Home | News    Wednesday 7 October 2015

EU urges S. Sudan’s Kiir to suspend unilateral decree over creation of 28 states


October 6, 2015 (JUBA) – European Union (EU) has issued a strong-worded statement condemning the Friday’s unilateral decree issued by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir which created 28 new states, saying this was a violation of the peace agreement he signed with the former vice president and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.

European flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Reuters Photo)

“The announcement by President Salva Kiir of the presidential order to replace the 10 existing states with 28 new states goes against the spirit and the letter of the Peace agreement signed by the Government of South Sudan on August 26,” partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

EU, which is composed of powerful and influential European countries, urged president Kiir to suspend his decree until when the parties to the agreement handle the matter during the constitutional making process in accordance with the peace deal.

“The agreement provides for decisions on the structure of the country to be addressed during the permanent constitution-making process under the oversight of the Transitional Government of National Unity and in consultation with the people of South Sudan. The European Union therefore urges the President and Government of South Sudan to refrain from proceeding on this fundamental matter,” it said.

The statement decried the shift in mind by the government, reminding that the peace agreement was also endorsed by the top South Sudanese leaders during the recent high-level summit of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

It also urged the parties to work out an agreement on the security arrangements which the parties have been discussing at a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The joint statement was signed by both the EU’s vice-president, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, on South Sudan. The statement in condemnation of the presidential order is the first which has publicly come out from the international community.

EU warned that there will be consequences for those who attempt to derail the peace agreement, reminding of the previous initiated actions against peace spoilers.

“The international community has consistently said that there will be consequences for those who obstruct the implementation of the Peace agreement. The EU welcomes in that respect the African Union’s decision to publish the commission of inquiry’s report and to move ahead with the establishment of the hybrid court,” it further stated.

South Sudanese government on Monday also came under heavy criticism from foreign diplomats when senior government officials gathered representatives of the foreign nations for a briefing at parliamentary building in Juba which aimed to explain the genesis of the unilateral presidential decree over 28 new states.

Officials close to the meeting told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the diplomats questioned the timing and rationale behind the government’s decision to unilaterally decree the new states, urging Juba to respect the peace agreement and suspend the creation of the states to be handled during the transitional period by the would-be formed government of national unity.

The reaction by the ambassadors accredited to South Sudan is seen as a reflection of what would be response from their home nations before a position can be taken by the IGAD Plus mediation body and the United Nations.

However, the source said government officials at the briefing defended the decision of the president in decreeing the new states, saying it would help accommodate officials during the transitional period.

Minister of information and broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, told the diplomats that the president had the right to do “whatever” he wanted as a representative of the people in the sovereign country, South Sudan.

He said the creation of the states was not a violation of the peace agreement as said by the opposition faction led by former vice president, Machar, adding that the opposition group should have instead appreciated it so that the expanded states could accommodate them more.

He revealed that according to the new states the opposition leader will nominate six governors for the new six states which were curbed from the two oil-rich states of Unity and Upper Nile.

“They (opposition) should have instead appreciated the decision because this will help them. It will solve the problem of accommodation which they have,” Lueth told the diplomats.

Lueth also explained that the power sharing agreed in the peace deal will also apply in the new states in which the opposition will get 15% of state ministerial positions from the other 18 states in greater Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria and 40% from the 10 states created from greater Upper Nile.

He did not however explain how members of the new state legislative assemblies will be shared between the parties as the peace agreement maintained the current elected members of the state parliaments. He did not also talk about how the national legislature will be affected in the new representation.

The new proposed states isolated the Nuer community, the second largest in South Sudan, from the rest of the tribes, giving them 5 states enclaves without mixing them with any of the other tribe in the country. The Dinka community, the largest in the country, however was mixed with other minority tribes in greater Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal.

Earlier, Lueth on Friday also said the order of the president which created the 28 states did not need to go to the national parliament for approval, arguing that it was an executive order and should be implemented without any questions by the national legislature.

