By: Dhuor Reath Badeng,
October 18, 2015 (Nyamilepedia)—The creations of 28 states have been received with mix reactions both locally and internationally by citizens and friends of South Sudan. I personally also want to have my take as to what aspects the order would gain currency and on what grounds it wouldn’t hold.
First and foremost, South Sudan is a country that depends entirely on oil revenues for all its activities and as any person with profound intellectualism would ratiocinates; the total amount of oil money available for the whole country in a year depends on world oil prices, the oil contracts, technology, and oil production rates, among others. So, given all the above strains, there isn’t much an ordinary citizen can do to change any of these variables in the current economic enclave that our young country finds herself in. In that vein, I don’t see any reason as to why the government in Juba would wish to create more economic instability when it’s already unable to battle with the big elephant within. The dollar has never been our good friend all the way from 2011 when the president with the approval of the NLA ordered for the closure of the oil flow to the North because of the high transit fees that was being charged by Sudan to this particular day that even a liter of fuel price has ramped up from the previous 5 SSP/liter to 100 SSP/liter simply because the local business people cannot afford hard currencies to bring in imports. For that reason I deem it oblivious of the President to decree such order when there is so much to be done in order to keep the already available 10 States viable than creating more.
Yes! It has been a popular demand by the people of South Sudan to have federalism as well as the SPLM Party’s vision to take town to the people, but not at a gruff moment of humanitarian crisis as this. There are IDPs in almost every town in South Sudan, thousands of Refugees in nearly all the neighboring countries who even in the camps where they have sought refuge do not live and socialize like people caught in the same predicaments. They have placed their tribal identities above anything not taking into consideration the fact that they are all victims of the senseless war that made them fled their homes and to inflame all this, the government who is supposed to bring them back to their respective homes and ensure their efficacious and safe resettlement, reconciliation and eventual healing of past wound is wrapped up pigeonholing them in ethnic states in the name of taking town to the people. This subdivision of States which is driven to a signiﬁcant degree by divide-and-rule politics and the complaints of minorities in each state about not getting a fair share of the ‘cake’ will not work out well for the president and his cohorts but will only create new conﬁgurations, new minorities and more numerous divisions which have already been witnessed in some parts of equatorial and western Bahr el Ghazal state.
The Presidential order is more disastrous, irritably, mocking and embracing to many “WHO ARE INTELLECTUALLY EQUIPPED” and who are now given the trial test to own an imaginary states with no clear borders, unidentified cadres, unknown populations, budget and networking roads to ease the delivery/taking of resources nearer to the consumers. I know there are perspicacious men and women around the president who could have reviewed and slashed the unwanted blatant order but only if they had had the chance to pip their eyes on the disturbing document. But instead, the ‘Oh yes men and women’ surrounding the Pandora of Salva Kiir have taken the would-have been national responsibility to their own selfish pursuit depriving not only those who might have the guts or temerity to questioning their filthy ways of corrupting everything they touch, but also embarrassing the president himself in the eyes of international community. They are just sheep in wolf clothing!
It is also to be noted that this order by Mr. Kiir was motivated by the fact that CPA II gives the two largest oil producing states to SPLMIO and for that reason, Kiir and cohorts have to derive a formula that would deprives SPLMIO of the benefits it would glean from the oil fields in those states and this is clearly depicted in the way the president has pigeonholed the Dinka of Apandang into the states of Ruweng and Eastern Nile as a formula to secure the oil fields in those areas. Oil-based political conﬂict can lead to the fragmentation of the national or the wider interest, unleashing a dynamic well known to economists: the tragedy of the commons. As it happens, this generic dynamic can be illustrated by the struggle that will surface in the near future as the various communities engage in fisticuffs over the control of the oilfields. In this ‘common-pool’ problem, participants will compete to get oil out as fast as possible, before the others do, leading to overproduction and damage to the oil fields. This is the problem I foresee happening with the former Unity and Upper Nile States citizens.
Nevertheless, having given some negative impacts of the order, I still personally believe that the order would serve some sense in terms of security. My personal analysis on this is based on the fact if the creation of 28 states becomes a reality, majority of the people who were staying in Juba for no apparent reasons but just for love of town life will now have to travel back to their states capitals and find something useful to do for themselves hence clearing Juba of its previous dense settlement which was used and would still be used by criminals and other ill-intention security/public officials as a tramp card to effect their misfeasance.
Similarly as I stated earlier in the previous paragraph that this subdivision of States is driven to a signiﬁcant degree by the complaints of minorities or procedurally marginalized majorities in each states about not getting a fair share of the ‘cake’, it is true that some communities since the establishment of South Sudan have never felt the benefits of having a country and this creation of 28 states by the president would means ‘Jah blessing’ to them as reggae listeners would put it. Therefore as a member of the newly the created Eastern Bieh State, and not owing apology to what any other person out there will interpret this opinion, I embrace and welcome the creation of Eastern Bieh State for it will solve many issues that have been affecting the would-be members of E.B.S ranging from security issues with its neighbors from the former Jonglei State, poor development in terms of physical infrastructures, health sectors, education among others that will practically be attainable with the coronation of a new Governor who will be au courant with the prime concerns of the citizen and use the locally raised revenues to effect these developments. Yes we can!
Lastly but not the least, as we all know that we humans are competitive creatures and the seeds of conflict are build deep in our genes. We fight each other and only survive against all odds by organizing ourselves into group that would have common purposes, give morale and fortitude. The peaceful resolution of this 22-months long conflict should be paramount to all of us despite the political divide we come from. The signs of outstanding leadership appear primarily with the followers. And therefore as followers of the different political figures that run our country, we must step up beyond political sycophancy and look at things nationally rather than following the interest of the various leaders that purport to be working for national interests when in reality they are doing things to their political advantages. I have heard and read many comments coming different supporter that why would it be 28 States and not 21 states as was first declared by Dr. Machar? The best argument now should be; “There is no need for accepting federalism (creation of more state) by the government at this point since they had rejected the proposal earlier”And if the petition to rescind the creation of 28 states fails as it will, given the increasingly intransigent manner that the government in Juba have become, 21 or 28 states should not be the bone of contention, the parley should be; how do we go about the situation so that it doesn’t negatively impacts on the CPA power sharing ratios that were agreed by all the parties.
South Sudanese are sick and tired of all these messes and we all need to do something really quick to save the country from going to the dogs.
God Bless South Sudan!!
Dhuor Reath Badeng Jnr. The writer of the article can be reach through firstname.lastname@example.org.