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Kiir’s unilateral creation of 28 states aims to derail peace agreement: SPLM-IO


October 3, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – South Sudan’s armed opposition faction of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO) said the Friday’s decree issued by president Salva Kiir to unilaterally create 28 states aimed to open up renegotiations and derail the implementation of the peace agreement which the warring parties signed in August to end the 21-month long civil war in the country.

Riek Machar answers questions during a press conference in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa on July 9, 2014 (Photo AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

President Kiir unexpectedly issued a presidential decree on Friday evening creating 28 states, expanding them from the current 10 states and said the new states should come into being within 30 days.

The opposition faction of SPLM-IO led by the first vice-president designate, Riek Machar, described president Kiir’s explanation as “unconvincing”, warning that the move was a serious setback for the implementation of the peace agreement unless the decision was revoked or deferred to the constitutional-making process in accordance with the peace agreement.

“The unilateral creation of 28 states by Salva Kiir aims to derail the implementation of the peace agreement. The people of South Sudan, the region and the international community at large should not allow the regime to abrogate the peace deal and drag the nation back to square one,” Machar’s spokesman, James Gatdet Dak, told Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

He said preparations for the referendum and independence of the country were “unconvincing” explanation for president Kiir’s initial intransigence during the peace negotiations and should not have been the reason for rejecting the proposal at the peace talks in Addis Ababa, saying the referendum was done four years ago and not last month.

The peace agreement president Kiir signed with the opposition leader, Riek Machar and other stakeholders, including SPLM secretary general, Pagan Amum, deferred the case of federalism and creation of more states to the constitutional making process during a transitional period which process would involve all parties to the agreement.

The South Sudanese leader however explained that he made the decision to give the power to the people in the states for better services delivery and development, criticizing his current system which he said retained people’s powers in the center for 10 years.

He also said he delayed to establish federal states because he was preparing for a referendum on self-determination since 2005 which gave birth to the new nation on 9 July 2011, adding it was therefore time to create more federal states after independence and freedom of the country.

“President Kiir’s explanation is unconvincing. There are a lot of questions. For instance, why did he reject the proposal to create 21 federal states which we presented at the negotiation table in Addis Ababa, and should have been incorporated into the peace agreement, if he was sharing the idea?” he inquired.

The 28 states idea, he said, should have been tabled by the government before the negotiators from the parties in Addis Ababa so that an agreement was reached by the parties on how many states should be created, on what basis and when they should come into effect.

The rebel official said the unilateral decision outside the peace deal would have serious implications on implementation of the agreement unless the international community steps in to save the situation.

“Salva Kiir’s unilateral decree would open up the peace agreement for further vicious cycle of renegotiation. It would have serious implications on the agreed administrative and institutional structures, as well as representation, because it would alter major provisions in the peace deal,” he said.

He argued that for instance, the agreement was based on the current 10 states and representation or power sharing was based on the current 10 states with their current executive and legislative organs, adding the alteration would need further negotiations.

The opposition would get 40% of the three states of the oil-rich Unity and Upper Nile states as well as Jonglei state and would nominate governors for the first two states, which have now been altered and split into 10 new states. It would also get 15% from the other 7 states in greater Bahr el Ghazal and greater Equatoria regions, which have also been altered by the decree into 18 new states with additional executive and legislative organs.

Dak also said the composition and representation of the Council of States, which is the upper chamber in the bicameral national legislature, would be altered by the decree. The peace agreement stipulates that the current council of states will maintain its 20 membership per representation of 2 members from each of the 10 states.

South Sudanese ambassador Gordon Buay issued a statement from Washington saying the creation of 28 states has been "popularly received (with joy) and accepted all over the country".

President kiir will appoint "Governors of 28 states within one month so that the New South Sudan Order is operational. Riek Machar will be given the right to suggest the nominees for the governorship of Southern Liech and Western Nile states as per the Compromised Peace Agreement of Seyoum Mesfin," he added.

Dak claimed experience has shown that president Kiir has “habitual disregard for the law and agreements” and would act surprisingly to the contrary depending on the mood of the day or the kind of advice he received from his inner circles.

The rebel leader’s spokesman also decried the random creation of the 28 states as problematic, saying this would also cause serious conflicts on demarcation of the would-be new boundaries, preferring the establishment of new states to be based on the former colonial districts which have borders established in 1956.

He maintained that the presidential decree by president Kiir was calculated to derail the peace process and create further inter-communal conflicts in the country.

He said the opposition leadership had already raised the new situation to the regional and international partners in the mediation to take a position and stop the government from its plans to destroy the peace deal.

