South Sudan’s national dialogue co-chair Angelo Beda revealed proposals that will be extensively discussed at regional and national meetings to be held next year.
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj in an interview on Friday, Angelo Beda said the national dialogue committee has proposed to re-establish the three-province system in the country after the end of the transitional period.
“We said the 10 states were inherited from the North and the 32 states are controversial, so we proposed that we should go back to the colonial provinces of Bahr al Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile for our country to move forward. The political rivals in South Sudan did not contest the three-province system,” he said.
He further said they proposed that Bahr el-Ghazal will be subdivided to seven districts as they stood before independence as Aweil; Gogrial; Lakes; Eastern Lakes; Raga; Tonj; and Wau, with their colonial district capitals and that Equatoria should revert back to its colonial districts of Juba; Kapoeta; Maridi; Tombura; Torit; Yei; and Yambio.
According to the proposal, Angelo said, Upper Nile will revert back to its districts of Akobo; Bentiu; Bor; Kodok; Malakal; Nasir; Pangak; and Renk.
“We also proposed that the three provinces will be headed by three governors to be elected, in the same way as the president and the parliament. The three governors can only be removed if any of them is accused of committing a crime punishable under the law,” he said.
The elderly politician revealed that the dialogue body proposed the rotation of the South Sudan presidency between the three provinces of Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria. “I think it is another way to fight tribalism,” he said.
He noted that they came up with a proposal to limit a president to two terms only.” “We want the political leadership to circulate amongst the political elite. The president and the regional governor can serve for 5 or 10 years only,” he explained.
Beda, who is also a lawmaker in Juba, said the dialogue body also proposed that the national legislative assembly should be confined to elected members only.
During his speech at the peace ceremony in the capital Juba in Juba on 31 October, President Salva Kiir called on all opposition groups to join the national dialogue process.
The SPLM-IO group led by opposition leader Riek Machar said it has set up a committee to discuss the national dialogue and to make proposals on its participation in the process.