Opinion: Why states should be settled later in a referendum

By Ngor Arol Garang

South Sudan states by region (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

December 5th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – So far the parties are unable to break the stalemate on the number of states and boundaries. They should now leave it to the people to decide after peace and stability is restored.

The priority for the parties should be silencing the guns and silencing means implementing the peace deal to the letter of the spirit in which it was agreed and signed.

This requires placing the common and greater good at the center of the decision-making in a way that consolidate and enhance harmony and cohesion of the people. And one of the ways to consolidate and enhance harmony is to:
a) Revert to 10 states,
b) Repatriate refugees and facilitate return of the internally displaced to their homes of origins,
c) Conduct census,
d) Conduct elections to elect a new government,
e) Announce and accept the outcome of the elections,
f) Conduct referendum by the elected government.

Leaving it to the public will return the confidence and trust in the government while freeing government of other responsibilities and commitments, specifically those associated with public finances and budget.

Slim but effective government in the depressed war economy is an ideal. The civil servants who now take more than three months before payment should become the priority.

The welfare of the security forces and their families as well as institutional reforms should take the center of the attention of the issues in the hands of the leaders.

There needs to be a value system in place by looking at economic viability of these states. By the look of things, the current states are not economically viable. They are not socially and politically enhancing harmony and consolidating cohesion.

They are, sadly, polarizing and creating divisions instead of building bridges and connecting people.

Some state governors are operating under trees. County commissioners operate from their own houses while walking on foot. The communities for whom these administrative units were purportedly created, are unproductive, unable to pay taxes to sustain these units. Grappling with droughts, insecurity and floods, they rely on humanitarian aids.

They had no knowledge of the context behind the creation of states. Some of whom thought creation would be a self-funded and sustained project by the government. They never knew it would come to bite their pockets.

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