not Sure
Why? Explain briefly.The project might be stalled temporarily or indefinitely. According to the Oakland Institute, it has been halted.
Sources and Materials

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Oakland Institute, 2011, 'Understanding Land Investment Deals in Africa – Nile Trading and Development, Inc, in South Sudan'
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Oakland Institute, 2011, 'Understanding Land Deals in Africa – Country Report: South Sudan'
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Norwegian People's Aid, 2011, 'The new Frontier'


, 'South Sudan : Nile Trading and Development Inc. land lease agreement'
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Gurtong, 'Mokaya Payam Leaders Reject 600,000 ha Land Lease'
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Globalwood, 'American Exotic Timber Group'
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BertelsmannStiftung, 'Land Grabs and Deforestation in South Sudan'
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Think Africa Press, 'Is South Sudans Largest Land Deal a Land Grab?'

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Media Links

Oakland Institute, 'South Sudan Parliament member speaks on land grabs'
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Other Documents

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Meta Information
ContributorAliza Tuttle
Last update29/08/2014