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Proposal to change S. Sudan’s name draws mixed reactions
صحيفة سودان تربيون اخبار السودان / ديسمبر 14, 2021

December 13, 2021 (JUBA) – A recent proposal to have the Republic of South Sudan’s name changed has drawn mixed reactions with citizens and political leaders saying it is not a priority for the country.

Last week, South Sudan’s First Vice President, Riek Machar suggested the country’s name be changed to the People’s Republic of Sudan to match the originality of Sudan in relation to its history with the people.

He argued that “South” is not a country’s name, but rather a direction.

This proposal has since drawn mixed reactions from South Sudanese.

John Ukech, a Council of States lawmaker, said South Sudanese leaders should focus on things positively impacting people’s lives.

“This is not a priority of the country at the moment. The leaders should focus on something which should positively impact the lives of the people and improve their living conditions and their wellbeing. People don’t eat names. The name does not protect them from raging insecurity. People are hungry. They are in water due to floods,” said Ukech.

He added, “They are internally displaced due to war. They are in refugee camps in neighbouring countries. They are afraid to return”.

The former diplomat to the United States and Sweden said insecurity in the country is what leaders should address as an urgent matter.

“They need to screen their forces, agree on the unification of forces and the command structure. Conduct census, repatriate refugees and create an environment conducive for elections. These are the priorities. The name thing is the least to do”, he further stressed.

Former South Sudan’s Defense minister, Majak de Agoot disagreed with Machar’s suggestion, describing it as a “lazy brain syndrome.”

For his part, Daniel Awet Akot, a senior member of South Sudan’s ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) said he was not aware of ongoing discussions regarding the change of the young nation’s name.

“I am not aware of the change of the country’s name and I don’t think it is the first thing at the moment. There are important issues for the leaders to address. The issue of the economy, the issue unity of the people, forgiveness, reconciliation, acceptance of one another, and willingness to work together as leaders,” said Akot.

He further added, “These are issues which are important”.

Similarly, Presidential Affairs minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin said he was unaware of discussions relating to changing the country’s name.

“I have not seen any memo or a document by one of the parties suggesting what I read in the media”, he said, without elaborating.

In January 2011, South Sudanese voted to secede from Sudan.

A steering committee on post-independence governing body announced that upon independence, the country would be named Republic of South Sudan (RSS) out of familiarity and convenience.

Also suggested were names like The Nile Republic as well as Cush.

A committee meeting of top SPLM members agreed on the Republic of South Sudan, which was approved by the transitional parliament.


مصدر الخبر موقع Sudan Tribune

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