THE DISPARITIES OF THE PROPOSED 21 FEDERAL STATES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
By Kueth Machar,
Sept 10, 2014(Nyamilepedia) — First before enriching our minds on aforementioned topic let’s get the meaning of the below terminologies;
Federation is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-governing states or regions under a centralize government. In a federation, the self-governing status of the components as well as the division of power between them and the central governing are typically constitutionally entrenched and may not be altered by a unilateral decision of party, the states or the federal political body.
FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
The Federal system of government is one that divides the powers of government between the national government, states government and local government. The national government exercise authority over the whole national territory, while states and local government exercise independent authority within their own territory.
INEQUITIES IN THE PROPOSED 21 FEDERAL STATES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
The idea of structuring South Sudan/Sudan into federal state began long time ago when South Sudanese took arms against the Arab regime in the North. Most of our heroes and Heroine from Anyanya-1 and 2 were advocating for both self-determination and federal state of South Sudan and these calls were also adopted by the SPLM/A during the civil war of 1983 as the latter is the continuation of the previous.
The Juba Massacre ignited the idea of restructuring of Republic from its unitary system to a federal system of governance so that the vision of our heroes and heroine is not in vain i.e. ‘’TAKING TOWNS TO PEOPLE’’ and thanks to SPLM/A IO led by the abled leader Dr Riek Machar who together with other South Sudanese sat down in Nasir in the month of April and resolved that South Sudan should be restructured from its current manipulative system to a federal system of government which allows citizens empowerment and leadership accountability. Many South Sudanese from different walks of life share their views on the same and with strong humility accepted the restructuring of our country to federal state and even the Juba government buy the idea together with the international communities and our regional leaders see the sense of this noble idea. As many South Sudanese agreed on the restructuring of our country including the Juba government we all differ on which form of federal state should we adopt and how many states do we need in the Republic of South Sudan. As a concern citizen of Unity state which comprises of 9 counties with a population of 645,465 according to 2008 census and an area of 37,836 squares Kilometre. In the current proposed 21 states in the Republic of South Sudan, Unity state has not been proposed to be divided into two states despite the population and the and its size in area while western Bahr el Ghazal which only has a population of 358,692 people was proposed to be divided into two of Raga state and Wau state respectively. Warrap State with a population of 1,044,217 people was only proposed to be divided into two states i.e. Gogrial state and Tonj state respectively, whereas Upper Nile with a population of 1,013,629 people is proposed to have three states .i.e. Northern Upper Nile state, Fashoda state, and Latjor state respectively with such observation I’m not convinced with any criteria used to arrive at such proposal because I believe the intention is to serve the citizen of South Sudan better but not how big an area is, it doesn’t make sense if that area has no people. All these disparities need to be addressed by the SPLM/A IO.
Having read the proposed wealth sharing ratio, I want to attest that we might instead render some of the proposed states poor at the expense of others. As I stated above the issue of population is so vital compare to size of the Area which to me seem as the only criteria used to arrive at our proposed states in the republic of South Sudan. As we are all aware of the production capacities of our Oil stations, these stations have varied level of production and if we happened to agree on a uniform formula ratio for wealth sharing, Financial analyst and economist will agree with me that 30% of 1000 is never equals to 30% of 1500 and the worst of all is that those states except Unity state that have Oil and other natural resources are proposed to be split further and the good example is Northern Upper Nile state ( the proposed) which produces 245,000 barrels per day with a population of around 200,000 people compare to Unity state of 645,465 people which its oil station capacity produces only 70,000 barrels per day, such disparities caused inequities and unfair distribution of our natural resources. Most states government will not be able to provide basic services and infrastructure to their populace while other states will have surplus in their budgets.
When the idea of federalism was proposed and agreed up on in Nasir by the SPLM/A IO, I was the first person to publicly buy the idea and I published an article, ‘’THE QUEST FOR FEDERAL SYSTEM OF GOVERNANCE IN SOUTH SUDAN’’. follow the link https://www.nyamile.com/2014/05/15/the-quest-for-federal-system-of-government-in-south-sudan/
I’m completely tired of the current system of governance coupled with a very weak constitution which allows corruption, impunity, lack of freedom of expression, lack of accountability and all sorts of evils and therefore there is a need to change the system of governance and all other necessary reforms are done including the drafting of constitution. South Sudanese can be allowed to debate on whether the current 10 states are not enough for a rapid growth and provision of basic services to the citizen of South Sudan, the current proposal is not a bad idea but we need to identify the best criteria of further splitting the current states. To me the reasons that these specific places were initially identified by the previous regime when Sudan was one country does not convince me because Today will never be yesterday, a lot of things had occurred population had increased and the strategic positions of towns also changed, we need to acknowledge that the purpose of Federation is to bring services to the people not to desert.
According to my observation, the group used the size of the Area to split our current state instead of considering the population inhabited that place, as a citizen from Unity state I see no reasons as to why this particular state plus Northern Bahr el Ghazal state with a population of 820,834 people cannot be split further for fastest economic growth and provision of basic services to the citizens of South Sudan living on those two states. I’m aware they are the smallest in size, but not in population, this proposal brings inequality in natural resource distribution, public appointments and political representation.
Unity state ever since has been marginalized by the government of South Sudan from public appointments and therefore, the citizen of South Sudan must challenge any government who seems to disadvantage the state and I’m for Unity state to be divided into two i.e. Unity state in the north with its capital as Bentiu and Liech state in the South with its headquarters in Leer. As much as the people of central Equatoria need rapid development, the people of Unity state do too.
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