President announces increase from 10 to 28 States in South Sudan

On October 2, 2015, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir announced that he would decree the division of South Sudan’s constitutionally established ten states into 28 states. The move was supported by Minister of Information and Broadcasting Michael Makuei, who says the change does not require parliamentary approval.

The president appeared on South Sudan Television (SSTV) on Friday evening declaring that he had decided to divide the 10 states into 28 new states. For example, Central Equatoria would be divided into three states: Juba State, Terekeka State and Yei River State.

Article 161 of South Sudan’s Transitional Constitution states that “the territory of South Sudan is composed of ten states.” While the constitution gives the Council of States the power to alter state boundaries and change state names or capitals, it does not specify the process for the creation of new states or the elimination of constitutionally established states.

Speaking on SSTV after Kiir’s remarks, Makuei noted that “This is of course in accordance with the provisions of the constitution… this is in accordance with the principle of taking towns to the people,” said the official. He added that the change was part of a process of making the government into a federal system.