Earlier, president Kiir as he was signing the peace agreement on 26 August warned that the implementation of the deal would be difficult to achieve, citing what he called “reservations”, saying the document on the agreement backed by the international community was neither the Bible nor Quran, referring to the holy books of Christianity and Islam.


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  • 3 October 2015 22:23, by Bolman

    I can’t blame him so much element who need to blamed is the beers tore holder who serving him over limit as well as we all knew him from day one without too much drunks Kiir always acts like ordinary person his horrible come after too much lonely drinking I know was drunks everybody take easy he think again when he come a normal person he is now still dazzling leave him alone with beer for now

    • 4 October 2015 04:42, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

      Don’t complain ya Dr. Riak. You’ve taught people how to live by rebellion. Fighting is S. Sudanese breakfast, lunch & dinner. There’4 any threatening warsome warning you make is welcome. Ur forces violated peace by recapturing Leer & Koch but u kept silence.

      • 4 October 2015 04:55, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        When ur unilateral tribal rebellion killed hundreds of thousands of Dinka & Nuer, u think superficially that u r doing right, but if states r increased then u want war. Just go on! U & ur supporters think Igad & USA will impose u to president is just a continuation of war. U have spoilt us thro ur violent approach & tribal rebellion.

        • 4 October 2015 05:10, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

          Breaking News; For your information, Dinka & Nuer people will ever stay in peace if one of these two things happens to Dr. Riak Machar Teny. 1. He becomes president of RSS, but which he doesn’t know the road. 2. He dies, but which is only known by God. Let rebels know that the road to devt & success is peaceful coexistence & approach not violence.

          • 4 October 2015 05:47, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

            People must not hide the truth. Pres. Salva Kiir has acted within the framework mandate of RSS constitution unlike Dr. Riak Machar who violated constitutions of the RSS to rebel & later formed 21 states as a rebel leader based on his Ngundeng decrees.

            • 4 October 2015 07:36, by Mi diit

              The world is wasting its time and will soon realize that they are dealing with a mad man called president Salvatore Kiir Miyerdit or Kiir Kuethpiny.

              He is the likes of Idi Amin Dada of Uganda and Muamer Gaddafi of Libya.

    • 4 October 2015 11:08, by Khent

      Why did Salva Kiir remove Raja County from Western Bahr el Ghazal and annex it to Northern Bahr el Ghazal? The Governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal himself is from Raja County; we now have a perverse situation in which the Governor won’t be in control of his own County. This is pure greed. It is unacceptable...

      • 4 October 2015 11:15, by Khent

        ..Western Bahr el Ghazal in general and Raja County in particular is rich in mineral wealth and this is precisely why Khartoum refuses to return Kafia Kingi - an area larger than Lebanon; by transferring them to a State that is 90% Dinka, Salva Kiir is doing what Khartoum has done to us. The people of Raja County should not be dominated by the largest Dinka section - Aweil...

        • 4 October 2015 11:21, by Khent

          ..They should remain in Western Bahr el Ghazal where the Dinka are not only a minority in the State, but are a minority in Jur River County and Wau County. This is Dinka domination and it is just a recipe for more tension, hatred, unrest and war. I also don’t understand why Salva Kiir put the Anyuak in the same State as the Murle when they specifically said that they did not want this...

    • 4 October 2015 11:21, by Darkangel

      Funny your president, not only destroying his country, but insisting on fighting Sudan.
      Stupid moron adds Abyei,kafia kingi and Panthau lool wishful thinking !

      • 4 October 2015 11:29, by Khent


        Oh yes because insisting that Sudan adhere to provisions in the CPA that clearly establish that the border between the North and South is based on the 1956 borders is tantamount to ’insisting on fighting Sudan’. Kafia Kingi was part of South Sudan from the days of the Condominium up until 1960 when it was annexed to Darfur by Ibrahim Abboud.

        • 4 October 2015 11:34, by Khent

          The Kafia Kingi enclave was part of Bahr al-Ghazal province when Sudan gained independence in 1956. In 1960 it was transferred to Darfur, which had become a province of Sudan in 1916. (The Kafia Kingi Enclave: People, Politics and History in the North-south Boundary Zone of Western Sudan – Edward Thomas)

          • 4 October 2015 11:35, by Khent

            The border between north and south Sudan is defined in the CPA as the boundary line of 1956, the year Sudan became independent. At independence Kafia Kingi was part of the south. The area was transferred to northern administration in 1960. Under the terms of the CPA, therefore, it is due to be returned to Southern Sudan, to the administration of Western Bahr el Ghazal state.

