South Sudan

South Sudan: IGAD Wants Operations in 28 States Suspended

The regional body Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) that mediated the South Sudan peace talks and overseeing the implementation has asked the country to defer the operation of 28 states.

The 55th Extraordinary Session of the IGAD Council of Ministers convened for two days in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa from 30th to 31st January.

The special sitting resolved that the creation 28 states is a major obstacle in the implementation of peace accord signed in August last year.

The agreement between the government under President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Dr. Riek Machar was based on the 10 original states.

The government was to maintain control of 7 states while the rebels would consolidate their grip on the three states they have occupied.

However in October 2015, patient ailment president Kiir passed a decree unilaterally creating 28 states and apportioning to his faction 22 states – leaving only six for the rebel faction.

The move was immediately rejected by Machar’s group and has been a center of contention between the two factions.

The formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity that was supposed to be in place last year has stalled due to the same move.

Concerned by the continued delay in implementation of the peace agreement, the IGAD now wants the 28 states plan suspended.

A communiqué released last evening outlined a number of issues to be tackled for immediate operationalisation of the peace agreement.

“Urges the Parties, subsequent to the formation of the TGoNU (The Government of National Unity) at national level, in the absence of agreement on the creation of new states, to suspend further action on implementing the operationalisation of new states until an inclusive, participatory National Boundary Commission comprising all Parties to ARCSS reviews proposed states and their boundaries, and that this review process occur, for a period of up to one month,” part of the communiqué reads.

The Council of Ministers also stated the creation of the new states contravenes the peace agreement that was based on 10 states.

“We are concerned by the recent decision of the Government of South Sudan to implement the October 2, 2015 Presidential Decree on the creation of 28 new states, given that such action is inconsistent with the terms of ARCSS (Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan).”

The IGAD meanwhile appreciated the recent selection of ministerial positions between the different parties.

“We welcome the agreement between the Parties on the selection of ministerial portfolios and the Parties’ continued compliance with the Permanent Ceasefire in most parts of greater Upper Nile, given the fragility of the security situation throughout the country.”


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