Gov’t created 32 states to encounter Machar’s 21 – minister
October 11th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government created thirty-two (32) states (preceded by 28 in October 2015) to encounter a proposal by the main armed opposition group SPLM-IO to create 21 states, a senior government official said.
The SPLM-IO led by Machar in 2014 divided the country into 21 states based in existing British colonial districts and the group proposed their endorsement during peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia at the time.
The government rejected the initiative and said there were no enough resources to carry out developmental projects in the proposed 21 states.
However, President Kiir in a surprise move on October 2, 2015, less than two months after the government signed a peace agreement with SPLM-IO and after rejecting the creation of 21 states, divided the country into 28 states mainly on tribal basis.
The SPLM-IO and the international community condemned the process and called on Kiir to cancel the establishment of one of the most controversial orders.
Speaking to foreign diplomats in Juba on Thursday, cabinet minister Martin Elia Lomoro said the move by the president to create more states was to encounter Machar’s creation of 21 states.
“Twenty-one states were brought about by the IO. We countered the move with 28 states and later on 32 states,” Lomoro told diplomats in Juba.
“This time round, the people of South Sudan must have a say as to what number of states they really want. This is our position, anyway,” Lomoro added.