July 16, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s former vice-president, Riek Machar, who for the past seven months has been leading an armed opposition faction of the ruling SPLM party has unveiled his group’s plan to create more states in implementing a resolution on a federal system of governance in the country.
- South Sudan map July 23, 2013 (ST/Uma Julius)
The proposal calls for restructuring South Sudan into more administrative units, transforming the former 21 British colonial districts into new states.
Currently South Sudan has 10 states which Khartoum created in 1994 when the two countries were still one.
In a press release issued on Wednesday by the rebel leader’s spokesperson James Gatdet Dak outlining the proposal, the new states boundaries shall remain as they stood in 1956 when Sudan, from which South Sudan broke away in 2011, became independent.
Dak said the proposal is a public document meant for a wider consultation with the stakeholders in the country and abroad.
“Stakeholders and the general public are welcome to discuss or comment on the proposal,” he said.
The opposition leader’s spokesman explained that a resolution was passed by the rebel group in April in Nasir adopting a federal system of governance for the country.
He said creation of more states will also promote development as it will take towns to the people.
PROPOSED NEW STATES
In the new states proposal, former Kodok district becomes Fashoda state with its capital in Malakal town while Renk district, combined with Akoka county shall be known as Northern Upper Nile state with capital in Paloich town.
Nasir district and Baliet county become Sobat state with capital in Nasir town and Fangak district as Fangak state with capital in Fangak town, meanwhile Akobo district becomes Akobo state with capital in Waat.
Pibor district becomes Pibor state with its capital in Pibor town and the old Bor district shall become Bor state with Bor as its capital, while Bentiu district remains Unity state with its present capital in Bentiu.
Aweil district is already Northern Bahr el Ghazal state with capital in Aweil town, but Wau district shall be elevated to state with Wau town as its capital.
Former Raga district as Raga state with capital in Raga town and Gogrial district becoming Gogrial state with capital in Gogrial town. Tonj district as Tonj state with capital in Tonj and Rumbek district as Rumbek state with its capital in Rumbek.
Yirol district becomes Yirol state with capital in Yirol town while Yambio district as Yambio state with its capital in Yambio. Maridi district becomes Maridi state with capital in Maridi town.
Yei district elevated to Yei state with its capital in Yei and Juba district, which is currently the seat of the national government, becomes Juba state with Juba as its capital.
Torit district shall be elevated to Torit state with its capital in Torit town while Kapoeta district shall detach and form Kapoeta state with capital in Kapoeta town.
Dak further said the proposal by the leadership of the SPLM [in opposition] also recommended relocation of the national capital from Juba to Ramciel in the centre of the country.
The opposition faction also expressed the desire to restructure and reform all sectors of governance on the basis of a democratic federal constitution.