February 9th, 2020 (Thessherald)—South Sudan’s government has strongly criticized the East African regional bloc, the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development, for its failure to provide a win-win solution to the number of states and their internal boundaries, a pending issue that is likely to hamper the formation of a national unity government.
On Saturday, the IGAD Council of Ministers adopted a resolution recommending 23 states plus the Abyei Administrative region.
Michael Makuei Lueth, a government spokesperson stated that the IGAD Council of Ministers was following what the opposition has been demanding, especially the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO.
“The ministers of IGAD talked freely and they decided to dance to the tune of the opposition, not of the opposition, but of the SPLM/A IO and they recommended that the government should come down and establish 23 states plus Abyei and there was no reasons given,” Makuei said.
He added that the same remarked was made by the IGAD Special Envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais who likewise endorsed the reduction of the number of states and their boundaries.
“The second report was made by the special envoy who decided also to agree with the report of the council of minister and recommended the establishment of 23 states,” he said.
Michael Makuei noted that the position of the government “is to continue the establishment of the R-TGoNU in time as came in the agreement. There is no more extensions and any other outstanding issue will be addressed by the inclusive R-TGoNU.”
“There were no reasons given. The second report was made by the special envoys who also decided to agree with the report of the IGAD Council of Ministers and recommended the establishment of 23 states,” said Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister of Information and Broadcasting.
He asserted that the government maintains its position that the Transitional Government will be formed first on the basis of these 32 states, and then the pending issues will be tackled later.
“The position of the government is very clear. We are saying the government should be established, the current 32 states be maintained and then the unity government will decide whether to go for a referendum or to push it to the constitution-making process, so this is our position,” he stressed.
The senior government official said that the government would not accept another extension of the pre-transitional period, in case the opposition fails to accept the current 32 states.