Western Lakes State

Western Lakes was a state in South Sudan that existed between 2 October 2015 and 22 February 2020.[4]. It was located in the Bahr el Ghazal region and was part of the former state of Lakes State. It bordered Amadi State, Eastern Lakes State, Gbudwe State, Gok, Maridi State, Southern Liech State, and Tonj State.[5]

Western Lakes State
Location of Western Lakes in South Sudan
Location of Western Lakes in South Sudan
CountrySouth Sudan
Number of Counties4[2]
 • Governor[3]
 (2014 Estimate)
 • Total546,240


Before Western Lakes State was formed, it was part of Lakes State. On 2 October 2015, President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing 28 states in place of the 10 constitutionally established states.[6] The decree established the new states largely along ethnic lines. A number of opposition parties and civil society groups challenged the constitutionality of the decree. Kiir later resolved to take it to parliament for approval as a constitutional amendment.[7] In November the South Sudanese parliament empowered President Kiir to create new states.[8]

Abraham Makoi Bol was appointed as the governor on 24 December 2015.[9] Makoi was removed from office on 27 February 2017 on the orders of President Kiir, with Matur Chut Dhuol being appointed as new governor.[3] Chut had already served as governor of Lakes State before its dissolution.


Western Lakes State is located in the Bahr el Ghazal region and it borders the states of Tonj to the north and west, Southern Liech to the northeast, Maridi to the south, Amadi to the southeast, Gbudwe and Gok to the west, and Eastern Lakes to the east.[5]

Administrative divisionsEdit

After the split up, Western Lakes State broke down even further for a total of 9 counties in the state. The 9 counties are part of the 180 counties in South Sudan. The 9 counties are consisted of the following:[10][11]

  • Former Rumbek Center County:
    • Amongping; headquarters: Amongpiny
    • Malek; headquarters: Malek
    • Rumbek; headquarters: Rumbek
  • Former Rumbek East County:
    • Eastern Bhar Naam; headquarters: Aduel
    • Western Bhar Naam; headquarters: Pacong
  • Former Rumbek North County:
    • Aloor; headquarters: Maper
    • Malueth; headquarters: Meen
  • Former Wulu County:
    • Bhargel; headquarters: Bhargel
    • Wulu; headquarters: Wulu

The counties are further sub-divided into payams, and the payams are then further sub-divided into bomas.

Towns and citiesEdit

The capital of the state is Rumbek. Rumbek, with an estimated population of 32,083 in 2011,[12] is located 303 kilometers (188 miles) from Juba via air.[13]


  1. ^ "Fuel shortage hits Western Lakes capital". Sudan Tribune. 23 June 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  2. ^ Magok, Mabor Riak (1 March 2016). "Deputy Governor, Commissioners Appointed In Western Lakes State". Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  3. ^ a b "Kiir removes two governors, appoints new officials". Radio Tamazuj. 28 February 2017. Retrieved 19 April 2017.
  4. ^ Mutambo, Aggrey. "S. Sudan govt agrees to reduce states to 10 to maintain peace". The East African. Retrieved February 15, 2020.
  5. ^ a b "Western Lakes State". south-sudan.biz. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  6. ^ "Kiir and Makuei want 28 states in South Sudan". Radio Tamazuj. 2 October 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  7. ^ "Kiir pressured into taking decree to parliament for approval". Radio Tamazuj. 14 October 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  8. ^ "South Sudan's Kiir appoints governors of 28 new states". Sudan Tribune. 25 December 2015. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  9. ^ "South Sudan's President appoints 28 Governors, defies peace agreement". South Sudan News Agency. 24 December 2015.
  10. ^ "9 Counties Established In Western Lakes State". Gurtong. 30 August 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  11. ^ "Nine new counties created in Western Lakes states". Sudan Tribune. 1 September 2016. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  12. ^ "Rumbek (town)". www.tiptopglobe.com. Retrieved 27 November 2016.
  13. ^ "Distance from Rumbek to Juba". distancecalculator.net. Retrieved 27 November 2016.