25th February 2020
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Activist doubts Kiir, Riek can solve number of states puzzle

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: 2 weeks ago

President Salva Kiir and SPLM-IO Leader Dr. Riek Machar during todays' meeting 11/09/2019 {Eye Radio photo/ Emmanuel J. Akile}

An activist has expressed doubt over the ability of the peace parties to agree on a specific number and boundaries of the states.

Jame David, executive director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance, believes the leaders have stubbornly stuck to party lines.

He said the government’s recent statement that it will not reduce the number of the existing states is a clear indication that parties won’t relinquish their political preferences.

Over the weekend, the government spokesperson, Michael Makuei, told the media in Addis Ababa that they would not lose a single state as demanded by the opposition.

The SPLM-IO and a proposal by the IGAD envoys want the number of states to be reduced to 10 and 23 respectively.

“When you listen to some of the statements coming from the leaders, of course, it will tell you  they would not agree even if they were given additional one year to consult,” James told Eye Radio on Monday.

A meeting between President Salva Kiir and his First Vice President-Designate, Dr. Riek Machar, failed to break the stalemate.

IGAD heads of state urged Kiir and Machar to again consult with their supporters before 18 February.

But the civil society activist says it is pointless to rely on the South Sudanese leaders to break the deadlock.

“So, what is the use of coming back to consult? To consult who?” Asked David.

The number and boundaries of the states are among the tasks that are meant to be completed within the pre-transitional period.

The parties are left with less than two weeks to form a government of national unity.

Several meetings between President Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar over the past two months ended without a break-through on the pending issues.

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