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Kiir lobbying opposition leaders to side with him over states issue

South Sudan President Salva Kiir (File/Supplied/Nyamilepedia)

January 6th 2020 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, is reportedly lobbying opposition leaders in Juba to cite with him in the upcoming meeting of the parties to the revitalized peace agreement over the number and boundaries of states.

In September 2018, Kiir and several opposition groups signed a revitalized version of a 2015 peace agreement to end the ongoing civil war. The agreement provided for the establishment of what would be the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU).

However, the government has not been formed owing to the fact that several pre-transitional tasks has not been implemented by the parties including the number of states. The agreement requires the parties to settle the dispute before forming the government. The aim is to ensure a stable transitional period and to avoid the 2016 scenario.

Kiir’s government wants to maintain the current controversial number of states while several opposition groups such as the SPLM-IO led by Dr. Riek Machar Teny and National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Dr. Lam Akol want that number reduced to its original ten.

In search for a solution, the regional bloc, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) which mediated the 2018 peace agreement in December last year convened a meeting of the parties to the agreement.

The meeting which was also attended by South African Vice-President David Mabuza ended without a breakthrough after government delegates rejected a consensus by other parties to reduce the number to 23.

An upcoming meeting organized by the regional body is also expected in late January and the government is trying to convince other opposition groups to reject SPLM-IO position over the states according to an opposition official.

“President Kiir is not ready to solve the issue of the number of states,” the official said on condition of anonymity.

“Now, he is lobbying opposition leaders in Juba to cite with him over his argument to keep the current number of states, the 32 states which has not added any value to the welfare of our people,” the opposition official said.

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