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Leader of United Republic of Delvin (Jokonya) Forms 18-Member Cabinet

Jokonya Image via Facebook

Leader of United Republic of Delvin (Jokonya) Forms 18-Member Cabinet

Webiston Jokonya, a Zimbabwe-born academic, who gained global attention on September 5 last year by proclaiming a new sovereign state amidst the world’s oceans, has established an 18-member cabinet as preparations to inhabit the island commence.

The newly formed state, named the United Republic of Delvin (URD), is currently in the process of registering citizens. URD has emerged from what was previously referred to as Howland Island, situated north of the Equator in the Central Pacific Ocean, approximately 1,700 nautical miles southwest of Honolulu. Spanning 160 hectares, it occupies a position almost equidistant between Hawaii and Australia.

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Previously unclaimed and uninhabited, the island attained recognition as a country or sovereign state following Jokonya’s declaration last year. Initially scheduled for launch on January 24, the unveiling of the “new nation” was postponed to allow for citizen registration and resource mobilization.

Speaking from his residence in Lusaka, Zambia, Jokonya informed NewsDay Weekender that out of the 18 cabinet positions, 11 have been filled as of yesterday.

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“UDR will have an 18-member cabinet and today [yesterday], we have filled 11 ministerial posts. We are in the process of recruiting seven ministers and applications are trickling in,” he said.

The ministries that have been staffed include Defense, Foreign Affairs, Justice, Legal, and Parliamentary Affairs, Communication, Housing, and Public Works, Industry, Trade, and Commerce, Education, Health, and Child Welfare, Tourism, and Environment, Labor, and Public Works, as well as Sport and Recreation.

However, the ministries currently lacking leaders are Home Affairs, Finance, Information, and Publicity, Transport and Energy, Women’s Affairs, Agriculture, and Religion and Culture.

“We are elated by the response from those interested in living in URD. We are receiving pledges and support from security details, infrastructure and transportation. We are targeting to go there by the end of March,” Jokonya added.

“The first tour is for executives only and the actual date for citizens’ relocation will be communicated upon our return. We are currently holding meetings every Saturday getting feedback from appointed ministers as we move to meet our target. We are also going to hoist our national flag during our executive visit.”

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In a statement issued this week, URD asserted its recognition as a sovereign state.

“URD is a country before Kiribati. The original people who own this island are the Kore people who left due to harsh weather conditions around 1814 to Gilbert Island, now called Kiribati. Since 1932, the US administration openly said they are guiding the islands for fisheries, but today, the Kore tribe and owners gathered to declare the island URD in 2023 and His Royal Majesty Webiston Jokonya was declared the permanent ruler of the URD,” the statement read.

“According to the resolution of the Princes of the Kores and URD constitution, URD is recognised by India government and southern Cameroon government and other international or intergovernmental recognised URD. It is also recognised by Khoisan Nation Self Defence Unity of South Africa, Hessequa Khoi Tribal Council.

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