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S. Sudan cabinet forms committee to determine number of states


May 22, 2016 (JUBA) - The new cabinet of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) in South Sudan has accepted to form a technical committee to review boundaries and determine the number states that have continued to stoke political tensions and remaining as one of the most sticking and contentious points for peace partners to resolve to proceed with implementation of the deal.

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Ministers of the transitional government of national unity swearing in on 29 April 2016 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

The cabinet has resolved to form a technical committee to review the boundaries of the states and come out with the recommendations to the council so that it would be the basis of discussions on how to move forward with how to harmonize opinions and views about the number states”, cabinet affairs minister Martin Elia Lomuro said in an interview with Sudan Tribune on Sunday.

Elia clarified the committee was not a replacement of the commission recommended by the communique of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the regional bloc which mediated the peace talks to end the conflict in the country between rival parties and which called for suspension of the implementation of the establishment order creating number of states in January.

The issue of number of states has continued to generate heated debates, with some officials, including the Minister for Water Resources and Irrigation, Mabior Garang de Mabior, arguing the issue of the 28 states has only succeeded in evoking ethnic consciousness, against the principle of the nation state, which sought to bring together all the 64 ethnic groups under one nation.

“Instead, we are seeing ethnic groups that have never fought before such as Bari and Mundari in Central Equatoria go for each other over boundaries, resources and leadership,” said Mabior. The issue of states, according to Minister Mabior, should be suspended and implement the agreement on the basis of ten states and allow the number of states to be determined by the people at appropriate time.

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) led by former president of Botswana Festus Mogae had stated that it is not going to include the 28 states into the implementation process and urged partners to the peace process to come up with the appropriate number of states for the country.


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  • 23 May 2016 09:06, by Eastern

    ...the proponents of the 28 states project would come to their senses soon; nobody objects to many states to be created in South Sudan but any new state must have an agreeable borders. Tonj folks are killing each other because of shoddy boundaries, the same with Mundari and the Bari people...

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    • 23 May 2016 10:08, by Malakal county Simon

      The so called 28 States, is the recipe of later worse war in waiting if is not reverse by murderer/unwanted president Kiir!!!!!!

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      • 23 May 2016 10:20, by Force 1

        If you are not happy with one of your 28 States, tough luck to you because you are just going to be unhappy for the rest of your life.

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    • 23 May 2016 10:15, by Force 1

      If the issue of numbers of states is up to the people; then let one of those 28 States decide whether they would remain as is or not. Don’t just say you don’t want 28 States if you think that the decision is up to the people.

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      • 23 May 2016 12:11, by Eastern

        ...creating states is not just as easy as some creepy old people approaching Kiir to split the country into miniature tribal enclaves and Kiir buys into their scheme of things by announcing the same on a national broadcast media. It’s not that easy!The process of creating states is long and drawn-out; otherwise Africa would be full of small countries comprising single tribes! Get real folks.

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    • 23 May 2016 18:22, by Makuen Ci Nhomwan

      Issue of 28 is nothing. Even 10 states is not managed forget about 28 states which is political states and nothing in it. Salaries of the civil servants spent more than 3 months without any payment to the civil servants.

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  • 23 May 2016 10:44, by Dengda

    The issue of 28 is simple and should resolved simply if the partner are genuine to their cause. Ideally there should be 25 states. creating tension or reversed or no reversed is just naïve. I welcome the committee to look into border issue, Those think bullet is solution, I am afraid bullet can kill any where. the issue of 28 state is simple because IO proposed 21 and Kiir proposed 28 state. me25

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    • 23 May 2016 14:17, by wacjak

      where are those who were shouting with their asses that the 28 states will be scrapped off? why is the IO not telling the public that it is already in bed with the government? I know the traitor (Riek) is ashamed to admit it publicly. Other hopeless idiots are still farting here but 28 states will be there and if you don’t like/want your state, kill yourself and spare us your noises.28 states oyee

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      • 23 May 2016 16:08, by Akook

        The country is ailing economically. 28 states is hugely expensive. Please take it with you and put it back to parliament or whatever committees you agree upon to determine criterion that need to be satisfied first for one to become a state. Forget about if you are a tribe or section of another tribe you then ought to curve away as a state. That is a recipe for disaster. Some tribes shld be in stat

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        • 23 May 2016 23:12, by Native Boy

          There is nothing bad with either political or technical states.
          The question is what politics and which technocrats under what scale were these states created?
          What was the force (quantified demand) behind the creation?
          What procedure and principles used to create them?
          Who are the stakeholders involved in the creation?
          Under what legitimacy is a body or individual responsible in creating a state?

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