What are the respective population sizes of the 14 new counties in Jonglei state?

Posted: September 17, 2016 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Columnists, Editorials, Featured Articles, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, PaanLuel Wël

By PaanLuel Wël, Juba, South Sudan


September 17, 2016 (SSB) — Governor Philip Agwer Panyang, the governor of Jonglei state, has issued gubernatorial decree No 19/2016 for the appointment of 14 new county commissioners in Jonglei state. Below are the names of the new commissioners, counties and their headquarters, plus the respective communities that inhabit the new counties and their population according to the 2008 census.



Name in full Name of County County headquarters Communities 2008 Census
1.        Hakim Ajith Buny Bor Municipality Bortown Nyarweng, Bor, Twic, Hol, etc. 61,716
2.        Deng Mabany Kuot Twic North County Panyagor Kongor, Adhiok, Abek 32,892
3.        Dau Akoi Jurkuch Twic Central County Wangulei Ayual, Dachuek, Awulian 21,121
4.        Daniel Deng Manyok Twic South County Adubaar Ajuong, Pakeer 31,336
5.        Deng Achiek Jok Duk Payuel County Payuel Nyarweng 13,919
6.        Michael Malual Wuor Duk Padiet County Padiet Hol 36,526
7.        Peter Latjor Chol Duk Panyang County Pajut Aborom 15,143
8.        Deng Mabior Deng Bor South County Chueikeer Abii, Nyara, Awan, Gol 40,058
9.        William Majier Alier Bor Gok County Kolnyang Adol, Gwala, Abang, Dala
10.    Mading Akol Biar Bor East County Anyidi Palek 24,882
11.    Nhial Awan Deng Anyidi-Makuach County Makuach Ater, Adumuor 29,412
12.    Deng Garang Deng Bor Central County Werkok/Kapaat Deer, Koch
13.    Simon Thon Ayuen Bor West County Baidit Angakuei, Biong 51,532
14.    Kuot Jok Lual Bor Athooch County Kactong/Yomciir Alian, Pathuyith
15.    Luis Garang Apiu Bor North County Jalle Juet, Abodit 13,506

And just to refresh your memory, below are the respective population sizes of the old counties, and payams, of Jonglei state, according to the 2008 Census.

County Payam 2008 Census Communities
Bor County Bor Municipality 61,716 Citizens of Jonglei state
Anyidi 24,882 Palek
Baidit 51,532 Angakuei, Biong, Pathuyith
Jalle 13,506 Juet, Abodit, Alian
Kolnyang 40,058 Adol, Abang, Gol, Gwala, Dala, Abii, Nyara, Awan
Makuach 29,412 Koch, Deer, Ater, Adumuor
Total Bor County 221,106 Bor Dinka
Twic East County Kongor 22,180 Kongor
Lith 10,712 Adhiok, Abek
Nyuak 21,121 Ayual, Dachuek, Awulian
Ajuong 14,760 Ajuong
Pakeer 16,576 Pakeer
Total Twic East County 85,349 Twic Dinka
Duk County Ageer 9,337 Nyarweng
Payuel 4,582 Nyarweng
Dongchak 10,864 Hol
Padiet 18,846 Hol
Pagak 6,816 Hol
Panyang 15,143 Aborom (Pajut)
Total Duk County 65,588 Hol & Nyarweng Dinka

(A): As per the presidential decree [EO36] that established the 28 states, each of the new states was to have 9 counties with a population of at least 30,000 people. By the standard of at least 30,000 people per new county, the new Jonglei state, with a combined population of 372,043 (Bor-221,106; Twic-85,349 and Duk-65,588), was entitled to 12 (372,043/30,000) brand new counties.

(B): By the standard of the 16 old payams of the three grand old counties, and using 30,000 people per new county as a baseline:

  1. The grand old Duk County would have qualified for One County: (i) Duk Padiet County (Padiet, Dongchak and Pagak, 36,526). Duk Payuel County (Payuel, Ageer and Panyang, 29,062), strictly speaking, would struggle to qualify as a new county since the combined population would be less than 30,000 unless, under special condition and arrangement, it would borrow some figures from Duk Padiet County. Thus, former Duk County would have only one county.
  1. The grand old Twic East County would have qualified for Two Counties: (i) Twic North County (Kongor, Adhiok, and Abek, 32,892) and (ii) Twic South County (Ajuong, and Pakeer, 31,336). Former Nyuak payam or the new Twic Central County (Ayual, Dachuek, and Awulian, 21,121) won’t qualify for a status of a new county since its population is barely 30,000. The question of what would have become of Nyuak payam is beyond the context of this article. Perhaps, Ayual and Dachuek communities would have joined Twic North County while Awulian community reverted back to Twic South County, thus reaffirming the old division of Twic East into Juor-lith vs Juor-roor. This is merely speculative, not suggestive nor indicative of any preferred policy recommendation.
  1. The grand old Bor County would have qualified for Three Counties: (i) Bor West County headquartered at Baidit (Angakuei, Biong, and Pathuyith, 51,532); (ii) Bor Gok County headquartered at Kolnyang (Gwala, Adol, Abang, Gol, Dala, and Abii, 40,058) and (iii) Bor Municipality in Bortown (61,716). Former payams of Jalle (13,506), Makuach (29,412) and Anyidi (24,882) would have hardly qualified for a status of new counties as their respective population sizes are below 30,000. Again, the question of what would have become of Jalle, Makuach and Anyidi is beyond the context of this article. Perhaps, under special condition and arrangement, Makuach and Anyidi would have joined up together under a new Makuach-Anyidi county (54,294) and Jalle to borrow some numbers from Baidit to reach the threshold of 30,000 people.
  1. Whereas it might be the case that most people from the former Jalle payam (Juet, Abodit and Alian) were residing in Baidit payam during the time of 2008 census as a result of the 1991 displacement, there is no mechanism in place to rectify the status quo; only a new census would clarify why the population of Palek community (24,882) is more than a combined population of Juet, Abodit and Alian communities (13,506), or that of Kongor community (22,180).
  1. Whereas the entire population of Bor Municipality (61,716), which comprised of residents from all the former counties of the Greater Jonglei, is included in the population of the grand old Bor County, there is no mechanism in place currently to cure the malady; only a new census would come to the rescue of anyone afflicted by that event. The same applies to the question of Division 8 soldiers that were stationed at Panpandiar military barrack during the 2008 census, which might have bloated the population of Kolnyang payam. The same applies to the population of Panyagor which was then, like Bortown, hosting residents from other payams of Twic East County, and might have inflated the population of Kongor payam.

(C): By the standard of the three grand old counties, and using 30,000 people per new county as a baseline:

  1. The grand old Duk County, with a total population of 65,588 people, would have qualified for two counties, because 65,588/30,000 is 2.2 counties, each with a population of about 32,000 people.
  1. The grand old Twic East County, with a total population of 85,349 people, would have been entitled to two counties, because 85,349/30,000 is 2.8 counties, each with a population of around 42,000 inhabitants.
  1. The grand old Bor County, with a total population of 221,106 people, would have been entitled to seven counties, because 221,106/30,000 is 7.4 counties, each with a population of 31,000 residents.

Thus, whereas Governor Philip Agwer has decreed 14 counties, none of which bears any resemblance to the stipulated guideline of either 9 new counties per new state and/or with each new county to have at least 30,000 people, one can optionally see that Jonglei state is entitled to have 12 new counties according to (A) above; 6 new counties according to (B) above, or 11 new counties according to (C) above.

Instead, Jonglei state have ended up with 14 counties, plus one Municipality, an average population size of about 24,000 per a new county. Whether or not these are viable political entities, economically speaking, is a different question altogether.

In conclusion, the 2008 census, combined with the stipulations of the Establishment Order No. 36, can’t justify 8 new counties for Bor, 3 for Twic East and 3 for Duk. This is because Duk Payuel, Panyang (Pajut), Nyuak, Jalle, Makuach and Anyidi do not qualify to be new counties, notwithstanding the inherent shortcomings of the 2008 census.

PaanLuel Wël, the managing editor of PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB), graduated with a double major in Economics and Philosophy from The George Washington University, Washington D.C, USA. He is the author of Who Killed Dr. John Garang, the editor of the essential speeches and writings of the late SPLM/A leader, Dr. John Garang, published as The Genius of Dr. John Garang, vol. 1-3, as well as a co-editor (with Simon Yel Yel) of President Salva Kiir’s speeches before and after independence: Salva Kiir Mayaardit: The Joshua of South Sudan.

  1. David says:

    If we really care about the well being of our state, we should call the governor put all this mess on hold and let the former commissioners continue with their normal job until more consultation is done. This is a disaster if we just let it slid by without looking into it.


  2. Atem says:

    I greed brother David. Economically, it is unmanageable. Our people from three counties support SPLA /M since the beginning of movement until 1991. Because we used to have everything. Without little support locally and big government in Bortown, it is failure thinking. Go slowly go smart Jonglei.


  3. This is a kind of politic and division we Have been advocating all these years in Bor [Jong-lei ] state. let all of us watch how it will be looking like.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s