        • 4 October 2015 11:41, by Darkangel

          Why did Salva Kiir remove Raja County from Western Bahr el Ghazal and annex it to Northern Bahr el Ghazal?

          So mr kent it seems your president did what the countrys (greater Sudan) did in 1960. So when South Sudan splits in 2, will you be claiming Kiir annexed Raja again lool !

        • 4 October 2015 11:44, by Darkangel

          Like it or not Kent man, Panthau and Kafia are now Sudanese - recognised by everyone. USA trying to get Koni in Kafia - but cant because under control of sudan and need permission. The only dispute is Abyei and thats almost over also. I suggest you focus on trying keeping your internal borders stable before arguing externally !

          • 4 October 2015 11:59, by Khent


            Above all else the truth matters, and here’s the truth - Kafia Kingi belongs to South Sudan. Contrary to your little flights of fancy, Washington does not recognise Kafia Kingi as part of Sudan. The opposite is true. The CIA fact-book recognises that the Kafia Kingi enclave is an integral part of South Sudan. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/od.html

            • 4 October 2015 12:13, by Khent

              It is the Ugandans that cannot pursue Kony into Kafia Kingi. I suspect that the Americans would have no qualms with entering the enclave if they truly wanted to apprehend him; I think they’re content with using him as an excuse to maintain a presence in this part of Africa. There is absolutely nothing that Khartoum could conceivably do to bridle America’s actions in the Kafia Kingi enclave.

              • 4 October 2015 12:18, by Darkangel

                Kent you have trouble with reality and fiction. The area is controlled by Sudan - End of story. The world doesnt deal with emotion by reality. No one is going to get it for you and no one will allow u to start a war to get it back lol. The americans are not sending the 100 soldiers hunting Koni to fight the Sudanese Army and they arent going to send 50,000, war against sudan for you or 1 guy

              • 4 October 2015 12:21, by Darkangel

                So sadly for you Kent - Hufrat Alnahas (Kafia) and Higleg (panthau) are Sudanese territories. Good luck with Abyei, but i believe the world, esp americans are so tired of you S Sudanese and ur trouble they’re just going to divide it into 2. Thats if there us a S Sudan to give some to.

                Sad i know Kent - but reality is one thing and wishful thinking that you & kiir have can be erased with alcohol

                • 4 October 2015 12:26, by Khent


                  What is the point of your pathetic rant? Where have I argued that it’s the responsibility of the Americans to return any of the areas in question? These fake arguments of yours are based on straw men. Definition of a Straw man: The attempt to evade stated facts, by substituting them with statements no one ever made to begin with...

                  • 4 October 2015 12:27, by Darkangel

                    Like what your doing now? o.O

                  • 4 October 2015 12:32, by Khent

                    ..Tired lame fools do the same things - make up stuff no one said and try to debate it, and so evade what is actually being said. Try again. You’re arguing against points that you raised on your own, and so it’s you that’s not in touch with reality.

      • 4 October 2015 11:34, by Darkangel

        The states:

        Yei River
        Aweil East
        Eastern Lakes
        Western Lakes
        Northern Liech
        Southern Liech
        Eastern Nile
        Western Nile
        Western Bieh
        Eastern Bieh

        Under the new system, few of the Dinka, members of Kiir’s own ethnic group, will live in any state governed by rebel-appointed governor.

        • 4 October 2015 11:38, by Darkangel

          Dak claimed experience has shown that president Kiir has “habitual disregard for the law and agreements” and would act surprisingly to the contrary depending on the mood of the day or the kind of advice he received from his inner circles. - don’t forget the amount of alcohol he drank.

          Yup Sounds right to me !

          • 4 October 2015 11:46, by Khent


            And exactly how is this any different to Khartoum’s well established penchant for disregarding peace Agreements in whole or in part? You were suppose to return Kafia Kingi based on the CPA’s provisions, but decided that it would be in your best interest to hold onto land that doesn’t belong to you. You really are in no position to condemn anyone, even as some kind of cheerleader.

            • 4 October 2015 12:26, by Darkangel

              CPA over Kent - Histroy - S Sudan got independence - no one cares anymore - move on. The Reality now is like i said above. You have oil needing transport. Sudan has the keys, Kiir can twist, turn, drink all he wants - we got him by the balls. No Nahas, Higleg or Abyei. SPLMN & Darfur mercenaries - you dont have money to pay them anymore. Game Over Mate

              • 4 October 2015 12:36, by Khent


                I love the fact that you people have the same kind of faith in your capabilities that Nazi Germany had in the supposed invincibility and timelessness of their evil...They actually thought that the Third Reich would last for a thousand years... they were mistaken, and so are you. Salva Kiir will not last anywhere near as long as that Islamo-fascist President of yours...

