Mayen-Abun declared capital of Twic following comprehensive, UNMISS-supported consultations
Following a series of consultations among residents of the Twic area in South Sudan’s northwestern Bahr El Ghazal region, it has been tentatively decided that Mayen-Abun will remain the capital.
The declaration was made on 5 January in the town of Aweng, where local authorities supported by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan had gathered more than 2,000 citizens for three days to deliberate on the contentious matter.
The controversy surrounding the location of the state capital arose in October 2015, when President Salva Kiir announced a decree creating a number of new states, including Twic. Up till that point, when the area was still a county, the capital was Turalei. When a new state was established, however, the status of capital was transferred to Mayen-Abun, much to the disgruntlement of the people of Turalei, who failed to see the need for the relocation.
To resolve the issue peacefully, President Kiir ordered local authorities to organize meetings, both locally and in Juba, to consult citizens and other stakeholders in the six involved counties on the best way forward. Finding a solution to the conflict-inducing issue became particularly important when a revitalized peace agreement was signed in September 2018.
After listening to and analyzing arguments from both camps, the outcome was to declare Mayen-Abun the capital of the new Twic State, which borders the disputed Abyei region. The towns of Turalei and Mayen-Abun have an estimated population of 2,000 people each.