February 10th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – The dispute by South Sudan parties over the number and boundaries of states is an internal issue of South Sudan and solution must come from South Sudanese, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) said on Sunday.
This comes after the government of South Sudan accused the regional body of siding with the opposition groups negotiating with the government a way to resolve the most contentious issue which has threatened to jeopardize the unity government formation expected this month.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and main armed opposition leader, Dr. Riek Machar Teny met in Addis Ababa on Sunday and failed to agree on the number of states the IGAD said South Sudan should establish during the transitional period.
Kiir’s government argued that the current 32 states should be maintained because – in its own words – they are “demands of the people.” As such, the government wants the transitional government formed and looks into the states issue later.
For their part, the opposition says the states declared by Kiir in October 2015 violates the peace agreement and further complicate the conflict. They want the number negotiated and resolved before the end of the pre-transitional period to ensure a peaceful and stable transition.
In a communique issue during Sunday’s evening hours, the IGAD said that “the issue of the number of states and their boundaries is an internal South Sudanese matter and hence solution should come from only from the South Sudanese people.”
It further added that the regional body was “Cognizant of the fact that the formation of R-TGoNU has been postponed twice in May and November 2019 and that further extension is neither desirable nor feasible at this stage of the peace process.”