By Toby Collins
June 17, 2011 (LONDON) – South Sudan signed a memorandum of understanding with a South Korean developer on cooperating in the construction of a new capital for South Sudan on Thursday.
- Juba (Reuters)
"Our expertise in city development that has been accumulated over the past 50 years will likely provide help to southern Sudanese for the construction of their new capital," said Lee Ji-song, president of state run Land Housing Corporation.
Days before South Sudan officially becomes an independent state on 9 July, members of the Government of South Sudan signed the agreement with the troubled developer in Seoul, which was bailed out by the state in March 2011.
With disputes over land ownership with the indigenous Bari; disagreement over jurisdictions of administration by different levels of government; a lack of standardised housing; limited infrastructure; and chaotic, rapid expansion, there have been numerous discussions about the relocation of South Sudan’s capital. It is currently the old British colonial administration, Juba, in Central Equatoria state.
In 2010 there were controversial plans to invest US$10 billion in building cities in South Sudan in the shapes of animals, with Juba as a rhinoceros. The UN estimates that 90 percent of the population of South Sudan live on less than US$1 per day and many live without basic amenities.
In May 2011 a Government of South Sudan committee suggested Ramcial, Mangalla and Terekaka as potential relocation sites.