However, president Salva Kiir’s legal advisor, Lawrence Korbandy, who also attended the Monday’s briefing of the diplomats, contradicted Lueth’s interpretations, saying the order must go to the parliament for endorsement.

“We have 30 working days during which the order will be presented to the parliament. If this is not done I will be the first to speak against this order,” he said.

Korbandy however defended the order, saying it was in the interest of the people and that local resources will be mobilized to cater for the 28 states.

The opposition faction earlier warned that the new 28 states will alter provisions of the peace agreement which was based on the current 10 states and open up the deal for further negotiations, calling on the international community to step in and stop the government from violating the agreement.

The peace agreement, signed in August by the parties, deferred the establishment of federal system of governance and creation of more states to the constitutional making process during the transitional period of 30 months.

EU warned that only a genuine and concerted effort by the leaders of South Sudan will bring an end to the suffering of the people of the world’s youngest nation, renew their hope for a peaceful future and avert an “even greater humanitarian tragedy.”


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The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 6 October 2015 20:33, by Mi diit

    South Sudanese people and the world are dealing with a mad man (Salva Kiir) who is surrounded by sycophant lawyers, politicians and tribal Dinka elders.

    The likes of Idi Amin Dada of Uganda and Muamer Gadaffi of Libya.

    South Sudan shall be free when Kiir is gone...

    • 7 October 2015 02:05, by Paul

      No Mi diit. The EU is asking the South Sudanese to abandon their acceptance to the creation of 28 states in South Sudan. Now imagine that! ain’t it ridiculous? How about this, Upon hearing of the despicable situation of the Syrian people,the government of South Sudan demands EU to allow all Syrian and Iraqis refugees into Europe without reservations.

    • 7 October 2015 07:23, by okucu pa lotinokwan

      EU should have support the creation of 28 states,it looks like will creat many jobs and give fast development to some un reach areas in S Sudan.
      For those who are looking for Job will be a great opportunities to get Job and developed their areas than comfile in the one main town that is Juba

      • 7 October 2015 08:04, by Mi diit

        Okuca pa,

        So poor Kiir did not know that more states would create jobs when he refused establishment of 21 federal states as proposed by Riek Machar?

        You people are lunatics with very poor reasoning!!!!!!

        Please follow the mechanisms under the peace agreement. In that way you will have more states studied well and will not cause border crisis between communities.

        Kiir just woke up!

    • 7 October 2015 09:39, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      Riek Machar, is worried on federalism and he said that it is popular demand since 1947?
      Federal system to be in country is accepted.

    • 7 October 2015 15:12, by Hardlinner

      Mi diit which south sudanese are talking about?. please give a break, just say Nuer people not agree with 28 states proposed by Kiir. in case you don’t know, most non Nuer people do not want to share the same state with nuer. even some nuer do not want to live with rebel minded nuer or Riek supporters. it is good that kiir gave nuer their own states such that they stay away from disturbing others.

  • 6 October 2015 20:49, by Bentiu Sudan

    Salva Kiir’s stupidity and visionless is now has been known worldwide. In the passed few months, the world leaders have became aware for the first time ever, that Kiir is visionless, tribalist, goofy, political war criminals, and the most world foolish president.

  • 6 October 2015 21:40, by dinkdong

    Now, how does the creation of 28 states concern the international communities?

    • 6 October 2015 23:24, by Mr Point

      Do try to keep up!

      It concerns the international community that a President who has gone beyond his term in office has broken the peace agreeement and also broken the Constitution.

      Kiir is not allowed to change the name and number of states - see Article 162 of the constitution.

      If this illegal act goes ahead what is to stop Kiir becoming a dictator?

      • 7 October 2015 00:17, by dinkdong

        You are right. "Kiir is not allowed to change the names and number of states" ... and so is Riek!

        • 7 October 2015 00:27, by Mr Point

          Kiir can not change the number and the names of the states.

