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S. Sudan considering a referendum on creation of states

May 20, 2018 (JUBA) – The South Sudanese government said it could consider a referendum on the new states controversially created through a presidential decree issues in December 2015.

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The 10 states of South Sudan

The move, government said in a new position paper, would put to rest the controversy that came with new states established within the young nation.

“The question of the number of states is for the people of South Sudan to decide. Government expresses a strong popular demand for the creation of even more states,” partly read the paper.

The position paper, which was presented by the Juba government to the regional bloc (IGAD), agitates peoples’ views on these states.

“Government invites IGAD to consult the people of South Sudan to ascertain their views on the question of states,” it further stressed.

In 2015, the South Sudan’s president dissolved the nation’s 10 regional states and created 28 new ones, in a move seen as undermining a peace deal signed in August to end the country’s two-year civil war.

However, in his a decree establishing the 28 new states, Kiir said he was guided by South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution. He also said one purpose of the new states is to decentralize power, placing resources closer to the rural population while at the same time reducing the national government size.

Opposition parties in the country responded by rejecting Kiir’s decision and regarded the decree on the new states as "null" and "void".