Governors of all the states and the administrator of Abyei Area have rejected the proposal to resolve the dispute over states through an arbitration.
The peace parties are struggling to break a deadlock over the number and boundaries of the states as a deadline for forming a unity government nears.
In January, the mediation team headed up by South African Deputy President David Mabuza proposed the matter be referred to a regional arbitration body.
President Salva Kiir and the opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar were supposed to resolve the stalemate over whether to increase or reduce the number of states.
They have failed, twice, to form the unity government – first in May 2019 and then in November 2019 due to the matter.
They now have 16 days to the 22 February deadline to form the Reconstituted Transitional Government of National Unity.
However, On Tuesday during a meeting chaired by President Kiir, the governors of the 32 states, and the administrator of Abyei area, rejected the arbitration proposal.
The governor of Maridi State, who spoke on behalf of the governors, said the issue should not be resolved outside the revitalized peace agreement due to its legal implications.
“We believe that there’s no need to go for any arbitration because of the fact that there’s legal implications,” Africano Monde told the state-run television, SSBC on Tuesday.
“We very well know we do not have to go outside the revitalized peace document that was signed, which provide provisions and mechanism for solving the issue of the states.”
Arbitration is a form of alternative dispute resolution, where an external body will decide on a legally binding solution to the number of states in South Sudan.
The revitalized agreement, however, requires that the determination of the boundaries and number of the States be subjected to a public referendum in case the parties fail to reach a decision.
But the governors concluded that they consult with their people whether the states can be reduced as demanded by the opposition groups.
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