3 Capital Cities: Is Balkanization the Right Cost to Pay for Peace in South Sudan?

Posted: June 27, 2018 by mayendengdit in Junub Sudan, Mayen Ayarbior

By David Mayen Dengdit, Denver-Colorado, USA


Tuesday, June 26, 2018 (PW) — Reports have come out of Khartoum that President Kiir and Dr. Riek have agreed to have three capitals during a 36 month (three years) transitional period. The so-called “capitals” will be the same ones created by Khartoum in 1983 as part of a divide-and-rule policy towards South Sudan. These are the old regional capitals of Juba, Wau, and Malakal. They will serve as the seats of proposed three Vice Presidents.

While no one in his or her right mind might have anticipated anything closer to three regional capitals being proposed, Khartoum strategists were convinced that the only way Southerners can be ‘tamed’ would be through reversing their political independence. In other words: making South Sudan into three regions of Sudan to be governed by governors who will be called Vice Presidents – just to serve some egos.

And for that full reversal of independence to be complete, it must also be concomitant with reversing the country’s economic independence. This will be through taking away control of the country’s oil production from Southerners. Khartoum will not only take over physical control of oil fields, but it will also ensure high production levels and then disburse funds to the three regions of South Sudan.

While we South Sudanese may be desperate for peace, we seem to be too ready to give our traditional oppressor the chance to reverse the independence we won with the blood of millions of martyrs. We have quickly forgotten that Khartoum has always contended that “South Sudanese will not be able to rule themselves.” And even though we so far have proved them right, it shouldn’t be to the extent of abolishing what makes any sovereign state worth the name “sovereign state”: that is having a unitary seat of government and control over strategic resources.

Whatever details could be there in the agreement may not be as important as these two great concessions which would virtually make South Sudan a semi-state, rather than a fully independent and sovereign country.

If President Kiir can accept to go back to the three “Greater Regions” as a formula for governing the country, what prevents him from accepting to go back to the ten states plus a single capital city? Why should the country have three seats of government instead of one where protection  can be shared with a Regional Protection Force? Why, after all these years should we be governed from Khartoum again?

South Sudanese are surely tired of this senseless war and will celebrate any peace anyway – even one which will take the country back to where it came from? One thing seems to be a pattern in Africa’s search for peace. If a country or region cannot govern itself, it will look with nostalgia towards its past colonial masters for solutions. So called Francophone and Anglophone African states have been doing so, what of an ‘Arabophone’ state like South Sudan?

To the free citizens, the shame of losing our full independence may be tolerable so long as it comes with genuine and sustainable peace. This is especially so when all other reasonable solutions that may maintain the country’s sovereignty have been rejected by the two belligerents.  One day the people will account their leaders for such unforgivable betrayal of hope.

David Mayen Dengdit is a former Vice Presidential Press Secretary and founder of Free Citizens Red Flag League (FCRFL) – a peace advocacy platform. He can be reached at mayen.ayarbior@gmail.com.

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël Media (PW) website do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.


  1. William Akol says:

    This is the last nail in the coffin of independence. Salva and Riek want to sell the country back to Khartoum. We are now waiting for a military coup in Juba by generals who fought in he liberation war. They should not accept Kiir to come back to Juba again. That is it.


  2. Ann says:

    This information is so true, lets sit and watch again


  3. SPLA OYEEE says:

    By God, nothing good can come from North Sudan – Khartoum.


    • Juok Mangar says:

      We had sell ourselves already, since we are NOT able to except ourselves as a south Sudanese, How could you hate your rival and make peace with your friend?? This is the results of tribalism,hate ring and people thinking they were born to rule.


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