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Boundaries Commission seeks grass-root views on number of States

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: May 19, 2019

Map of the current 32 States in South Sudan with their capitals.

The Independent Boundaries Commission, IBC, has sought the views of local people in the two states of Terekeka and Amadi.

IBC embarked on a countrywide consultation drive to gather opinions of people at the grassroots on the number of States they deem manageable and viable.

The Boundaries Commission was established by the Revatilized Peace Agreement to consider the number of States, their boundaries, and the composition and restructuring of the Council fo States.

In February, the IBC notified the general public to send letters on the number of “states South Sudan should have.”

The views were received via email, and through hand-delivered messages at IGAD Liaison Office in Juba.

It then embarked on grass-root meetings to speak directly to the people.

IBC team last week met with local chiefs, civil society and ordinary people in Central Upper Nile state.

They also organized a consultative conference on Friday for six neighboring states in Terekeka town, but only delegates from Amadi and Terekeka were present.

Eastern Lakes, Buma, Jonglei and Jubek reportedly failed to turn up for the conference. It is not clear why representatives from the 4 states failed to show up.

“We are supposed to come all the five states, but only Amadi and Terkeka attended on the 17TH May. The conference was on the status of the states regarding the existing 32 States in South Sudan,” said Amadi State Deputy Governor, Manase Dobuyi.

According to the deputy governor, the conference went on despite the absence of the rest.

“Some people were talking about whether we need 32 states, 10 states or 21 states. So this is what we were called for by the IBC to consult,” Dobuyi added.

Historians say South Sudan’s boundaries- administrative or tribal -were finalized in 1936, reviewed in 1946 and adopted in 1956 at Sudan’s independence.

The boundaries were retained under the old three provinces and 21 districts in 1976 after the Addis Ababa Agreement.

In 2005, the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the SPLM and the Sudanese government also upheld the 1956 boundaries, which were also enshrined in the Interim/Transitional Constitution of South Sudan.

However, in 2015, President Salva Kiir decried the creation of 32 States -altering the existence of 10 States – a move opposed by the opposition groups during the negotiations of the peace agreement.

The Independent Boundaries Commission is headed by a South African national, and consists of four other members from the African Union High Level Ad Hoc Committee on South Sudan, including representatives of the various parties.

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