                • 4 October 2015 12:44, by Khent

                  .. You seem to think that I’m a disgruntled non-Dinka railing against this ’government’ for tribal reasons, which is funny considering that you did not believe that I was a Dinka (or even African) when I operated under my last pseudonym - Rommel. You accused me of being an American or a Brit and that you were informed on my country’s many crimes. LOL!

                  • 4 October 2015 12:53, by Darkangel

                    Actually it Israeli and my suspicions still hold. I had a thought for a second it could be you, but then - you werent ranting as often as u did before. Spare me the run around. You may have facts and history - but any monkey with google can. I still have my doubt about your ethnicity - but i dont care. Btw the Nazi thing - dead give away -try to keep it down - OH yeah you guys cant !! lool

                    • 4 October 2015 13:12, by Khent


                      So I’m Israeli now? Maybe that’s why I’m always advocating for closer ties between South Sudan and Israel. I found out about South Sudan before it got its independence and decided to learn as much about it as I possibly could and so I quite cynically assumed the identity of a young man from Garang’s sub-section. Finding out about the various tribes and sections wasn’t too difficult...

                      • 4 October 2015 13:23, by Khent

                        ..There are plenty of tribal distribution maps on the net. I found books by Robert O. Collins and Douglas H. Johnson to be particularly helpful, but South Sudanese forums gave me an insight into their psyche; it is there that you get the real gems; you find out who hates who, how they insult each other and what they find galling...

                        • 4 October 2015 13:34, by Khent

                          ..For all their failings, I found their opposition to Islam incredibly endearing; unlike a lot of muppets in the West they don’t prescribe to the PC line about Islam being a religion of peace and they don’t subject people to endless screams of Aloha snackbar! LOL! This is has got be one of the deepest cultural immersion exercise ever. I went all the way...

                          • 4 October 2015 13:48, by Khent

                            .. You know the same that Robert Downey Jr assumed the identity of a black soldier in Tropic Thunder. ROFL! I always cite the works of Douglas H. Johnson, particularly ’The Root Causes of Sudan’s Civil Wars’ precisely because it provides details about the various armed groups that operated in that incredibly destructive civil war and I started attacking tribes that weren’t anti-Khartoum enough..

                            • 4 October 2015 13:56, by Khent

                              ..Wow that feels good. Full disclosure is truly wonderful. Getting that baggage off my chest is liberating... this I imagine is what a breast-reduction does for a woman. LOL! I’m typing on my Iphone and I’m getting incredibly tired now. I’ll debate you some other time, mate.

  • 4 October 2015 03:33, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    It is not a surprise that those people who want to maintain their supremacy in South Sudan are behind this mad decision by their leader. Who is he to decide the fate of ten million people. As it stands the issue of governance and state should be deliberated under constitutional frame work as dictated by compromised peace agreement concluded in Addis and Juba. Let no evil cause further pain on us.

    • 4 October 2015 05:46, by Hardlinner

      Jur, and who is IGAD to design the fate of south sudanese. a part from limited resources, i believe kiir model is more popular than riek model. because using model which was in favor British administration would not work for current population. case in point is Abyei now. all kiir have to do now is look at population size of each state and determine how many MPs they should have.

      • 4 October 2015 05:56, by Shadrack Nuer Machut

        My rebels’ supporters, let’s now come home for devt of our states both new & old ones. Let’s cease believing in Ngundeng’s constitutions. Every tribe in SS had a prophet but is for those days people.

      • 4 October 2015 12:42, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

        Mr Hardliner,

        You should know that South Sudan is neither a personal property of Silva Kiir nor Riek Machar. A momentous political decision affecting millions of people must be decided by the people whose lives are attached to. The people will decide what they want through constitutional deliberation and not an individual. He is not above the law. Soon he will answer for his deeds.

        • 4 October 2015 16:50, by Hardlinner

          jur, you should blame Riek for being impatient. had Riek not rose the issue of converting former 21 districts into states without knowing the background of those british created districts, Kiir wouldn’t have proposed his 28 states as counter to Riek model. i wouldn’t object on current 10 states plus may be additional of 7-8 more states to stabilize some volatile states.

  • 4 October 2015 05:36, by Hardlinner

    best count attack to riek n his ally ’IGAD plus’.if IGAD want riek to elect the governors for unity and upper nile states based on proportion of nuer in those states, then kiir have alternative. that is creation of more homogeneous states. if 21 districts formed in 1956 didn’t have propblems, why then is abyei wanting to come back to bahr el ghazal?. i also don’t see any disruption to agreed peace

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