No repose on states at Addis meeting
By: Nema Juma
Standoff of the number of states and boundaries continued to rock the Addis Ababa IGAD meeting with both the signatories to the agreement standing their grounds without relenting.
The government stood with 32 states and Abyei while the main opposition scaled down to come to terms with ten instead of the initial 23 and Abyei.
The deadlock prompted the government to ask for more time to consult back home in which it was given five more days to report back to Addis Ababa on the 15th of this month after the consultations.
In the meeting that was held on 9th February 2020, attended by H.E President Salva Kiir Mayardit, President Museveni of Uganda, Prime Minister Abdallah Hamdok of the Republic of Sudan Dr. Riek Machar SPLM-IO leader and the IGAD Executive Secretary Dr. Workeneh Gebeyu.
While speaking to Journalists, the information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth who doubles as government spokesperson said yesterday, the SPLM-IO leader Dr. Machar from 23, he went down up to 10.
He stated that the position of the government was very clear that it was not ready to change even any single state.
“Our position had ever been clear that we are not ready to change even a single state out of the 32 plus Abyei.
We are saying this because this is not the decision of the government, this requires the decision of the people of South Sudan, they are the ones who will direct their government to act in the way they like,” Makuei said.
He stated that when Dr. Machar decided to come back to 10 states, he made it worse than before.
“We told him in clear words that we are no longer ready to continue, the only thing we can do is to suspend the talks and we go and inform the people of South Sudan about their Position and about the position of the government, so it is up to them and they are the final authority.
Meanwhile the SPLM-IO Director of Information and Public Relations Pouk Baluang said that SPLM/SPLA (IO) reterates its full commitment to the implementation of the R-ARCSS in letter and spirit, as the sole way to attain peace in South Sudan.