          Riek can not change the number and names of the states either. He proposed it (which is what he did) but Article 162 of the Constitution states the requirement for changing the number of states.

          Kiir is unconstitutional.

        • 7 October 2015 15:27, by Hardlinner

          Dingdong, 21 states proposed by riek only reflect british interest. who among us is british subject?. a part from lack of fund, kiir 28 states is more realistic than riek 21 states. bor , ngok, shilluk and maban people become victim of nuer rebellion due to being under the same state. EU have no right to override people choices. they can’t impose nuer mentality on majority.

      • 7 October 2015 15:17, by Hardlinner

        stop crying nuer stooges, other tribes do not approve of you staying in one state with them. why can’t get it in your thick heads.

  • 6 October 2015 21:51, by Developer

    Salva Kiir doesn’t know how to create policy. He always depends on how to copy and paste ready made. That’s how the country is in total mess.

    • 6 October 2015 22:30, by Developer

      President Salva Kiir has a rotten administration system. How can he considered his own tribe jieng elders powerful in decission making than members of parliament. This total wiared, which mean the rest of others tribes are dumps. It’s totally insanity.

  • 6 October 2015 22:35, by Developer

    We are waiting the United State should come up with the same condemnation of unilitirate Salva kiir acts.

    • 6 October 2015 23:33, by Mr Point

      Statement issued in Washington today:-

      "The Troika (Norway, the United Kingdom and the United States) express serious concern about President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s October 2 announcement that he plans to replace South Sudan’s 10 states with 28 new states.

      This announcement directly contradicts the Government of South Sudan’s commitment to implement the peace agreement it signed on August 26."

      • 7 October 2015 06:28, by deng

        Mr. Point,

        So South Sudan become part of Europe? Who the hell are those countries to stick their nose in South Sudan affair? I wonder why our people are suffering it’s because of indirect colonizations. We never stick our nose in Europe or United States affairs why are these countries want destroy South Sudan. Shame-shame to these countries.

        • 7 October 2015 20:17, by dinkdong

          Funny question Mr. Deng! Yes, underdeveloped countries are part of developed countries. They fund them so they have the right to stick their noses into their affairs.

  • 7 October 2015 00:42, by Augustino

    Your uncle in your fakan international community will go to fake Riek now other Nuer and South Sudanese States haven now taken over their right. No mored debate about it. Come to Juba now and you will see what you wanted.

  • 7 October 2015 07:56, by Eastern

    So this is how the stupid folks want to continue leading the country. How can Makuei tell international diplomats and I quote, ’the president had the right to do whatever he wants with the country, since South Sudan is a sovereign country..........’ Is the country his property?

    • 7 October 2015 08:08, by Mi diit


      With those poor arguments I suspect that Michael Makuei Lueth has hidden agenda to make Salva Kiir look stupid in the eyes of the international community and further spoil his leadership.

      There is something fishy going on in Juba around Kiir.

  • 7 October 2015 08:30, by Moses Kuocgoor

    Abusive language won’t solve our problems. We need to know that South Sudan was not a handout to the people. It is a cause of flash, blood and born in which any kind of animal fed on. Lets not take our problems lightly. Selling out our nation for interests is not a solution. We have to think rational and not irrational. Fighting for Dr. Riek is a failure to the entire country. His records dictate!

    • 7 October 2015 18:01, by Mi diit

      Moses Kuacgor,

      Stop hypocrisy. You and your uncle Kiir sold South Sudan to Uganda already. Bor has been colonized by Uganda for two years now. You will see that many of your girls will carry children born by Ugandan soldiers plus ....

  • 7 October 2015 21:20, by Moses Kuocgoor

    Mr. Midiit, Lack of idiosyncratic is the problem. How can you and I find a common ground if you gradually use barrage attacks. It seems you are not looking at the problems we have in a board context. You always defend failure while we are for sure the problems solvers. Failing to address the central problems will not help you either me. We need mutual understandings to bring peace to our nation.

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