New demands after revert to ten states
By: Kidega Livingstone
Opposition Leader Dr. Riek Machar has welcomed President Kiir’s decision to revert the country back to the former ten states but raised concerns on the creation of three administrative areas, which he wants to be scrapped off.
The determination of the number and boundaries of states has been one of the sticking issues between the parties.
In a surprising announcement Saturday, Kiir reverted the country back to the former ten states and established three administrative areas of Ruweng, Abyei and Greater Pibor administrative areas.
The resolution follows a meeting attended by First Vice President Taban Deng Gai and Vice President Dr. James Wani Igga.
Kiir said the compromise was necessary to preserve the unity of the people and end the nearly six-year conflict.
In a statement, Machar said though he welcomes Kiir’s compromise, question remain on the basis under which Ruweng and Pibor were designated as administrative areas.
He said Ruweng became contested as per the creation of then 32 states adding that the area is part of Unity State.
Ruweng administrative area as per the 32 states has serious boundaries issue with the neighboring communities of Leek Nuer, Bul Nuer and Jikany Nuer that has been part of Northern area of Bul.
Machar stated that Greater Pibor was one of the British districts of 1956 and also was one of the former rural councils of 1960 that has clear boundaries.
“Therefore the decision of the Presidency to revert to ten states and the creation of the new administrative areas cannot be referred to as reverting to ten states as such cannot be accepted by SPLA/M-IO,” the statement reads.
“We therefore call upon President Kiir to reconsider this idea of creation of administrative areas as this opens up another Pandora box defeating the purpose of reverting to ten states,” Machar said in the statement viewed by Juba Monitor.
Last week Saturday, the Presidency made a final decision to reduce the number of states to ten, with three administrative areas of Abeyi, Rueng and Greater Pibor.
The Presidency described the decision as only decision that can bring lasting peace and unity in the country.
Speaking during the meeting at J1 yesterday, President Kiir said it was a necessary decision to preserve the unity in the country.
He said since the signing of peace agreement the opposition have been holding the country hostage on the issue of states though it was not the case they took up arm.
For such unnecessary demands he said “We were unable to form the government as stipulated in the agreement and two deadlines were missed yet our people continue to suffer.”
First Vice President Taban Deng Gai said the division of the sates came during the division between the SPLM in government and SPLM –IO and now they want the country to be peaceful.
He said the same percentage would be equally divided between opposition and the government.