1 June 2012

South Sudan: Country to Establish More New Counties - Machar

Juba — The government of South Sudan has said creating more new counties in the ten states of the newly founded country tallies with the vision of the ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) party of taking towns to the people.

This was reiterated on Thursday by the Vice President of the Republic, Riek Machar Teny, while receiving sketch maps of the new proposed counties from Central Equatoria state in his office.

Machar who received the maps from the Deputy Governor of Central Equatoria state, Manase Lomole, said the best way to implement the policy of taking towns to the people is by creating more new counties that will make it possible to assemble and urbanize the rural populations, provide access and delivery of services to them.

Central Equatoria state is the second after Eastern Equatoria state to present their required sketchy maps with estimated populations and designated capitals for the proposed counties which are approved by the President.

The rest of the eight states have not yet responded to bring the required information.

The Office of the President has directed all the ten states governors to present the maps, estimated populations and designated capitals of their respective proposed new counties so that their establishment is issued.

Governors of the ten states for the last two years had presented lists of proposed counties in response to the growing demand to do so in the states. Large populations have complained of lack of access to the basic services due to their isolation from the present county headquarters and lower units called payam.

Currently South Sudan has 79 counties in total and more than 60 new counties are expected to be established this year.

South Sudan's fiscal year budget will end on June 30 and the new fiscal year budget will begin on July 1, 2012. If established the government will have to make sure that the new counties are fitted into the next fiscal year's budget.

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