Home | News    Tuesday 12 January 2016

South Sudanese President vows to leave work to those opposed to 28 states


January 11, 2016 (JUBA) – President Salva Kiir has vowed to leave the fate of 28 states he unilaterally created on 2 October to those who will continue to oppose them, insisting that he had not violated the peace agreement he signed with opposition parties on the basis of the constitutionally recognized 10 states in South Sudan.

President Salva Kiir speaks during the inauguration of the new SPLM premises in Juba on 15 November 2013 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

The comment he uttered during the closing session of the extraordinary convention of his ruling faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM), did not however clarify what he meant to “leave.”

“Many people have been blaming the government and myself that we have violated the agreement. But I always tell them that we have not violated the agreement. This is a demand of the people and they have been asking for it for a very long time,” president Kiir told the gathering at the convention on Saturday.

“And in any case, if we have now agreed to implement this agreement, if Taban [Deng] comes and tells me then now you revoke this 28 [states], I will stand in front of the people here and I will tell them that this is what Comrade Taban is saying that I have to revoke [that] the order of your 28 states. And then I will get down and go. I will leave the work to Taban,” he said.

The head of state was making the comments in direct reference to the opposition faction of the SPLM-IO led by former vice president, Riek Machar, who shall become the first vice president of transitional government in accordance with the peace agreement.

Taban Deng Gai, chief negotiator, who represented the SPLM-IO at the request of South African Deputy President, Cyrill Ramaphosa, only for opening and closing sessions of the convention by the faction of the SPLM in government, earlier warned that the issue of the 28 states was an obstacle to peace implementation.

“Comrades, let us be very careful with the 28 states,” Gai told the SPLM convention during his remarks at the Freedom Hall in Juba.

He said the peace agreement was signed on the basis of the 10 states and should not be tempered with for now until the right time when the matter can be collectively tackled during the transitional period.

Gai also cited conflicts which may arise between communities over boundaries and lands taken from them and given to others, particularly to neighbouring Dinka communities from which the president hails.

Representative of the former detainees, Deng Alor Kuol, also called on the government to abide by the peace agreement based on the 10 states, but further called on the parties to “reconcile” the 28 with 10 states.

It was not however clear what president Kiir meant when he vowed he would leave the work or responsibility of the states to the opposition and leave.

Observers close to the decision making of the government’s inner circles ruled out his resignation if defeated in the matter, saying it could be an indication of lack of cooperation to come between the peace factions and of serious hurdles ahead in the implementation of the peace deal as rival leaders may be backed by proponents and opponents of the 28 states.

Kiir argued that the 28 states have been a long-time demand of the people of South Sudan, despite his government’s rejection of the similar demand from the SPLM-IO during the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, in which the opposition proposed creation of 21 federal states based on the old colonial districts in the country.

The SPLM-IO at the time argued that federalism and creation of more administrative units closer to the people was a long time demand of the people.

The government at the time argued that it was not time to create more states or establish a federal system of governance, citing lack of resources to run the new more state governments. The opposition was forced by the IGAD mediation to sign the agreement on the basis of the current 10 states with the provision that the system of federalism and creation of more states would be dealt with during constitutional making process by a transitional government of national unity.

However, about 40 days after the signing of the agreement in August 2015, the government decided to unilaterally create 28 states, contrary to the provisions in the peace deal.

Opposition factions in the country including civil society organizations and regional and international bodies reacted in condemnation of the action as a violation of both the transitional constitution and the peace agreement.

President Kiir has so far gone ahead with further implementation when the national legislature endorsed the amendments to create the 28 states and the president appointed governors for the new states.

Former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, chairman of the highest overseer body in the peace deal, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), on Friday said the matter over 28 states had become a “complicating factor” and his office would therefore concentrate on formation of a transitional government of national unity at the center in Juba and leave the conflict over the states unresolved for now.

There are however fears that serious conflicts may emerge between factions in the national government over the fate of states in the country.


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  • 11 January 2016 22:30, by lino

    The war is eminent, if not in Juba, it would be between communities and New states over boundaries.
    Southerners don’t think wisely and till is too late; it is very sad to have these kinds of leadership.

