July 31, 2012 (JUBA) – A convoy of vehicles carrying an inspection team of national ministers of South Sudan’s government arrived on Sunday at the site of the proposed new capital, Ramciel, as the government steps up the relocation process.
- South Sudan’s VP and ministers in Ramciel
Last year the government resolved to relocate the capital from Juba to Ramciel in the centre of the region in Lakes state. The decision was triggered by wrangling between the national and Central Equatoria state governments as well as that of Juba county, over the jurisdiction of the national capital and how to acquire land in the city.
A committee was formed to do the relocation process under the chairpersonship of the minister of housing and physical planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba. A South Korean company was contracted to do the feasibility study, carry out aerial and ground surveys and create a master plan of the city.
The Korean company has set the deadline of October this year to finish the survey of the area.
Ramciel has recently been connected to Juba by road. Travelling in a convoy, it took the relevant ministers five hours to complete the journey.
In his remarks during a meeting with the ministers in Ramciel, vice president Riek Machar urged the ministers to expedite the implementation of their respective basic projects in the new capital.
- The first convoy of vehicles carrying ministers arrives in Ramciel from Juba by road, July 29, 2012 (ST)
The minister of telecommunications and postal services, Madut Biar Yel accompanied the team to Ramciel to install telephone network masts in the area.
Also attending were the minister of housing and physical planning, Jemma Nunu Kumba, the minister of electricity and dams, David Deng Athorbei and three deputy ministers for finance, roads and housing, respectively.
Machar spoke to a jubilant crowd of residents scattered around the Ramciel area.
MPs and chiefs representing the Ramciel area said they had agreed to give the territory to the national government for its capital. The commissioner of Aweirial county on behalf of all the Greater Yirol counties vowed that their communities will not reclaim the land from the government.
Ramciel was chosen as an alternative capital in 2003 by the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) leadership in the Kenyan capital, Nairobi. The decision was then reversed in 2005 following a complaint launched by people from the Greater Equatoria region.