S. Sudan Opposition Groups Say Most Sudanese Object to 28 States
An alliance of 18 opposition parties in South Sudan claims a majority of the people object to the president’s directive to create a 28 state system within the country.
President Salva Kiir criticised the existing system of 10 states in October, claiming it kept power centralised within Juba. He claimed expanding the system into 28 state setup would help the government meet the needs of people in more rural parts of the country.
Continued opposition, criticism
Despite the president’s claims, opposition groups were quick to object – insisting the move would be in violation of the nation’s peace agreement and an attempt to tighten his grip on power over the country.
However, the president’s directive has moved quickly through parliament and now little stands in the way of him creating new states as he sees fit. However, the opposition alliance says some of those who initially supported the directive have changed their minds.
“Some of the people who initially supported the creation of 28 states are now regretting and they are the ones now championing the reverse of the decision because they have now discovered the reason,” Martin Aligo, the secretary general of the alliance told Sudan Tribune.
Risk of all-out war in the country
Numerous opposition groups have voiced concerns that the creation of 28 states in South Sudan could pave the way for all-out war in the country. Riek Machar – leader of the armed opposition group that is embroiled in a violent conflict against the president’s government – insists the move was in direct violation of a peace deal signed in August between him and President Kiir.
Both sides have been accused of prolonging the conflict in South Sudan and some opposition groups claim the 28 states reform could take violence to new levels. Numerous communities have already rejected the boundaries drawn on South Sudan’s revised map as tension continues to rise in the war-torn country.
“A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag (5925619011)” by USAID Africa Bureau – A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.”A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag (5925619011)” by USAID Africa Bureau – A young girl hangs the South Sudan flag. Licensed under Public Domain via Wikimedia Commons.