STATES gov’t firm on 32 and Abyei
By: Kidega Livingstone
The government yesterday remained firm and maintained its position on the 32 states and Abyei.
“It is up to the opposition groups especially SPLM-IO to come or not for consultation with the citizens before the formation of the new government on the 22nd of this month on the number of states,” Michael Makuei said upon arrival with President Salva Kiir.
Government Spokesperson Michael Makuei Lueth said the main political parties to the agreement were directed by IGAD, African Union and other peace bodies to come and consult the citizens on the number of states before 18th of this month.
“By 22nd of this month, the Transitional Government of National Unity will be set up. It is up to the opposition to come or not to come,” Makuei told journalists at Juba International Airport on arrival from the meeting in Addis Ababa yesterday.
“This is the consultative process which we are going to take up as from today onwards and this should be before 18th of this month because IGAD and heads of government will be coming here to Juba before formation of the unity government,” he added.
Makuei emphasized that South Sudanese have been given power to decide for themselves not government nor opposition.” So we have come back and the ball now is in the hand of the people of South Sudan to decide to determine the number of the states they need,” he emphasized.
Last week IGAD and Africa Union and C5 called the main leaders of the Revitalised Peace Agreement President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar for the meeting in order to resolve the issue on the number of states and boundaries before formation of the transitional government.
According to Makuei, the demand of the SPLM-IO was defeated and won by the government on the number of states and boundaries. He said the directive will come from the citizens after consultation on the number of states. “The demand for SPLM/IO is already defeated,” he said.
He said in case the opposition wants ten (10) states they should come and consult their people.
“They (opposition) should now come to start campaigning. The government will stand aside and the people will say their words. In case the SPLM-IO did not come to form the new government, the number of states will be in accordance with the opinion of the people of South Sudan,” he said.
He added that it was the people of South Sudan to direct government and opposition, not those proposed by Dr. Riek Machar, Troika or the EU.