There Are No Reasonable Grounds To Reverse The 28 States In South Sudan

By Samuel Reech Mayen,

Map of the 28 states decreed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit

Map of the 28 states decreed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit

January 29, 2016(Nyamilepedia) — Oppositions promise citizens to tarmac for them a road from town A to town B if it is voted into power. But when the government buys that idea and paves the road, it doesn’t cause alarm. A government in power does what is in the interest of the citizens to win their support. It is not a problem in the rest of the world.

But this is not the case in South Sudan. Because some politicians are politically naïve, they do not want their ideas to be implemented by someone in power. They prefer the ideas buy from the public to wait until one comes into power to implement them. This is the reasons the newly created states brought peace implementation to a deadlock.

The simple issue here is that, the politicians specifically the top leadership of the SPLM-IO is too stingy to allow their idea to be implemented by other leaders. This may be for two reasons; first, the SPLM-IO may not have another idea to lure the public to support them, secondly, Dr. Riek has always claimed that he was the architect of self-determination that saw South Sudan seceded from the Sudan but public hardly pay attention to his claim leaving him with no or little credit.

Therefore, having initiated the idea of dividing the country into several states which the government had frozen for consultations makes him feel that his last and the only credit is being robbed. He looks at the government move to create 28 states not only as a mean that leaves him with no credit but also isolating him from the vast wealth of the nation, particularly the oil reserves.

To add weight to their arguments, the SPLM-IO has insisted that the 28 states do not rhyme with the provision of the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS), and the new states do not have clear borders. The SPLM-IO exaggerated that the new states have been curved out along ethnic lines and can cause violent conflict. Some complain of lack of funds to maintain these states.

On whether the newly created states meet the provisions of ARCISS, yes, peace was signed on the basis of 10 states; however, the SPLM-IO had incited the citizens about the importance of creating more states. On this basis, the public favor was tilted toward the decision. The government was wrongly put in hot debate with the citizens. The liberal citizens felt that the government was unfair to refuse the creation of more states.

These citizens could not understand why this need was struck out of the deal. They had accepted the need for more states. Later when peace was signed, they were neither consulted nor informed but left in suspense. And because most citizens feel that new states will bring services closer to them, they urged the government to adopt the idea as a mean of speeding up economic and social recovery from the war devastations. Honestly speaking, the citizens who support the idea of many states are by far more than those who oppose it.

On the issue of the new States’ borders, any reasonable mind cannot debate much on this simple fact. The previous counties in the 10 states had borders. For instance, the previous borders of Twic County in the former Warrap state remain its borders as a new state today. Morobo County which is part of the current Yei state operated within its borders in the former Central Equatoria State. If more counties such as Kajo-keji, Yei river, Lainya and Morobo are combined together to make a state, their previous borders translate into their new State borders. All counties and Payams in South Sudan have administrative borders which are reflection of the old borders that had existed between different communities.

Some critics also claim that the states have been created on ethnic lines. This is not true; it is on the bases of long time settlement and the size of the population as well as the land. When one looks at the states of the Equatorial regions, most of them compose of multi-ethnicities. For instance, the Lotuko, Langi, Acholi and Madi are in the state of Imatong but from different ethnic backgrounds.

In the state of Western Lakes, the Jur in Wullu County shares a state with Dinka Agaar. In Tonj, the Dinka Rek in this state shares a state with the Bongo. The same case in Wau state where Dinka of Marial Wau, Jurchol and Ballanda remain together. These are just few examples on the bases of settlement. But the funny thing about the critics of 28 states is how they contradict their opinion. While claiming that the states have been curved out along ethnic lines, they again rush into the case of Lol State and say Dinka from Aweil should not be combined with the people of Raja. This makes their criticism more of a mere confusion than logic. On one hand you want different tribes to share a state but in Lol State you disagree with your stance. This is ridiculous.

Moreover, the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bhar El Ghazal are happy with their states except this small protest in Lol state. The Lol state which has its headquarters in Raja is combined with part of Northern Bhar el Ghazal for reasons. This decision is appreciated on two grounds; the population in Raja is small and being at the border which faces external attacks, it is important to have populous state at this border to make a strong state with strong institutions that provide primary protections to the citizens. Secondly the distant between Wau and Raja is one of the farthest to remain in one state; hence it’s reasonable to connect it with part of Aweil which is closer to Raja.

Clearly speaking, the people of Raja are not against 28 states but instead want the state of their own. Therefore, their issue has nothing to do with the SPLM-IO arguments of revoking the order that created the new states. In case of any persistent in this claim by the people of Lol, the government should be asked to resolve their issue as demanded by the citizens.

