February 6th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan’s main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO, led by former first vice president Dr. Riek Machar Teny will not be a party to the unity government unless the dispute on the number and boundaries of states is resolved, a senior opposition figure said this afternoon.
Hendry Odwar, deputy SPLM-IO chairman said during a consultative meeting conducted in the capital Juba that his group will not accept the formation of the revitalized unity government without the number of states is resolved.
“We want to make sure the issue of the number of states is in place…it is agreed upon, and that will give the people of South Sudan a lasting peace,” Odwar said during a consultation meeting of the peace parties in Juba on Wednesday.
“Without these two issues being resolved, we in the IO will not come into government,” Odwar added.
The most contentious issue is one of the many pre-transitional tasks the agreement provided for to be implemented before the formation of the unity government.
Kiir’s government wants the current controversial 32 states in place. For their part, the opposition such as the SPLM-IO wants that number either decreased to 10 or to a number agreed upon by the parties.
A South African plane to resolve the issue through arbitration has been rejected by both the government and opposition groups.