South Sudan parties should not politicize dispute on states – SSOA leader

South Sudan map (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

October 6th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – The leader of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Ms Josephine Lagu said Saturday that South Sudan’s parties should not politicize the dispute on the number of states and that a general conference of the parties is needed to settle the matter.

She said the conference should decide on guarantees that pending matters would be addressed as a priority by the reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) if the pending issues are not addressed by November 12th.

This come after the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO said on Friday that they will not be a part of a government due to be formed in November unless a solution has been found on the number of states.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia on Saturday, Lagu said Majority of the 8 members that constitute the alliance would want the government of national unity be formed on time and the solution on states comes forth.

Of course SSOA is a coalition of 8 Parties and it’s highly likely that some would want SSOA to stick to its position of 10 states and 2 administrative areas,” Lagu said from Juba.

The majority view is that the problems areas of Wau and Malakal and others whose lands have been encroached upon be addressed but it might not be practical to stick to 10 states,” she added.

Conference of the parties to the agreement’

Lagu further said her group wants the parties to the agreement to meet in a general conference in order to decide in the pending matters such as the number of states and on the security arrangement.

SSOA does want a conference of the Parties to the Agreement to be called by IGAD and to be witnessed by the International community to discuss the slow progress of the cantonment and barracking process,” she said.

The incumbent TGoNU should avail balance of the 100 million USD they pledged in May and everything possible should be done to accelerate the process.

In the event that the training and deployment of the necessary unified forces is not possible a legal safeguard should be agreed upon by the Parties to ensure that the Revitalized government prioritizes completion of the pre-interim tasks during the first 6-12 months of its tenure.

On the issue of the number of states, the country should not be allowed to slide back to war over the number of states. Again SSOA is calling for this to be addressed in the said conference.

The Parties should not politicize the issue but put the national interest first. The focus should be good governance and affordability not ideological positions on the issue.”

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