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South Sudanese rebels downplay relocation of national capital to Wau


July 31, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudanese rebels led by the former vice-president, Riek Machar have downplayed calls to relocate the country’s national capital to Wau in Western Bhar el Ghazal state, saying the proposal was unjustified and unnecessary.

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Ramciel by Google Maps

Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal state, Rizik Zechariah Hassan, last week publicly proposed that the national capital should be relocated from Juba in Central Equatoria state to his home state capital after meeting president Salva Kiir in Wau.

During his 16 July visit to the state, president Kiir hinted the desire to move to Wau and commended the host communities for maintaining unity and stability.

“You intermingle here as your tribes of Western Bahr el-Ghazal to the extent that we will bring you other people from other places. If your area becomes good and there is security, many people will come here,” president Kiir was quoted in the media as telling community elders from Baggari payam in Wau.

Sources in the government also revealed that the idea was discussed during the visit to the state by the president, adding that the governor was made to sell the idea in the country in order to make a proponent decision look like an initiative from the state government and host communities.

Observers said the decision was prompted by fear of increasing insecurity in Juba given the growing odd relationship between the national and state governments over proposed federalism as well as with host communities in Juba over lands.


However, rebels of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan Peoples’ Liberation Movement (SPLM-In-Opposition) led by Machar said the proposal to relocate to Wau lacked justification.

“The idea is unjustified and unnecessary,” said rebel leader’s spokesperson, James Gatdet Dak, when contacted on Thursday by Sudan Tribune on whether or not their leadership also approved of the proposal.

Dak said because the leadership in Juba was the one responsible for the security and stability of the country, the best thing president Salva Kiir and his colleagues should do was to speedily address the root causes of the prevailing insecurity with the aim to generally resolve it countrywide instead of running away from its “segments.”

He wondered whether Wau, which is located in the far western part of the country, was an isolated territory free from the ongoing crisis in the country.

“Is Wau exempted or free from insecurity? Is it an isolated island and out of reach?” he inquired.


The rebel leader’s spokesperson added that Ramciel in the centre of South Sudan in Lakes state is the resolved new capital.

He recalled that South Sudan’s cabinet passed a resolution on 2 September 2011 relocating the capital from Juba to Ramciel.

He also added that necessary preparations were to be made by the government for the next three to five years in order to move to the new capital.

Dak further recalled that a team of relevant and concerned senior government officials led by the former vice-president, Machar, visited Ramciel site on 29 July 2012 to assess the area.

Some of the main reasons justifying the relocation from Juba to Ramciel were over land issues and jurisdictions between national, state and local governments’ administrations, coupled with the location of the new friendly area in the centre of the nation.

While Ramciel is about 200 kilometers north of Juba and located on the western side of the White Nile River, Wau is approximately 650 kilometers northwest of Juba on the same side of the River Nile.

Dak further added that the rebel group in its proposal to federally restructure the country into more than twenty states has proposed Ramciel as the national capital.

He however hinted that Juba may continue to host the expected transitional government for a period of time before the relocation to Ramciel will take place.


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  • 1 August 2014 05:52, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    The president Kiir is not a part of unilaterally decision decided by the Wau governor and its people about relocation of South Sudan capital from Juba to Wau.
    Please rebel, don’t abuse the president. Keep quite and see what government will about capital, you are just a rebel.

    repondre message

    • 1 August 2014 07:01, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

      Mr Ayuiu Makuach, do not underestimate or underrate the citizenship and the rights of the people fighting the government. They are indigenous South Sudanese and are fighting for their rights. Therefore they have a say in the affairs of the nation. The country is owned by all of us in the borders and not a section of some citizens.

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      • 1 August 2014 07:16, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

        Jur, Likang

        i don’t have time to answer you, you are just a rebels killing civilians.
        Very Soon Riek party or groups will shortly be announce as terror organization.

        repondre message

        • 1 August 2014 07:23, by Lotodo Awino Odug

          These wanderers should worry about their political survival instead of running their ugly mouths against things beyond their reach. at what capacity would they voiced their opinions when they are nobodies in the forests.

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    • 1 August 2014 13:16, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

      I agree with Ayuiu Makuach
      Mr. Dak and his crazy Machar are joking and what Dog call Dak is saying is baseless and unnecessary. Rebels have have right to sit there in the bush and downplay whatever being proposed by the responsible citizens of South Sudan. You have no righ dogs with you head dog call Riek Machar. Wau is the capital. Go to icc and open the case thugs.

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  • 1 August 2014 06:25, by Madina Tonj

    Riek M. Teny. I think he suppose to shut up his mouth because he is the one who created insecurity in the country. The money being wasted for war would have been used to built school, clinics, Hospital etc. African leaders are now saying this rebel leader is too arrogant refer to Riek M. Dinkas and Nuers were one body and this bad man Riek Machar is deepen not only divided but kills and hateful

    repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 06:26, by Madina Tonj

    Riek M. Teny. I think he suppose to shut up his mouth because he is the one who created insecurity in the country. The money being wasted for war would have been used to built school, clinics, Hospital etc. African leaders are now saying this rebel leader is too arrogant refer to Riek M. Dinkas and Nuers were one body and this bad man Riek Machar is deepen not only divided but kills and hateful

    repondre message

    • 1 August 2014 06:39, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      I heard that Riek Machar had just commited sucide, after hearing that he was really an adopted child.

      repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 06:47, by wang

    Will she shall returns back safely?

    repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 06:59, by marie

    The failure of the government to deliver services to the people of South Sudan in terms of public amenities should not be blamed on the rebellion which has been only for 6 bonths. The government of South Sudan has been in power for the last nine years and yet it had done nothing. Shifting the blame to the rebels; who are the other side of the SPLM,both have no vision.new wives & cars is the vision

    repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 07:04, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    I don’t know, what dignity did Riek Machar is talking about? While he had killed more than 25,000 thousands civilian in 1991-1997. Yet again, more than 6,000 people are appeared dead in 2013 to date and he still claiming diplomacy on the faces of South Sudanese people.
    Please, a politicians without apology to his or her people should not be legitimize by the people to rules like Riek.

    repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 07:40, by Freedom Fighter

    I do support relocation of capital to WAU for these reasons:

    1.Wau lives and breaths with population and diversity, and has a very high sense of nationhood.

    2. Juba has had enough development and it’s time for WAU to get its share

    3. 90% of SPLM/A supporters come from WAU

    3. will make it very difficult for Riek Machar and other White Army-minded people to rebell as there will be no where to go

    repondre message

  • 1 August 2014 07:55, by Dengic

    Mr.Dak,will Ramcial as a city really solve rebellious attitude of your boss Machar?

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  • 1 August 2014 13:22, by AbuDeng

    This move is a political game, to take the public’s attention from the reality: war, hunger, mismanagement of the govt resources and lack of job creation for the People. Instead of moving the capital, like Ramciel before, something that will cost "billions" we don’t want currently (the govt survives by taking out loans using future oil shipments, given by oil companies). Feed the People instead...

    repondre message

    • 2 August 2014 06:56, by maluach madit

      Relocation of Capital should not come from the voice of rebel anyway. The fact is that, Wau being very near to Khartoum make it unsuitable for the location of the capital. Juba too needs to be abandoned because its Equatorians are making thousand noises and complains since 2007 to date. The best place could be “Ramciel’ but the lack of fulfilling the proposed promises in South Sudan is a problem

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