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Number of states should be resolved by arbitration body – Mabuza

Author: Okot Emmanuel | Published: Thursday, January 16, 2020

President Kiir and the South African Deputy President David Mabuza at the State House on Nov 21 | Credit | Maal Maker

The mediation team led by South African Deputy President have proposed the matter be referred to a regional arbitration body.

This comes after the parties once again reached a deadlock on the determination of the number and boundaries of 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.

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.

There are currently 32 States and Abyei administrative area decreed by President Kiir.

But the revitalized peace agreement demands that the parties agree on a compromise.

Kiir and Machar met on Wednesday at the State House.

They recommended that South Africa’s Deputy President, David Mabuza seek the views of Opposition Alliance, Former Detainees, and other parties before they make the final decision.

The government is said to have proposed the increase of the number of States, while most opposition groups want the number to be reduced.

A final report was expected before a decision on the number of states is reached by the principals.

Speaking to the press on Thursday, the mediator, David Mabuza said the parties are still reluctant to make the needed compromises.

He said they are studying a proposal to subject the matter to a court of arbitration.

“We all agree that we are going to form the government of national unity but we are going to subject question of the number of states to arbitration, a mechanism that is going to take ninety days which is the proposal on the table,” Mabuza told the media.

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

But Mabuza said a coalition government can still be formed next month, without a resolution on the number and boundaries of the States.

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.

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