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

Lesotho Faces New Round of Violence, Political Crisis

Brutal killing of military officer has sent former leaders back into S. Africa where they're watching anxiously as regional officials head in to try to restore peace More

Video US Diplomat Expects Adoption of Bosnian Massacre Anniversary Resolution

Samantha Power says there's broad consensus about killings in Bosnia's war, but Russia calls resolution 'divisive,' backs UN countermeasure More

UN Report Exposes Widespread Boko Haram Atrocities

Damning report graphically details pattern of vicious, widespread atrocities committed by Islamist militants More

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.

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountaini
X
July 02, 2015 4:10 AM
Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Olympics Construction Scars Sacred Korean Mountain

Environmentalists in South Korea are protesting a Winter Olympics construction project to build a ski slope through a 500-year-old protected forest. Brian Padden reports that although there is strong national support for hosting the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics, there are growing public concerns over the costs and possible ecological damage at the revered mountain.
Video

Video Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Flee Violence, Then Return

Many Malawians fled South Africa early this year after xenophobic attacks on African immigrants. But many quickly found life was no better at home and have returned to South Africa – often illegally and without jobs, and facing the tough task of having to start over. Lameck Masina and Anita Powell file from Johannesburg.
Video

Video Family of American Marine Calls for Release From Iranian Prison

As the crowd of journalists covering the Iran talks swells, so too do the opportunities for media coverage.  Hoping to catch the attention of high-level diplomats, the family of American-Iranian marine Amir Hekmati is in Vienna, pleading for his release from an Iranian prison after nearly 4 years.  VOA’s Heather Murdock reports from Vienna.
Video

Video UK Holds Terror Drill as MPs Mull Tunisia Response

After pledging a tough response to last Friday’s terror attack in Tunisia, which came just days before the 10th anniversary of the bomb attacks on London’s transport network, British security services are shifting their focus to overseas counter-terror operations. VOA's Henry Ridgwell has more.
Video

Video Obama on Cuba: This is What Change Looks Like

President Barack Obama says the United States will soon reopen its embassy in Cuba for the first time since 1961, ending a half-century of isolation. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Hate Groups Spread Influence Via Internet

Hate groups of various kinds are using the Internet for propaganda and recruitment, and a Jewish human rights organization that monitors these groups, the Simon Wiesenthal Center, says their influence is growing. The messages are different, but the calls to hatred or violence are similar. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports.
Video

Video US Silica Sand Mining Surge Worries Illinois Residents, Businesses

Increased domestic U.S. oil and gas production, thanks to advances known as “fracking,” has created a boom for other industries supporting that extraction. Demand for silica sand, used in fracking, could triple over the next five years. In the Midwest state of Illinois, people living near the mines are worried about how increased silica sand mining will affect their businesses and their health. VOA’s Kane Farabaugh has more in this first of a series of reports.
Video

Video Blind Somali Journalist Defies Odds in Mogadishu

Despite improving security in the last few years, Somalia remains one of the most dangerous countries to be a journalist – even more so for someone who cannot see. Abdulaziz Billow has the story of journalist Abdifatah Hassan Kalgacal, who has been reporting from the Somali capital for the last decade despite being blind.
Video

Video Texas Defies Same-Sex Marriage Ruling

Texas state officials have criticized the US Supreme Court decision giving same-sex couples the right to marry nationwide. The attorney general of Texas says last week's decision did not overrule constitutional "rights of religious liberty," and therefore officials performing wedding services can refuse to perform them for same-sex couples if it is against their religious beliefs. Zlatica Hoke reports on the controversy.
Video

Video Rabbi Hits Road to Heal Jewish-Muslim Relations in France

France is on high alert after last week's terrorist attack near the city Lyon, just six months after deadly Paris shootings. The attack have added new tensions to relations between French Jews and Muslims. France’s Jewish and Muslim communities also share a common heritage, though, and as far as one French rabbi is concerned, they are destined to be friends. From the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, Lisa Bryant reports about Rabbi Michel Serfaty and his friendship bus.
Video

Video Saudi Leaks Expose ‘Checkbook Diplomacy’ In Battle With Iran

Saudi Arabia’s willingness to wield its oil money on the global diplomatic stage appears to have been laid bare, after the website WikiLeaks published tens of thousands of leaked cables from Riyadh’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. VOA's Henry Ridgwell reports.
Video

Video In Kenya, Police Said to Shoot First, Ask Questions Later

An organization that documents torture and extrajudicial killings says Kenyan police were responsible for 1,252 shooting deaths in five cities, including Nairobi, between 2009 and 2014, representing 67 percent of all gun deaths in the areas reviewed. Gabe Joselow has more from Nairobi.

VOA Blogs