News / Africa

    South Sudanese Propose Moving Capital

    Residents of Western Bahr el Ghazal want to move the national capital from Juba to Wau.
    Residents of Western Bahr el Ghazal want to move the national capital from Juba to Wau.

    Hundreds of residents of Western Bahr el Ghazal rallied in the state capital this week for a somewhat unusual cause: they want the national capital of South Sudan to be relocated from Juba to their state capital, Wau.

    “Wau is an old town and we are ready to receive any state institutions," said Mary Emilio Bafuka, the head of a local NGO called Women of South Sudan. 

    State Governor Zachariah Hassan Rizik said earlier this month, when President Salva Kiir visited Western Bahr el Ghazal, that, unlike Juba, Wau has enough land to house public institutions and the potential to produce electricity on a large scale to power the government and residents. It has also remained peaceful during the conflict in the country. 

    State Information Minister, Derick Uya Alfred, said relocating the national capital to Wau will help to create jobs in the region and boost the local economy.

    Room for all

    He also reiterated what Rizik said -- that there is plenty of room in Western Bahr el Ghazal for everyone who would come to the region if the capital were moved there. 

    “We have enough land and there are no people living on it," Uya said. "If you go to Raja County and other directions, there is a lot of land. This land might belong to people but it could be rented, and then they will be better off.”

    Not the first time

    Antonate Benjamin Bubu said South Sudan should take a leaf out of other  countries' books and relocate the capital. Nigeria moved its capital from Lagos to Abuja in 1991 and Tanzania moved its administrative capital from Dar es Salaam to Dodoma in 1974.

    “I have seen, in many countries, that the capital can start out in one place and then be relocated to another so that the new area can develop," Bubu said.

    "The idea is not new," he added.

    Even the United States, in its early days, had eight different capitals before a permanent one was established in Washington, D.C. in 1800, 14 years after independence. 

    Paul Sabin Wadito, 30, shrugged off historical precedent and said he doesn't want to move the capital. He fears that doing so will harm Western Bahr el Ghazal's less-well-off residents because powerful people might try to take their land from them.

    A member of the government, Information Minister Michael Makuei, said a rally of several hundred people in Wau was not enough to move the capital, in any case.

    "Whether this capital will be transferred or not is not the question of one state demanding it. It needs more than that," Makuei said. He added, however, that the government respects the right of the people of Western Bahr el Ghazal to freely express themselves.

    It's not the first time South Sudanese have considered moving the national capital.

    In 2011, the cabinet approved a $10-billion plan to relocate the capital to Ramciel in Lakes state. Officials said they needed to move because they could not find enough land for government buildings in Juba.

    That plan was never implemented, largely because funding was not available.

     

     

    You May Like

    Turkey, US Splits Deepen Over Support for Kurdish Militants

    Ankara summons American ambassador to protest remarks by State Department spokesman who said Washington does not consider Syria's Kurdish Democracy Union Party (PYD) a terrorist organization

    Obama Seeking $19 Billion for National Cybersecurity

    Move, touted as attempt to build broad, cohesive federal response to cyberthreats, calls for increase in cybersecurity spending across all government agencies

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire, who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the wars in Iraq, Syria and Yemen

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: McOyit from: Cape Town
    July 28, 2014 1:27 PM
    1st of all i don't see any reason for taking the Capital to Wau, even though we got a good reason I think this is not the right time to replace the capital, i see taking capital to Wau needs some budget. I really don't know if we got plenty cash for doing so. When We say we need schools, health centers, security or development; they no cash. But when it comes to war and protecting the government or taking the capital to Wau! Cash will available!
    Please and please DON'T WASTE MONEY ON THIS! WE NEED THAT CASH FOR OTHER MORE IMPORTANT ISSUES

    by: Dau from: Juda
    July 27, 2014 9:25 AM
    Im thinkin on what to be done to our nation not to coment on relocation of the capitle juba. We better sell this nation, work & stay as labour in our forengh countries. Simple

    by: pidor from: Seattle, Washington.
    July 25, 2014 6:15 PM
    Thanks for the president of South Sudan for your time to decided to move the national capital of southern Sudan to your state. It is not a nationalcapital of South Sudan, this is a your greater Bahr el ghazal state,because we are going to be adapted for federal system. Thank you for your time to working on your own city capital.

    by: Dut Manyok Chuereng from: Juba
    July 25, 2014 5:01 AM
    The national capital should not be moved from Central Equatoria, Juba to Western Barh El Ghazal, Wau

    by: Lisa from: Tx
    July 24, 2014 7:51 PM
    This is unthinkable move. South Sudan government might be crazy or they are playing studipity. Instead of thinking how the country can achieve long term peace. Do the south Sudan government think that the own going war is just a game. You can not compare other country to south Sudan. This means that kiir government have a big problem in their thinking , facts south Sudan promises to create the interim government. which i believe its going to be put on hold. If we remember clearly kiirs was to end his term to give way for elections but his government comes up with something like creation of new capital. believe me this time south government will counter attack opposition areas by force and blaming that its opposition, even if kiirs armies pretence to disown kiir to create anything to accuse Dr riek. Please south sudanese pray and never stop prayering. the devil is trying any thing for us to stop hoping and having faith. Truth hurt once i said kiir want south Sudan, to turn New Sudan because that was the mission of splm/a. Now that splm/a is not fighting the northern government, to start a new chapter in the new country we have to forget the pass and move on. Wau was capital under the Sudan government. Say am wrong. Kiir and his ministers don't want to stop the war but only their interested in promoting war. All the ministers families are out of the country they don't care. Am asking the poor south sudanese never to believe in kiir government because of changing plan instead of focusing to bring peace. Please God do something Dr riek needs your help. Am not accusing kiir, but he refuse to bring peace from his heart to the innocent. His army is killing the innocent, they are mistreating people because they are not paid. Some still depending on their families and some don't have their own. That is why they are taking people s stuff by force, i pray one day Jesus will change their heart to believe in peace and they will join any peace movement in south Sudan instead of killing and doing wrong things to people. Lord have mercy.

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.