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South Sudan: New Governors Face Daunting Task

South Sudan: New Governors Face Daunting Task

South Sudan President Salva Kiir issued a decree Monday appointing governors for eight of the 10 states and chief administrators for the areas of Pibor, Ruweng and Abyei.

Of the newly appointed governors and administrators, only one — Sarah Celto Hassan of Ghar el Ghazal state — is a woman. Under the provisions of the 2018 revitalized peace agreement, 35 percent of posts in the new, unity government are to be allocated to women.

Juba-based Sudd Institute analyst Augusting Tiing Mayay says more women should have been appointed.

“There are loopholes in the way the appointments are made. One in particular is the underlying lack of consideration for women and youth being a huge constituency that should really be considered with governance or politics of the country; this is fundamental,” Mayay told South Sudan in Focus.

Governors for Upper Nile and Jonglei states, to be chosen by the SPLM-IO and South Sudan Opposition Alliance, have yet to be named. The government did not explain why those two appointments were left out of Monday’s announcement.

Governors and administrators should immediately start managing their areas and play a major role in implementing the peace deal’s objectives of restoring peace and stability, especially in areas where inter-communal fighting has been raging for more than a month, said Mayay.

“The lead priority for the new governors is restoring security at state and sub-national levels. This is essential considering that there have been ongoing clashes as a result of a political leadership vacuum in the last few months after the agreement was partially implemented,” Mayay told VOA.

Witnesses and rights groups say inter-communal fighting has killed hundreds of people in Jonglei state in recent weeks.

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The unity government was formed in February after Kiir rescinded his move to give South Sudan 32 states instead of 10.

Mayay said having eight governors appointed is “a move in the right direction.”

“It shows that we are moving away from the old system which favors only those who are inside the system and moving towards making sure that other capable citizens are deployed to do the same work that others in the system are doing right now,” she said.

The parties to the peace deal have yet to appoint state ministers, heads of commissions and county commissioners, not to mention national and state parliaments.

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