In a surprise move, which very likely belies the utterings made publicly about the IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development) peace agreement signed between the regime in Juba and the SPLM-IO (standing for “In Opposition”), the president of South Sudan over the weekend has signed new state boundaries into effect, largely redrawn along tribal lines. It could not be ascertained if or to what extend the parliament of South Sudan has been consulted before the announcement was made.
While no immediate comments were available from regular sources in Juba, it is suspected that the move is in part aimed to keep the various tribes, and especially those with a belligerent nature against others, within their own state lines and administrative units, to avoid once again sentiments turning into bloodshed when no compromises on resource allocation and other issues like jobs can be reached.
The information received speaks of now 28 states, plus the clearly-shown region of Abyei which South Sudan claims from Khartoum Sudan alongside other territories which are still denied a vote on where they want to belong to.
The new states are listed below with the respective state capitals shown in brackets.
1 – Imatong State (Torit).
2 – Nyamonong State (Kapota).
3 – Maridi State (Maridi).
4 – Amadi State (Mundri).
5 – Gbudwe State (Yambio).
6 – Juba State (Juba).
7 – Terekeka State (Terekeka).
8 – Yei River State (Yei).
Greater Bhar el Ghazal States region
9 – Wau State (Wau).
10 – Aweil State (Aweil).
11 – Lol State (Raja).
12 – Aweil East State (Wanjok).
13 – Twic State ( Mayen Abun).
14 – Gogrial East State (Kuajok).
15 – Tonj State (Tonj).
16 – Eastern Lake State ( Yirol).
17 – Western Lake State (Rumbek).
18 – Gok State (Pngeik).
Greater Upper Nile States region
19 – Northern Liech State (Bentiu).
20 – Southern Liech State (Leer).
21 – Ruweng State (Pariang).
22 – Eastern Nile State (Malakal).
23 – Jonglei State (Bor).
24 – Western Nile State (Kodok).
25 – Western Bieh State (Ayod).
26 – Eastern Bieh State (Akobo).
27 – Latjor State (Nasir).
28 – Boma State (Pibor).
There is intense speculation now if this is a precursor to a more federal system of government, as sections of the opposition have been demanding, or simply a ploy to divide and rule from the center from where resources for the management of these states will have to come, together with ego-stroking appointments. Prior to this apparent off-the-cuff announcement, South Sudan has only 10 states, already hard pressed to generate sustainable revenues to delivery social and other services to the people, and the proliferation to now 28 is bound to further aggravate the situation of financial and human resources.