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South Sudan says cancellation of 32 states would plunge country into chaos

South Sudan President Salva Kiir Mayardiit (File photo)

December 5th 2019 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government has said the country would plunge into chaos should the controversial 32 states created by President Salva Kiir in 2015 (as 28 and increased to 32 in 2017) be cancelled as demanded by opposition groups.

South Sudan cabinet minister and secretary of the peace implementing National Pre-Transitional Committee (NPTC) Dr. Martin Elia Lomoro said during a consultative meeting held in Juba between Monday and Wednesday that cancellation of the number of states would lead to chaos.

“These states have been established and they are working. We feel that to disrupt this number of states would be a disaster to the country, it will cause not only instability but insecurity. The people of those states are already used to it, they have their own governments,” Lomoro said.

The states issue has been one of those affecting the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement signed last year. The parties had signed a peace deal in 2015 on the condition that the country would be ran on the basis on 10 states after the SPLM-IO proposed 21 which were rejected by the government.

However, in a surprise move, President Kiir declared on October 2nd 2015 that the country was being divided into 28 states. The government order was condemned by the regional and international community and later on led to the collapse of the 2015 peace agreement.

In September last year, the government and opposition groups signed a revitalized version of the 2015 peace agreement. The agreement formed and tasked two bodies – the Technical Boundary Committee (TBC) and the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) – with solving the issue.

However the two bodies failed and instead forwarded the issue to the parties for deliberation. Kiir formed a committee in October and that committee has reportedly failed to agree on the issue as parties disagree on how many states should be maintained.

The IGAD special envoy – in effort to avoid further delay to unity government formation in February – decided to convene a meeting of the parties to resolve the issue. The meeting ended without agreement as government proposed the increase of the number of states.

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