It is only in Greater Upper Nile where some complaints are exaggerated. In the former state of Jonglei which has been divided into four states, the borders are clear and no one is complaining. Of course the division of the old Jonglei cannot cause conflict among the communities. If Gen. Simon Gatwich Dual says he is not happy to be in his new state of Bieh East, he will be asked whether he has ever been happy before the states were divided. They have been under one state but continuously attack themselves. If there is anything good people gain from being squeezed in one state, then General Gatwich Dual has already got that benefit and it’s time for him to settle where he belongs. Buma State of Gen. David Yau Yau fought for this division; hence they are happy with their new state.

In the former Unity state, Liech South has nothing to complain unless they have hidden interest in the territories of Liech North and Ruweng States. The only small issue is between Liech North and Ruweng. But we all know that no county has ever accommodated another county. The presumption is that, every county operates administratively within its territorial jurisdictions. The inhabitants of any county own the lands of that county. Besides, any claim on another county’s land that was not brought forward before the creation of 28 states is immaterial for being a politically motivated claim that lacks substantial base.

In case of any discontent, the people of Abiemnom, Pariang and Mayom County who share borders need government support to address any issue that may arise. It doesn’t need someone from the SPLM-IO to confuse this long time neighborhood friendliness. But no doubt, the people of Ruweng and Liech North have lived together for centuries and they are well known as people who cannot entertain any sort of propaganda.

In regard to the former Upper Nile State, the issue of Western Nile and Eastern Nile States cannot also cause mayhem. This may need an independent Arbitration body for both parties to present their genuine evidences of their claims. The decision of the arbitration can be binding on the parties. The parties to the conflict can be represented by their traditional authorities who understand their geographical boundaries better. No person should take advantage over the other. Citizens of these states should note that Gen. Johnson Olony is fighting a war which is not related with the creation of 28 states. He started fighting in 2010 but there were no new states by then. Thus any person aggrieved by the order that created Western Nile and Eastern Nile states should seek a peaceful means in which the issue can be permanently resolved.

Some people also wonder aloud how the government will finance the 28 states. These critics fail to recognize that both the Government and SPLM-IO have promoted many generals after the signing of the ARCISS. With this promotion of numerous generals, they do not understand that a budget to cater for them is equivalent to the budget that can finance the 28 states. Moreover, the new states policy will promote the slogan of self reliance which can reduce over dependence on oil money. The creation of new states comes with new responsibilities for the citizens. Citizens are required to work to meet their needs as well as paying tax to the government.

They are indirectly motivated to work when they know that they are going to pay tax at the end of the day. Thus, the states will be strengthened by their own citizens. Instead of wondering where the 28 states will get money to fund its institutions, wonder where the numerous generals will get their salaries, housings and vehicles. It’s wise for a citizen to work to pay tax for a salary of a teacher than to toil in a farm to pay a tax for a salary of a general with poor records in history.

Being a popular demand, the decision that created the 28 states cannot be reversed. The SPLM-IO should drop their call for reversal for it’s a decision that most civilians appreciate. On the other hand, the government needs to give proportional gubernatorial positions to the SPLM-IO to hasten the party re-unification process.

The author is a student who studies in Uganda and can be reached at: mayenreech@gmail.com or +256 772 727 857


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10 comments

  • sambalasambala

    This argument can only be bought by a cattle keeper no an equatorian who saw light long time ago. We don’t follow leaders blindly, we analyses and present sensible empirical facts. what we need is not 21, or 28 or 100 states but pure federalism. Try to lecture to us about Federalism which the government should give not 28 tribal states mr. Samuel Reech. Go back and apply your logical reasoning then write this article afresh basing it on federalism or go to dictionary and get the meaning of federalism and compare it to just increasing the number of states. We will vote only to a leader who promise to give us pure federalism. Period.

  • Sambalasambala,

    what you wrote here is full of truth and fact than this rotten and evil article of an evil man call reech mayen. As you point it out, we need reasonable articles about FEDERAL RULE. We do not want our beloved country to be divided into smaller tribal states. See now, the jenge are already giving away Abiyei and I learnt out that the Abeyei sons got angry and a very huge number 1500 strong army have decided to join those of Malik Agar and Yasir Arman of SPLA-N.

    Mayen, you musch understand that what Your government is doing is a foolish mess of dinka Council of elders. If you think you are wise enough and be able to Write an article about problems of this country, you better go to Your uncles and Waste Your time teaching them than trying to convince we the Equatorians who saw light before the jenge. Hope you got me right. Put deep into Your min that we need FEDERAL RULE not Your land grabbing 28 states. We will vote you out in the year 2018 by all means becauses you want to rule this country by the Control of jenge Council of elders and we will never Accept it.

    tolio, say something about the Abiyei problem or you are very busy arranging the payment from Basher. I tell you, the Abiyei people will get their own rights and hope they turn to kick your ass very hard.

