June 19, 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – Top senior members of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) have welcomed the agreement reached by President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO leader Dr. Riek Machar Teny, who is also the first vice president, on the states issue.
Kiir and Machar on Wednesday sat down at the State House J1 and agreed that six states of Unity, Warrab, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, Central Equatoria and Eastern Equatoria be allocated to the former TGoNU.
SPLM-IO led by Machar was given three states of Upper Nile, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Western Equatoria. The South Sudan Opposition Alliance was given the Jonglei state.
However, in a statement following the meeting, the chairperson of the Alliance Josephine Lagu issued a statement rejecting the outcome of the meeting because Upper Nile state – which it long sought – was instead given to the SPLM-IO.
In an apparent disagreement within the Alliance, Dr. Lam Akol, the Secretary-General of the Alliance and General Bapiny Manytuil, the security chief of the group, issued a statement this evening welcoming the decision by Kiir and Machar.
The statement extended to Nyamilepedia argues that the deal will help end the ongoing inter-communal violence in many parts of the country and will help with the service delivery which is badly needed by the people of South Sudan.
“The agreement reached 17 June 2020 by the leaders of SPLM-IG, H.E. President Salva Kiir, and SPLM/A-10, H.E. First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar on the allocation of Governors of States to the Parties of the Agreement is a right step in the right direction,” the two said in the statement.
“We appreciate the efforts of the two Principals and their decision to break the deadlock between them. This matter has taken four long months to negotiate with a great deal of arguments some of which were really pedantic,” they said.
The two powerful opposition leaders stressed that the people of South Sudan in the “states were suffering, especially from rising insecurity and the lack of preparedness to combat the scourge of the COVID-19 pandemic. All these need a political leadership in the State.”
“This is why we applaud the decision as it will help serve our people. We stand with the said decision and urge that the Governors be appointed as soon as possible for them to go on with the implementation of the peace agreement together with the national government.
“Nevertheless, we call for a face-to-face meeting of all the Parties to the Agreement 30 as to ensure their unanimity on this important step and the way forward.”