February 10, 2020 (Thessherald)—South Sudan government has requested all citizens to get ready for nationwide consultations on the number of states they would prefer, as the government and the opposition were unable to reach a compromise during a closed-door meeting held on Sunday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Addressing the media following the meeting, the Information Minister, Michael Makuei clarified that their stance on the states’ issue has always been clear that they will never make any concessions on the number of states and that even a single state would not be compromised.
“Our position had ever been clear that we are not ready to change even a single state… we are not ready to remove even a single state from the 32 + Abyei. We’re saying this because this is not a decision of the government, this requires decisions from the people of South Sudan. They’re the ones who will direct their government to act in the way they want, said Makuei.
Makuei further explained that when the opposition leader, Machar decided to change his mind from their usual position on the number of states, by resorting to the 10 states, the matter reached the point of no return.
“And as such when Dr. Riek Machar decided to come back to ten states, he made it even worse than before and we told him in clear words that we’re no longer ready to continue with the talks.”
In that regard, the government decided to suspend talks and requested all citizens to be prepared for nationwide consultations at the grassroots level in order to explore their views on the number of states that will be created in the country.
“The only thing we will do is to suspend the talks and we will go and inform the people of South Sudan about their positions and the position of their government. If the people of South Sudan say, create whatever number you want or if they say ‘accept 10, accept 20, don’t move, keep the 32 [states] increase it or make it 50 or 100 that will be up to them and they are the final authority and the decision-makers” Makuei concluded.