We will not form the unity government if preparations are not completed – opposition official

SPLM-IO deputy chairperson of information and public relations Manawa Peter Gatkuoth (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

March 19th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – A senior opposition official of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by the country’s former First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar Teny, said on Tuesday that his group will not agree to unity government formation if necessary preparations required for this purpose are not completed.

Manawa Peter Gatkuoth, the deputy chairperson of the group’s information committee told the Nyamilepedia on Tuesday afternoon that they will not be ready to form a unity government if the necessary security arrangements, such as the cantonment of forces, training and deployment of the unified forces are not completed.

“We can’t be forced to establish the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity [R-TGONU] without implementing the security arrangements, the training and deployment of the necessary unified forces. Second to that, all the forces shall be cantoned under the supervision of the current monitoring bodies at their present barracks and sites,” he said.

He also said forming a unity government means the parties have agreed on the number of the states and their borders. He said the parties must first reach and agreement on the number of states before forming the transitional government of national unity.

“We need to agree on the number of the states and their borders before rushing to form the unity government.” he said.

Gatkuoth added that the agreement provided for a referendum on the number of South Sudan states in which a Referendum Commission on Number and Boundaries of States (RCNBS) would ask – in case the IBC failed to reach a solution – the people of South Sudan on how many states should be there in the country.

“The agreement is very clear about the role of the IBC[Independent Boundary Commission] regarding the number of states. It said ‘if the IBC fail to agree on the number and boundaries of the states, the RCNBS shall conduct a referendum on this matter asking South Sudanese to choose one of the three options – the 10 states, 21 states or the current 32 states – or any other number of states agreed by IBC to be offered as an alternative,'” he said.

Gatkuoth further said any rush to form the unity government without these preparations would mean a recipe for another misunderstanding in the future between the parties urging the IBC to speed up its work so that the unity government could be formed on schedule.