1 March 2011 – No decision had yet been reached between the Government of Southern Sudan and state authorities on where to set up Southern Sudan's capital when it becomes independent, a top official from the region said today.
A ministerial committee, formed by GoSS President Salva Kiir, was given four weeks to file its findings on where the capital should be built, but have asked for another month of consultations with states as it enters the final week.
"We have free land but could not identify any for the Government of Southern Sudan headquarters ... due to the land policy and the constitutions of Southern Sudan and Central Equatorial State," said Oyay Deng Ajak, GoSS Minister of Investment and Chairperson of the ministerial committee told journalists in Juba.
Both the regional and state constitutions state that Juba remains the capital city of Southern Sudan and Central Equatoria State respectively, the minister added.
Mr. Ajak also noted that land allocation still remained an obstacle, as some communities seemed unwilling to hand plots over to the government.
"We are still consulting with them through their state governments to secure a good location for South Sudan's capital city," the committee chairperson said. "It's not an easy task but we will overcome it collectively."
He added that the committee had proposed four options for the capital's location.
The first was for the GoSS to take over Juba town as its capital, while the Central Equatoria government would relocate to another site within Juba County.
According to the second option, the capital would be within the vicinity of Juba, and the third would locate it on the eastern bank of the River Nile. The fourth would set it up in Ramchel, Jonglei State, as was earlier proposed by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) political bureau.
"We briefed the Central Equatoria State government on our proposals and have also talked to Lakes state governor to convey the message to his people ... as part of the consultation process," said Mr. Ajak.
The Central Equatoria State government, which would have final approval of any land allotted to the GoSS, was unreachable for immediate comment.