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South Sudan government proposes referendum to determine number of states

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February 21, 2016 (JUBA) – South Sudanese government has come out with a proposal seeking to conduct a referendum to determine the number of states through which the country should be governed in a move which is not provided for in the peace agreement it signed with opposition factions in August last year.

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A man (L) poses for photographs after voting, inside a polling station located in a school during a referendum in the town of Abyei October 28, 2013 (Reuters/Goran Tomasevic)

Speaking at a public briefing organized by Alwatan Arabic daily newspaper over the weekend in the national capital, Juba, information and broadcasting minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, said the government would not revoke the decision of the president to create more states unless a nationwide referendum is conducted to determine the number of states.

The government official spokesperson was reacting to a criticism at the Sunday occasion by the secretary general of the communist party in South Sudan, who questioned the basis of the creation of 28 states.

Ismail Suleiman, secretary general of communist party challenged the government, saying there was no criteria by the government to create more states and that it should be revoked and return the country to be governed through 10 states which are constitutionally recognized by the agreement and 2011 transitional constitution.

“If you look at how this issue of 28 states came out, you see that nothing was followed. There were no criteria used. Some people just decided to go to the president and told him to create more states and he did it because these are the people who are close to him,” said Suleiman.

“But that is not how the country should be run. He is not the president of individuals. He is the president of the whole country and when there is something to be done for the country, the whole nation should be consulted so that the views of the people are heard because this is about their affairs. It is not about individuals,” he further charged.

In an attempt to defend the decision of the president, minister Lueth claimed the decision was made because it was a popular desire and the government was now ready to allow the people to decide on the number of states they wanted.

The minister claimed that the government led by President Salva Kiir and armed opposition of SPLM-IO led by Riek Machar were on the same page on creation of more states but differed on the number of states to be created.

“We have to be very clear. The SPLM-IO had not dropped its proposed [of] 21 states as it is claimed by others. When the SPLM-IO members of the advance team came to Juba, they sent the list of 21 members going to 21 states. If the SPLM-IO talks of 21 states and the government created 28 states, then all of us have agreed on the creation of states,” Lueth explained.

“We only differ on the number but opened for increment and this can be done through participation of the people. There will need to be a referendum so that the people themselves decide at the referendum the number of states they want,” he said.

Lueth added that if they decide to increase the number or reduce then that will be decided by the outcome of the referendum,” said Lueth.
He said he believes the people will demand more states instead of reduction.

During the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, SPLM-IO proposed creation of 21 states based on 21 old colonial districts with their historical boundaries. The government however refused creation of more states, saying it was not time to create more states or to establish federal system of governance.

However, 39 days after signing the August 2015 peace agreement based on the 10 states, the government unilaterally decreed creation of 28 states. The decision attracted condemnation from opposition and international community which called for the government to suspend their operationalization until a boundary commission agrees on the number of states and their boundaries.

According to a communiqué released by IGAD, which mediated the peace agreement, if the parties will not agree on the number of states, they will revert to the 10 states.

However, there is no provision for a referendum in the peace agreement.

(ST)

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  • 21 February 2016 22:23, by kumkan

    look at this useless man running around the city of making more noise thinking that someone would listen to his nonesene. The creation of 28 states is a land grapping method that JCE wants to introduce onto the people so they could reward their Dinka with land that they do not deserve.

    repondre message

    • 21 February 2016 23:21, by Nyesi Ta

      Kiir Al Al Awiir has created for himself 28 enemies.

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      • 22 February 2016 01:02, by Dinka-Defender-General

        26 friendly states and 2 enemies state. You can do the math. Don’t worry Dinka defender general will defeat 2 states.

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        • 22 February 2016 06:53, by Mi diit

          Kiir Kuethpiny and his sycophants are a confused bunch of lunatics!

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      • 22 February 2016 20:17, by Lango2010

        the work of evilman is destruction but Godly people preach peace and love among members. it is unfortunate that our people are at the stage of peaceful resolution while some few idiot are still beating the drum of war. may the wrath of God come upon you and your offspring.

        repondre message

    • 22 February 2016 06:56, by Akuma

      Every South Sudanese is in support of more states if referendum is conducting today. But the issue of more states has finally come to an end since the create of 28 states sued everyone need in the country. Those who don’t like their state should write to gov’t and they will be annexed to their states they want most...Other are more satisfied with the move.

