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South Sudanese think tank warns on creation of new states


October 6, 2015 (JUBA) - A South Sudanese think tank, The Sudd institute, has issued a policy review in which it warned that the creation of more administrative units without proper procedures and the conduct of all inclusive opinion polls in the country could have negative implications especially if not properly managed by political stakeholders.

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South Sudanese preasident Salva Kiir (AFP)

"Our sense is that, although there are plausible merits to the creation of additional states, it could turn negative, depending on how the political stakeholders manage it, a policy review of the executive order issued by President Salva Kiir to establish more states in the country," partly reads The Sudd Institute’s policy paper.

The new arrangement, it says, creates ethnic boundaries as it isolates and group communities mainly in the Upper Nile region into administrative units exclusive of other ethnic groups.

The documents further argues that the decision of the president appears to address longstanding demands for devolution of powers and participatory democracy, reduces power wrangling at the center, responds to ethnic conflicts necessitated by perceived and real domination and mitigates new conflict dynamics created by the agreement on the resolution of the conflict in republic of South Sudan which the two main warring parties and other stakeholders have signed in August to end more 20 month civil war.

It notes that the order has, however, received mixed reactions from the general public.

"Some citizens believe the decision is a positive development, which paves way for self-governance. On the other hand, others see it as negatively impactful, especially in light of many constraints, such as lack of consideration for constitutional", reads the document.

President Kiir unilaterally decreed expansion of the current 10 states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on the state-owned South Sudan Television on Friday last week, prompting reaction from the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, that the unilateral move was a serious violation of the peace agreement.

The South Sudanese leader’s new directive criticised his current governance system which he said has been holding the people’s power in the center in Juba, saying there was need to adopt a federal system of governance in the country, surprisingly in line with the demand of Machar’s rebel movement which the government had been rejecting at the peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for nearly two years.

“Over the last ten years, the power which was given to you by the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] has remained in the center,” said Kiir, referring to the peace deal signed on 9 January 2005 with Sudan by then SPLM rebels to end 21-year long civil between north and south of the former Sudan.

The CPA granted South Sudanese a referendum on self-determination which resulted to overwhelming vote for secession from Sudan in 2011. He said his rationale for delaying creation of more states in devolution of powers to the people was because he was allegedly busy preparing for referendum from 2005 to 2011.

“My administration in the center was busy with issues to do with your self-determination such that you become free and sovereign state. Now, indeed you are free, therefore, there is no reason for me to retain your constitutional right for self-governance, self-reliance, self-development and determine your through free, fair and democratic elections in three years to come,” he claimed.

He went on to say that the creation of 28 states, which shall come into effect within 30 days, will provide an opportunity to “develop your locality, your home villages through mobilization of local and states resources.”

“We should therefore abandon culture of war and embrace culture of peace, co-existence and hard work such [that] you and I together develop our country because our country is a country of opportunities,” he said.

The order number 36/2015 AD for creation of new states of South Sudan said the president will now have the chance to nominate more state governors and additional members of the state assembly in his newly created states.

The sitting state members of parliament (MPs) will be maintained at 21 members in each state and there will be no more than 21 lawmakers.

The president acknowledged that his administration has been facing economic declines, surging unemployment as a consequence of the war which erupted on 15 December 2013.

It is not clear where more resources will be mobilized to fund the development of the states as the creation of 18 more states has become as a surprise to the nation and the international community.

In the breakdown of the states, the president created 8 states for greater Equatoria which included Imatong, Namurnyang, Maridi, Budi, Amadi, Jubek, Terekeka and Yei river.

For greater Bahr el Ghazal he decreed into being 10 states namely, Wau, Aweil, Ngor, Aweil East, Twic, Gogrial, Tonj, Eastern Lakes, Western Lakes and Gok.

In greater Upper Nile he also decreed 10 states to include Leer, Northern Guit, Ruweng, Eastern Nile, Jonglei, Western Nile, Eastern Bie, Lajor, Buma and Western Bie.

Kiir also acknowledged that the new states will create difficulties or conflicts in determining their respective boundaries, but added there shall be state border disputes committee to address issues that may arise.


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  • 7 October 2015 08:55, by Mapuor

    President is proven to be the wisest person in the country.All those thieves who call themselves politician will now face South Sudanese masses who approved of self governance.India is the largest democracy on earth and it is divided into ethnic states.Fools who bought degrees and never studied the world systems must now shut up.Nigeria,Ethiopia etc have ethnic based regions.

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    • 7 October 2015 08:58, by Mapuor

      The drug addicts institution called SUDD Institute should know that any reversal of the decree which formed 28 states would mean stoppage of oil flow.President Kiir should listen to the people of South Sudan not kleptomaniacs who sold our country to aliens.

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  • 7 October 2015 09:03, by Mr Point

    An unconstitutional act that is condemned by:
    European Union
    Lam Akol and SPLM-DC
    The G10 group of SPLM leaders (ex detainees)
    The Sudd Institute

    ... does not look like a good idea to carry out unilaterally .

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    • 7 October 2015 10:20, by Mr Point

      Kiir’s war started when he tried (and failed) to purge those critics who accused him of dictatorial tendencies.

      Now, without study and without consultation, he orders the creation of an ethically divisive federation that is unconstitutional, unworkable and unsupportable.

      Thousand died in Kiir’s war, the country is in economic decline, and still he has learned nothing.

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      • 7 October 2015 17:28, by Bentiu Sudan

        Mr. Point,

        Salva Kiir is the most foolish president the world ever had. He will never learn from all untold crimes he committed in South Sudan against civilians and citizens in general.

        repondre message

  • 7 October 2015 09:05, by Mapuor

    Nyagats will never again enjoy Dinka oil by promoting illiterates who do not even speak Juba Arabic as Generals.Sudd Institute never question the issue of Nyagat huge army with 99.9% of illiterate officers.Where will Nyagat army get salaries?The decision to create 28 states is irreversible come what may.may. Dinka Padang are free at last.

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    • 7 October 2015 10:01, by Reuben

      Kirr is going to back down whether he likes it or not.It is well known that South Sudanese are in need of federalism but not that federalism of kirr. Why did he isolate Nuer and mix Dinka wth other ethnic groups.In this Kirr federal system there is tribal tendency of dominating.Half of this states are either for Dinka or Dominated by Dinka thus half of MPs will be Dinka which is not fair.

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      • 7 October 2015 15:47, by Hardlinner

        he isolated nuer because of your madness. you have attacked and killed non nuer civilans at your dominated states. and even went as far as killing Bul nuer because they say no to your madness. LOu nuer should be on top of list to isolated from rest of other tribes follow by nuer of leer. Bul nuer became victim of your madness.

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  • 7 October 2015 09:45, by doot

    Mapour you are right.Salva Kiir is wise and Bold president, after John Garang. He always approach many issues in different lights. Creation of 28 states, is the biggest achievement and long legacy for him and for our country. our people who have suffered for so long, will be the most to benefit from our president`s decision. Those of opposites may dislike this move, but the substance is right.

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