Oct 3, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — In the wake of unanticipated presidential edict seen on the state owned SSTV on the 2nd October, 2015, mixed reactions have been drawn by the unlooked-for creation of 28 states. A move ascertained as a clear and an absolute dishonor of the recently signed compromise peace agreement. The biggest question that rings in the head of everyone is; “what is the essence and rationale behind creating more states and under what circumstance should such states exist when in the peace pact, there known only 10 states?”
In lieu of the compromise peace agreement, it wholly stands apparent that every provision in the document reads within the framework of 10 states. If 28 states are whimsically created, are we being informed that the recently signed CPA is at the threshold of abolishment? Or are we being taken back to renegotiate on the basis of the 28 states?
Notably, it has been comprehensive from the background of federalism engineered by the SPLM/A Chairman and the designated first Vice President Dr. Riek Machar that 21 states were created and declared in line with the former districts formed under the British administration. A quest that Juba Government turned down under the false pretense that popular consultation had to be given a chance to determine the fate of federal system of governance. What then happened to the room given to the popular consultation that the unexpected expansion of states cropped up? The answer might stand to reason that people did not want to buy Dr Riek’s idea of federal system which led to the transformation of the old districts into states.
Unconstitutionally, the act was done without the knowledge of the parliament. That exercise undermines the role of the parliament which is deemed essential to participate in the initialization process. There could be no ground to shun the parliament only to decree the creation of more states. The law makers are the representatives of all the constituencies across South Sudan. And as a matter of necessity, the assembly should have been consulted on the matter prior to putting it on air. Who then influenced the acceptance of the thought that was rejected in the first place? Could the Jieng Council of Elders (JCEs) be the consultants in the process which resulted to increase of states from 10 to 21?
Hitherward, a few underlying interest among others behind unilaterally creating 28 states is analyzed as follow:
State of Confusion: The move is observed as a matter of throwing a bone of contention that would cause dissention among the people. There shall emerge sharp divisions between those who criticize the move and them who support it. Everyone feels that it is right to have the newly created 28 states, but the manner in which such an expansion is based remains questionable. Thus, a dilemma is created. If the government leaves it for people, it will have to mean the business and if it reconsiders its position, it will not be accepted by the citizens. There we have got to say that one is the cause of what impedes him from sleeping.
Oil interest: Much as oil remains the leading economic booster, the Juba Government might have discerned that some states among the 21 states within the three regions could not benefit from the oil resource in Upper Nile region. Consequently, the resultant is the creation of 28 states along the tribal lane in an attempt to disassemble the oil producing states granted to the SPLM/A by the CPA.
Awkward position: Another interest realized in such a move is that the government has placed Riek Machar in an awkward position. Apparently, the Juba Government puts itself in the shoes of Dr. Riek so as to see him opposed to what he initially engineered. In other words, the government sets Riek to go against his own agenda for federalism.
Credibility: Above all, the president creates the 28 states in order to win the support from the South Sudanese after sensing that he is out on a limb. The president in that case seems to gather back up as he maintains hope to vie for presidency comes 2018.
Having a flashback of the history, Dr. Riek‘s agenda have more often than not been used against him. The two practical instances are: the 2005 CPA which ensued from the document of 1997 peace agreement. Dr. Garang used the process and succeeded. After all, he won the credit. Today, the 28 states on the process of executing the federal system plan emerge as a matter of modification from the initially proposed 21 states although such states may not be effective in the transitional government of national unity.
Hitherto, something tells my conscience that the first 21 states proposed by Dr. Riek coincide with 21 years of struggle under Dr. John Garang and the other 28 states created by Kiir coincide with the 28 August declaration of self-determination by Dr. Riek.
Ultimately, the creation of more states does not sound bad, but it occurs at the wrong time. It is worth taking into account that both parties should have brought their heads together first and set up the process of attaining federal democratic South Sudan. The states to create should not as well exceed the proposed 21 states so that the known 1956 boundaries have meanings. Any declaration arbitrarily made when the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) is underway is unacceptable and may be seen as an out and out violation of the CPA.