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      • 22 February 2016 07:37, by Mi diit

        Akuma,

        Stop lying! Even your Lueth is not sure whether the people want 28 states. This is why they now want referendum.

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  • 22 February 2016 00:34, by Mr Point

    Why would anyone think that The main priority of government is to provide stable, peaceful, legal opportunity for development?

    The country faces economic collapse, massive food insecurity.

    Why is it so important to change the number of states in a way not allowed by the Constitution?

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  • 22 February 2016 01:48, by Eyez

    Kiir and his culprits are done and dusted, because, once their bogus 28 States foolery is put up for a referendum, it will be dead and buried, as it’s only popular with the Dinka.

    The silent majority of S. Sudanese whose ancestral lands have been grabbed and their livelihood destroyed don’t want these new States.

    All your unpopular decrees will soon be reversed, once the TGNU is up and running.

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    • 22 February 2016 03:49, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      This one and the suspension of the constitutional committees are good decision. the government is going on the right tract.

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    • 22 February 2016 13:08, by Nyesi Ta

      The answer to your question is simply to grab lands and particularly areas that have oil and illegally award those lands to their own communities to control.

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    • 22 February 2016 13:51, by Hardlinner

      Eyes, shut up please. you know quite well that it is only shilluk that genuine land claims. the rest are just bluffing. apart from lack of fund, i’m pretty most are happy with newly created states.

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      • 22 February 2016 15:14, by Eyez

        Softline.

        You a real ignorant stupid Dinka like your uncles. How dare you, a toothless and cow-dung cattle station boy, tell me to shut up. I know you are panicking now, because, soon we will drive you out of Nimule, Yei and other parts Equatoria.

        For the record, you should note that, the Equatorian and Nuer collaboration is getting seriously considered, incase you clowns get funny ideas.

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  • 22 February 2016 05:21, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

    Referendum of 28 States will be the first than implementation of peace agreement.

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  • 22 February 2016 06:22, by Joseph Canada

    Now we are talking. the things that need to be changed are: 1. stop thr Decrees and let the people decide. 2. People should elect their leaders not appointed. 3. People should be respected from their ancestral lands. 4. Army should defend the nation from the External forces eg. defend the boarder anexed by Kenya, Uganda and Northern Sudan. Mean while police runs the law. Do this and we are good.

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  • 22 February 2016 06:31, by Nyesi Ta

    Sometimes I wonder what this president is upto? He decreed 28 states, appoints governors, and some governors have already formed their cabinets. Now the president through his mouthpiece called Makuei proposes for a referendum. Why are those stupid so called leaders in ss want to prove to the world that they are indeed stupid and do not know what they are doing?

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    • 22 February 2016 07:01, by Eyez

      Nyesi Ta

      Jur aje kowa ko diong.....ya brother.

      These folks have Mad Cow Disease, it actually causes a chronic malfunction of the brain and renders it incapable of all normal behaviours.

      Also, the barbaric act of facial cutting has robbed them of the good blood that makes every person reasonable.

      So let’s try hard and get a cure for the Dinka syndrome that is crippling our diverse society.

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  • 22 February 2016 07:21, by Eyez

    Dinka Defenceless Genitor

    I hear that you and your uncle was caught on the border trying to cross with stolen money...have the alarm bells sounded?

    I also hear that JCE has advised all Dinka to grab as much money as they can, be it peoples salaries or government cash.So,that they have enough to escape to exile, when Riek and the true sons of the land takeover.

    Hahahahaa

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    • 22 February 2016 09:02, by Dinka-Defender-General

      Eyes, you’re dreaming. I’m loyal and trustworthy general. I take what is mine. I also collect abandoned paychecks such as Machar and his generals money. However, I let my units use the money and that’s why my unit loves me so much.

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    • 22 February 2016 12:58, by Nyesi Ta

      Eyez, kilo Ngutu a kolak ti kisuk, lepengat ’bak saresi kase i jur. Lepengat aje barun gwilingit lose lo koko’ya i lukata na miri, meaning they r thieves who steal cows in their villages where there r no laws. They brought the culture of thuggery into the government. What do we expect from them other than theft, violence, rape, since there is nothing for them to offer to the people of South Sudan?

      repondre message

      • 22 February 2016 20:15, by Lango2010

        the work of evilman is destruction but Godly people preach peace and love among members. it is unfortunate that our people are at the stage of peaceful resolution while some few idiot are still beating the drum of war. may the wrath of God come upon you and your offspring.

        repondre message

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