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

    Candidates' Comments Fly Like New Hampshire Snowflakes

    Four days ahead of the country's first-in-the-nation Republican and Democratic party primary elections, surveys show the parties' contests tightening

    South Korea Says North Korea Moving Closer to Rocket Launch

    In phone call, US President Barack Obama and Chinese President Xi Jinping agree that Pyongyang's move would be 'provocative'

    Australian Commander: IS Changing Tactics

    Head of Australian forces in Middle East talks with VOA about training Iraqi troops, countering evolving Islamic State efforts and defeating extremism

    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.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    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 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 Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    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.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.