ABOUT MARIDI STATE
It’s Existence Maridi state is one of the 32 states that make up the Republic of South Sudan. Maridi State is one of the newest states coved out of former Western Equatoria State. It is located within the Equatorial belt. Maridi State from its initial creation in 2015 had only two counties of Maridi and Ibba. The state’s capital is Maridi, which serves both as the state administration seat and business capital. Ibba town is the second biggest town in the State located some 20 miles in the western part of the state capital. However, since the appointment of the governor of the state in 2016; Honorable Africano Monday; the state has further been divided into seven administrative units called counties. The new counties are Maridi, Ibba, Mambe, Nabanga, Maruko, Kozi and Landili. Since the time of Anglo-Egyptian colonial rulers, Maridi has been a regional centre of government. The origin of the word Maridi can be traced back to1068 AD, when Abu Ubayd al-Bakri, an Andalusian geographer who complained to the Caliph of Egypt in writing about how Negros had mutilated the language of Arabs in Maridi. According to him, he was referring to Maridi as a town mainly dominated by black Africans and where Arabic is loosely spoken mixed with local languages. Order of Creation Maridi State was created by a presidential decree No. 36/2015 dated 2nd October 2015. Like many States that were created as a result of that decree, Maridi today is picking up at a fast pace. The Creation of the State Take down to the people had been the slogan of SPLM since bush-war times; when they were still fighting the Sudan government, and it was also one of the manifestos of the movement. Like many democracies around the world, the state was created to bring services closer to the people and to encourage active participation of the citizens in the socio-economic and political development of their communities and the country as a whole. The birth of Maridi State came at the time when the people of the area were feeling neglected by the National government in Juba and the former Western Equatoria State government in Yambio. However, since the creation of the State, it has met positive reactions from both Maridians in Diaspora and those within Maridi State. Maridi like any other State in the country is already offering basic services to the local citizens without its present status it wouldn’t have been possible. Besides that, the creation of the State has also led to the creation of employment opportunities to the locals, delivery of basic health services, expansion and development of urban centres, the rule of law, basic infrastructures and most of all its creation has brought sanity to its governance system, settlement patterns and environment. Location of the State Maridi state is located in Equatoria one of the three regions that make up the of Republic of South Sudan. Maridi State is located in the western part of Equatoria region. It was a county in former Western Equatoria state before October 2015. However, during the Anglo-Egyptian rule in Sudan and Southern Sudan; Maridi was one of the 21 districts that made up the Southern Sudan region. Maridi State covers an estimated land size of 17,540 Sq. Km, bigger than some countries in the world with an altitude of 964.3 meters (3,164 feet), being the highest and 727.9 meters (2,388 feet), being the lowest. It also covers a long borderline with the Democratic Republic of Congo from the South, and it also borders Gbudwe state from the West, Lake State from the North, Amadi state from the East and Yei state from South-East. People of Maridi State Maridi is a multicultural State, which is home to seven indigenous tribes namely; Avokaya, Baka, Moro-Kodo, Mundu, Wa’di, Wetu and Zande. These tribes speak different languages, although Arabic Pidgin is widely spoken across the State. Arabic Pidgin is more of Juba Arabic, but less because it is mixed with different local languages spoken across Maridi. These seven tribes have coexisted for generations; this friendly inter-communal-behaviour is ranking the State the most peaceful in the country. The people of Maridi often welcome and host people from all backgrounds regardless of their tribe, religion, background or race as long as they are willing to follow the Maridian peaceful ways of life and to contribute to the development of the state. People who come from different parts of the country, the region or internationally come to invest, visit or work without negative sentiments against them. The people of Maridi are hard working people who spend most of their times working in communal activities and on farms. Since, they are subsistence farmers and subsistence farming is the wide form of farming; they often produce adequate food with enough surpluses for sale. They socialise, intermarry, interact and strongly believe in peacefulness coexistence as a value they cherish, protect and conserve selfishly.