June 18, 2014 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese police general has called for the split of Northern Bahr el Ghazal into two states, claiming that the creation of more administrative entities in the area would take services closer to the people and resolve political differences.
- The map of Northern Bahr el Ghazal in red.
Major General Gabriel Deng Jor argued in the letter extended to Sudan Tribune on Wednesday that the area was too big and haboured many conflicts.
“There has been a long demand to divide the state into more state separate entities because of several reasons. One reason is that we say the population is too much big to be administered as one state. It needs to be divided into more states so that the government and services are taken closer to the people. The second reason is to resolve political differences”, he said.
Northern Bahr el Ghazal, which borders East Darfur and West Kordofan states of the neighbouring Sudan, covers some 30, 543 km. The state is largely inhabited by the Dinka tribe.
Jor said that the population of his home state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal had been undercounted during the previous census, accusing certain quarters of deliberate misrepresentation.
“Certain people did it intentionally. Otherwise who does not know our population? History is a clear witness and can only be reversed if miracle happened? It is known fact world over that political representatives and creation of more administrative units and the resources allocation are made from the census after which the number of constituencies can be made based on the population. From the previous census Aweil is number 16, which is wrong because it does not represent the real information about the population census”, argued General Jor.
According to the controversial 2008 census, Northern Bahr El Ghazal is the sixth most populous state in South Sudan with a population of 720,898 people.
General Jor said that his community had made number of demands asking the leadership in Juba to divide the state into more separate entities.
He wondered why the leadership had been sleeping on the demand of Mading Aweil while it accepts and acts on similar demand asking creation of administrative units in other parts of the country.
“So we in Aweil put through along argument demanding fresh registration of the population because Aweil is the largest region or area in South Sudan compared with Upper Nile state (Malakal, Unity State (Bentiu), Jonglei State (Bor) and Eastern Equatoria (Torit). If you can calculate the population of Aweil then Gok Machar, Aweil South and Aweil town should be made as a separate state while Aweil East goes a state of its own. Aweil west and Centre should another state”, he explained.
In 2009, hundreds of Northern Bahr el Ghazal citizens in Khartoum unanimously supported a proposal for creation of more counties out of the five that existed with limited number of constituencies.
The move, they argued, would take services nearer to the people and create employment opportunities for the local population.