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The East African : Oct 10th 2015
The EastAfrican NEWS OCTOBER 10-16,2015 SOUTH SUDAN INTRIGUES 9 South Sudanese soldiers man an oil refinery in Melut, Upper Nile Sta of new states in oil-rich areas has caused tension. Picture: File Peace deal in jeopardy over Kiir’s new states He has unilate≥ally c≥eated 18 new states, placing oil-≥ich a≥eas in the hands of the Dinka community By FRED OLUOCH Special Correspondent S outh Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has basically deprived rebel leader Riek Machar of all the oil resources he was to preside over in the transitional government by unilaterally creating 18 new states. The increase of the states from 10 to 28 through a presidential decree has placed areas with the highest concentration of oil resources in Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile in the hands of President Kiir’s Dinka community. This has created tension between the Nuer, Shiluk and Dinka in Unity and Upper Nile States, with the first two communities accusing President Kiir of carving out the oil-rich areas for his community. Dr Machar’s side said it is only parliament that can change the names of states. The former detainees, the delegation of European Union to South Sudan, the Troika — consisting of the US, UK and Norway, who contribute the largest funds for the peace process — have all rejected President Kiir’s move on the grounds that it is likely to undermine the implementation of the power-sharing deal. But South Sudan deputy ambassador to Kenya James Morgan said the decision was made due to pressure from the people, though he conceded to The EastAfrican that it was a “shrewd” politi- cal move that is likely to leave Dr Machar vulnerable. “In the 20 months of war, Dr Machar has been using the fact that he is going to control oil resources to gain support and sign contracts with foreign companies. The objections are about Dr Machar no longer having access to oil resources,” he said. Mr Morgan said that since the referendum in 2011, President Kiir has been under pressure from the people to create new states because the 10 states were created by Khartoum during the 21 years of civil war, up from three in 1983 — Greater Up- TENSION per Nile, Equatoria and Bahrel-Ghazal. Adel Sandrai, the rebel movement’s representative in Kenya, said the move is aimed at grabbing oil resources and obstructing the implementation of the agreement. The oil fields in Upper Nile State, which make up 75 per cent of the working oil fields in South Sudan, are now in the Dinka-dominated regions of Renk, Akoka, Malet, Baliet and Malakal under the new name of East Nile State. In Unity State, the oil fields are found in Apadang, where the Duina minority reside, and it has been named Rueng. This is where Dr Machar comes from. The move could be termed as an attempt to introduce federalism, which according to the 2011 South Sudan Transitional Constitution was to be discussed at the allinclusive comprehensive constitutional review. John Luk Jok, the spokes- person for the former political detainees, said the presidential order is in violation of the Constitution. Mr Jok, a former justice President Kiir and Dr Machar. Picture: File The move has created tension between the Nuer, Shiluk and Dinka in Unity and Upper Nile States, with the two communities accusing President Kiir of carving out the oil-rich areas for his community. Dr Machar’s side said it is only parliament that can change the names of states. minister who was largely responsible for drafting the transitional Constitution, said the best option would have been to amend it before making the changes. He was responding to pres- idential legal advisor Lawrence Korbandy’s statement that the decree will only take effect after 30 working days and after the government tables an amendment in parliament to change article 161, which gave the house the exclusive rights to change the nature of states.
Oct 3rd 2015
Oct 17th 2015