    • 12 January 2016 03:40, by dinkdong

      The problem with the new states and which is the reason the war is eminent is because the new states have left Nuer without oil. Otherwise there were no much differences between the 21 states of Riek Machar and 28 states of Kiir. It is the same dang idea.

      • 12 January 2016 06:04, by Mi diit

        No, no, no, don’t even think of this man resigning. He has no vocabulary for resignation, even in Dinka language.

        What he meant is that he will tell the communities he grabbed lands for them to fight in defence of 28 because in the 28 states they stole lands from other communities.

        Kiir said he will leave South Sudan in big mess that whoever will come after him will have hard time fixing it.

        • 12 January 2016 06:13, by Mi diit


          And why did your uncle Kiir Kuethpiny take away Nuer lands with oil and annexed them to his Dinka communities’ new states?

          This is a big sin and a quest for war in order to bring back the grabbed lands.

          • 12 January 2016 08:11, by Khent

            Mi diit

            The vast majority of the oil wells of Unity State are located in Pariang. The largest and most productive oilfields in Unity State are in Dinka counties. Out of the 8 significant oilfields in Unity State, only one [1] is fully within Nuer territory — Tharjiath. Toor, El Haar oilfield, Toma south, Nar, Alhar and Manga are all in Dinka counties...

            • 12 January 2016 08:14, by Khent

              A portion of the Unity oilfield is also in Pariang County. If we wanted to consider lands occupied by the North, we would then have to add oilfields like Bamboo, Bamboo-west, "Taiyib", Toma, Garaad and finally "Heglig" as lands belonging to the Ruweng and Panaruu Dinka. The Dinka already have the most resource rich land in Unity State...

              • 12 January 2016 08:16, by Khent

                ..When South reclaims the ’Unity triangle’, Toor Aliiny (’Heglig’), Mijak-yiith (’Karassana’) and Kol Delek (’Keilak’) from the North... Pariang and Abiemnom will then be connected to each other by a piece of territory that I estimate to be around 4,000 km2 and so they won’t be separated by any Nuer Counties...

                • 12 January 2016 08:17, by Khent

                  ..When all these lands have been reclaimed from Khartoum, Pariang, Abiemnom and Abyei will be larger than the rest of what was formerly Unity State. There is absolutely no need for the Dinka to claim even an inch of Nuer land. The Dinka will have more than enough.

                  • 12 January 2016 16:56, by Mi diit

                    Khent (Rommel),

                    When will you stop lying! Who told you the areas you mentioned are all Dinka areas? Please stop naming people’s lands and claim to be belonging to you. This is big sin and you will pay for it someday.

                    This is the reason Kiir is trying to take those rich lands from Nuer to Dinka of Abiemnhom and Parieng.

                    Stop making false claims!

                    • 12 January 2016 17:30, by Khent

                      Mi diit

                      Oh shut up. Like I care what a mindless animal thinks; a mindless animal that has been caught out lying on innumerable occasions. You don’t even know where these areas are. The areas I mentioned are on the northern tip of Pariang County, you idiot. Nobody will be taking any part of Panaruu and Ruweng territory. Keep dreaming.

          • 13 January 2016 12:57, by Wani khooto

            MI DIIT
            can you some time think and act like intellectual,imagine oil is not for the community but its belong to central gov’ty, even us in eastern equatoria are benefiting from that oil, so whether on Nuer land or Dinka land it belong to us all in South Sudan.don’t you p,ple have traditional borders before new states were created.stop your low analysis of the issues.

        • 12 January 2016 06:21, by Akuma

          Dear Mi diit,

          President Kiir will not and never remain in power for life but to leave power anytime he want. But for the case of 28 states, no community land has been taken away as cited by Taban & Deng Alor who even not South Sudanese. Chollo, Nuer and other tribes who are complaining will feel ashame one day because no inch of their land has been taken.. So stop hating 28 States without reason

    • 12 January 2016 08:50, by Ayuiu Makuac Lam

      President Kiir, will not leave the work to opposer’s but opposition will immediately leave work to government of Kiir,
      The statement is also signal to war once again.

  • 11 January 2016 23:23, by Mr Point

    Kiir’s mandate as leader has expired.

