How will the gov’t consult citizens in five days?

By: Bullen Bala Alexander

Civil society activist has questioned how the government would conduct consultation on the number of states and their boundaries.

After the breakdown of talks on the states and their boundaries in Addis Ababa, the government requested for some days to conduct consultation with the citizens on the matter.

The activist who spoke to Juba Monitor argued that it was not possible to consult the citizens in the remaining days.

The Executive Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) Jame David Kolok said there was no genuine reason for consulting the South Sudanese people, given that the February 22 deadline was nearing.

“Unless this is a consultation that takes place at the party level but any consultation that is being said to involving the citizens is not practically possible,” Kolok said.

“Which citizens are going to be consulted? How long does it take for you to consult the citizens? We are left with 12 days, even if you are given the 12 days, will the government be able to do the consultation in Abyei area and all the 32 States across the country?” he questioned.

Edmund Yakani the executive director for Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) the consultation should be on compromise and confession but not the popular demand of the people.

“If compromises and confessions will bring peace in South Sudan is better, I think let the consultation be on compromise and let it not be polarity of the citizens of this country. Our fear is that if this consultation is not use rightly, people may get polarized around political interest for having political administration like the states,” he said.

“In a rational way I will propose let oppositions buy the idea of 23 plus and government also buy the idea of 32 coming down then then meet in the middle.”

“I really propose that may be looking to number of 23 than adding Abeyi, for example if 28 is government compromise ground it will be subtraction of 28 from 23 which they will remain with 5 which will be the discussion point for them.”   Yakani added. 

Kolok added that the leaders should put the interest of the country first rather than individual interests.

“Therefore, they need to be very clear in terms of decisions other than relying much on decision of the regions and certain individuals which have their interest above the interest of South Sudanese people.”

He said asked the leaders to make compromise on the number of states and their boundaries.

“I believe that the initial compromise that was done by IGAD of the 23 states and 10 states was the appropriate formula that they would have built some kind of consistence,” he said.

 “We are beginning to question and I think we need to send that message out there clearly that weather to Triaka, the region or the International community that we were beginning to see that there was no political will in implementing peace agreement.”

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