  • Tolio

    Samuel Reech Mayendit

    I gree with you entirely. You have written the masterpiece article which pinpoints everything on reasonable grounds.

    Twenty eight states are a need of citizens to bring development and services closer to them. This is consistent to Dr Garang’s vision of taking towns to where the locals live. Nobody including the SPLM-IO and the incumbents should dare take credit for it.

    People should have anticipated a repartition of South Sudan into a number of states after the independence but the folks are so scared to the point they want to keep this country in a status quo of ten states they inherited from the former Khartoum regime – a sign of being block headed and a refusing to adopt significant changes for the benefit of all.

    The government has a mandate to handle the needs of citizens. There is not an opposition leader in the whole world that bears that responsibility on its shoulder and citizens don’t expect much from him/her since he/she is not managing the government of the day.

  • GatNor

    Jaang you reasoned with garbage in your head. You destroyed South Sudan & yet your reasoning capacity in why you did managed the country into ruins is not logical.

    What is more logical here working for peace or creating more states that are problematic in many ways? I don’t know if its the writer that is more stupid or the article.perhaps both.

  • As a member of destructive tribe of South Sudan, there is no doubt that the author of this article bases his reasoning on tribal domination of South Sudan political affairs. They use criminal tools to cement their illegal supremacy on the peaceful citizens of the country by employing weapons bought for the defence of all the people of the country against the same people for their selfish ends. Government coffers are depleted of the resources for development. They have institutionalized nepotism, tribalism and corruption in the country. To them only the Jieng people of Bahr el ghazal and Jonglei are South Sudanese and therefore have their interest above that of entire nation. There is no doubt that the people and the land of abyei under Salva Kiir may fall as a sacrificial lamb for his greed and lust for leadership to Jallaba as he views Jallaba as an arch enemy of their apartheid state. Their fear is Jallaba can provide assistance to their enemies within and out of South Sudan because Jallaba want to punish them for their interference in the affairs of Jallaba nation.

    • Deng

      “Twenty eight states are a need of citizens to bring development and services closer to them. This is consistent to Dr Garang’s vision of taking towns to where the locals live”. This is a complete stupid statement. Garang didn’t mean that but what he means is villages should be given the same services like towns such as (clean water, schools, hospital and roads). Every time Dinka comes to power, they start with problems. They usually like to dominate everything to themselves neglecting others as if they have no rights in any decision made for nation. Abel Alier and Bona Malual have started to dinkanise the South that they are majority and they are born to rule and not to be ruled adopting what Mahdis’ party of the North used to say in 1964. Simultaneously, South got divided into three regions to serve Northerners’ interests. The 63 tribes of South Sudan were totally not happy with Dinkas behaviors. Fighting broke out everywhere against them and many lives got lost. And now the same scenario is taking place for they don’t have culture of shame in their traditions. They loot, drive cows into crop fields and take land of others because of having power. Cow leaders South should not expect good things from them. So many questions remained unanswered about dehumanization and devastation made everywhere in South Sudan by government of one tribe system against 63 ones. People been slaughtered like animals including women, children and elderly people who couldn’t even run away to save their lives from Jieng’s army roaming like African wild animals everywhere. Using tool resources of nation against others with special forces (Mathiang Anyour). They don’t know how to live peacefully with people. Some animals in the forest are far better off than Jiengs for they can reason like human. They know how to share and divide food equally among themselves while Dinkas can’t do that. As a result of their behaviors war is taking place everywhere. Let’s unite and bring down this chaotic backward regime to prevail the peace in our young nation.

      • Tolio

        A village is smaller than a town. In other words, it is a small town. Only slow learner can misunderstand that. By the way, I never quoted Dr Garang’s words for words. There are many ways to express the word village or town.

  • tolio and reech,

    hope you understood what the IGAD told you today. IT SAYS THE PEACE AGREEMENT MUST BE IMPLEMENTED WITHOUT YOUR 28 TRIBAL EVIL AND POWER STEALING STATES. I have been telling you this but of course it is very difficult for cows to understand. We never give up saying the truth. Already we have reached very far teaching non dinkas to know more about the massacre carried by the dinkas in Juba. I believe no any non dinka will vote for kiir in the NEXT COMING ELECTIONS. We are gearing for FEDERAL RULE and WE WILL VOTE FOR A LEADER WHO HEADS THAT ROAD AND EVERY BODY KNOWS THIS VERY WELL.

    The light of civilazation was seen in Juba before it reaches to WARAP. So we know all you calculations before you could think of them yourselves……………….

    • Tolio

      My town was built before the independence of Sudan. Stop telling us the nonsense that civilization started in your town before it reached Warrap.

  • yes, you always Call Your luak as a town While for us luak is not a town. did you get it right from IGAD when they tell you to swallow Your 28 states. idiot who wants all Things to be forced on him. We have now forced you to swallow you states by force

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