    He has done things for which he has no mandate. He has broken the constitution many times.

    Who knows what his direction is , without any balancing power to curb his abuse of power?

    • 12 January 2016 00:09, by Force 1

      Those who are too dumb to govern themselves are the ones oppose to 28 states; well good luck to them in their endeavor!

      • 12 January 2016 06:17, by Mi diit

        Force 1,

        If you don’t see the mess and new war created by Kiir over these boundary-less 28 states, then you are a dumb person playing with fire.

        Take the clearly demarcated 21 states proposed by the SPLM-IO if you are truly for more states and not for grabbing rich lands from others.

  • 11 January 2016 23:59, by Dinka-Defender-General

    Guys, if you don’t like your state, you can move to any state you desire as a migrate not occupier. I would love all of you to come to my state. Just accept your state and close the argument.

    • 12 January 2016 01:57, by Malakal county Simon

      28 States was created by JCE and the illegitimate president himself for solely Dinkas interests....... It’s never been a work of Southerners...... It’s should be abolish or put it for later discussions......

  • 12 January 2016 03:53, by dinkdong

    "It was not however clear what president Kiir meant when he vowed he would leave the work or responsibility of the states to the opposition and leave."
    Maybe he wanted to quit, go to Ugandan or something. Maybe Saudi Arabia.

  • 12 January 2016 06:42, by Pure Nationalist

    This has been a demand JCE, the strongest new parliament which president Kiir respected the most, Our president had turned tribal chief since November 2013 when JCE came up with the idea of Dutku-beny which plunged the county into this failure stage

  • 12 January 2016 06:50, by Bol Bol Bol

    The message from the president is very clear. He knows, the issue of 28 State is a violation of the peace agreement but instead declared war to anyone who opposite his decision.

    Its now up to the peace partners to vow to kiir’s decision or push through peace guarantors to press kiir harder to revoke his unwelcomed unilateral decree.

    South Sudanese need peace that will last, not just a peacs

  • 12 January 2016 07:00, by Pure Nationalist

    I don’t think that a sound minded person or a group of people inspired with national vision and nationalism could create a locality without asking the dwellers and their neighbours where their boundaries are/were and what name would they be called if divided,

  • 12 January 2016 07:38, by Thokidine

    What is wrong with the politics is that it generalizes one group’s interest upon entire nation even if the nation has shown their rejection. SS govt is insisting that creation of 28 states is a popular demand from citizen yet it’s killing pple. there are reports of fighting from President’s home state coz of that division yet they are persistent.

    If it really was a demand, why is it killing pple?

    • 12 January 2016 07:47, by Thokidine

      Mr president and ur cohort, we are wise enough to be confused and who know what is a popular demand from a forceful demand.

      Referendum which was a popular demand did not have critics and kill not even a single SSudanes instead it brought joys to everybody. If u Dinkas are planning to annex other pple’s land, dont use SS names for they have shown u that they don’t like the creation...period....

      • 13 January 2016 00:36, by Mr Point

        There’s no need for confusion.

        What was the popular expression calling for 28 states? There was none.

        What is the way that Kiir’s government responds to popular requests? It doesn’t.

        When did Kiir’s government last get the approval of the people through election?

  • 12 January 2016 10:44, by Mapuor

    Nuers tactics are very clear, they want to grab Dinka land and that is impossible, it never happen and will never happen. We are ready for anything.Madol Payam of Rumbek North is currently claim by Nyagats to be theirs.Yaa Jama even names of places are clear,Bhoor Jani in Nuer means Dinka land but thugs who do not want peace on earth continue to ignite war. We are very ready to defend our sta

  • 12 January 2016 10:48, by Mapuor

    You will never deceive us this time. We are vigilant my dear.
    The current peace is illusive. We must be vigilant, lets expect Olony tactics, they want to deceive us and then inflict deadly harm on our forces. We should counter their plans by preparing the forces for any eventuality.

  • 12 January 2016 16:18, by Pure Nationalist

    The first enemy of South Sudanese was president Jaffar Nimeri who divided South Sudan into three regions and later described the 1972 agreement document he signed as neither Bible nor nor Qoran, Kiir has now become the second enemy to South Sudanese by imposing his tribal states

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