Juba mulls referendum on creation of states
Sunday May 20 2018
The South Sudan government is considering holding a referendum on the controversial states created in 2015 by a presidential decree.
Juba said the move would resolve the strong dispute among the various armed factions which still considered the additional states null and void.
“The question of the number of states is for the people of South Sudan to decide. Government expresses a strong popular demand for the creation of even more states.
“Therefore, the views of the people of South Sudan should be sought on the matter,” the government said in its position paper presented to the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (Igad).
It also wants the regional bloc to seek the views of the people of South Sudan on the question of the states.
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“Government invites Igad to consult the people of South Sudan to ascertain their views on the question of states,” the statement reads.
South Sudan originally had 10 states, but President Salva Kiir created 22 more in 2015, raising the total to 32.
Both the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and SPLM/A-IO led by Dr Riek Machar, described the move as illegal and called on the regional body to nullify them at the upcoming talks.
The factions insist that the states should be reduced to the former 10 for effective development.
The opposition claims that there were inadequate resources to cater for the additional states.