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Prof. Lo Liyong urges Kiir to return the country to 10 states

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: January 31, 2020

Professor Taban Lo Liyong during an Interview with Eye Radio/Jan 31 2020 Photo: Eye Radio/Okot Emmanuel

A renowned professor at the University of Juba has called on President Salva Kiir to reverse the decision for creating the 32 states, arguing that it is illegal and uncalled for.

Professor Taban Lo Liyong claims that the creation of the 32 states was purported by politicians to control resources, grab land and deprive other communities of their rights to own resources.

In August 2015, the parties signed the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan which acknowledged 10 States.

But in October 2015, President Salva Kiir issued a decree creating 28 States, saying it was a popular demand by the people.

In 2017, President Kiir issued another presidential decree that increased the number of states from 28 to 32.

He also said it was meant to devolve power rather than centralizing the system of governance in Juba.

Kiir argued that more states would promote self-governance, self-reliance, and self-development across the country.

Speaking to Eye Radio on Friday, Professor Lo Liyong said the creation of the 32 states is unconstitutional.

“Annulling the original ten states and replacing them with 32 was illegal. Constitution doesn’t work like that,” said Professor Lo Liyong.

“There are people who created this to corner the resources of the country in order to help them and look up to their political and economic affairs, in order to get resources and give them to that particular community.”

“Some people have been pushing President Kiir forward and forward, and he had been covering one illegality by another illegality.  It looks like something cooked from outside and smuggled into the government.”

Two weeks ago, a mediation team led by South African Deputy President David Mabuza proposed the matter be decided by an arbitration body.

This came after-parties to the revitalized peace agreement failed to reach an agreement on the number of states and boundaries

Professor Lo Liyong stated that David Mabuza’s proposal on arbitration is uninformed.

“The Vice President of South Africa has no reason suggesting something new outside this and saying let me suggest this as a solution and we don’t have something which has no legality,” the renowned professor said.

“This arbitration group doesn’t exist. If they argued things out, maybe they would have said in that case. Then let us have a referendum that the vice president is running away from making a decision.”

“What I wrote now carry weight when we have been running all over the world looking for experts they come and go with full pockets and we are here suffering for five months without salary.”

This week, Professor Lo Liyong wrote an open letter to President Donald Trump’s Special Delegation to South Sudan, Hon. Tibor P. Nagy.

Professor Lo Liyong called on Trump’s administration to exert more pressure on Kiir’s government to revert to 10 states inherited from Khartoum.

Determining the number of states and their boundaries is among the tasks that are meant to be completed within the pre-transitional period.

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