South Sudan parties in another deadlock to divide states – gov’t spokesman

South Sudan information minister Michael Makuei Lueth (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

March 27, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) — Talks by South Sudan parties over the allocation of state governors have hit another deadlock over opposition demand to have 50% share, a senior government official said this evening.

Based on the revitalized peace agreement, government and opposition groups who are signatories to the 2018 peace deal have to divide the state governors. The government, according to the deal, shall take 55% percent share, the SPLM-IO shall have 25, SSOA shall have 10 and other opposition parties shall take 5.

Since the formation of the revitalized unity government, the parties to the deal have been trying, without coming to an agreement, to divide up the states which would see the states governments formed.

Speaking to Nyamilepedia this afternoon, information minister and government spokesman Michael Makuei Lueth said talks for the appointment of state governors were being hampered because opposition groups were demanding a 50% share which he said contravenes the revitalized peace agreement.

“What is hampering the appointment [of the state governors) is the dispute over the allocation of the states,” Makuei said.

“The SPLM-IO and the opposition are saying let’s divide the states fifty-fifty. The government is saying ‘no’, we can’t divide them fifty-fifty because we have been entitled to 55% by the revitalized peace agreement and you (the entire opposition) have 45%,” Makuei stressed.

“We are taking six out of the ten states and you have four: two for SPLM-IO, one for South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) and the other one is for Other Opposition Parties (OPP),” he further added.

The outspoken government official further stressed that the government is composed of several parties and as such should take six governors and the rest is left to be divided between the opposition groups.

“The government is taking six because we have different parties there. You have Salva Kiir, which is the SPLM-IG, you have Taban [Deng] which is SPLM-IO in government, and you have the other parties like Elia [Lomoro] and Onyoti,” Makuei said.

Makuei said the main armed opposition group, SPLM-IO which is led by the First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar was demanding to have three governors.

“The SPLM-IO is demanding that they must get three governors,” he said.

The senior government official further revealed that a meeting which took place this morning ended up without an agreement and the parties had to call off the meeting without saying when talks on the issue will resume.

“We event tried to sot this morning. We started the meeting from 10AM to 2PM and we could not reach an agreement. The meeting was then called off and we will see what we would do next,” Makuei further said.

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