November 28, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – A media official of the South Sudanese opposition faction of the SPLM-IO has refuted allegations suggesting that the armed opposition group had abandoned the constitutional 10 states which are the basis for the power sharing in the peace agreement signed in August and reverted to 21 federal states they previously proposed during peace negotiations with the government.
The matter which has been a topic for discussion in some quarters in the social media further alleged the opposition group led by former vice president, Riek Machar, took the decision in response to the unilateral creation of 28 states by president Salva Kiir’s government.
Discussants exemplified the ongoing selection of membership to structures of the opposition faction in Pagak based on 21 former colonial districts in the country.
An opposition official however denied the interpretation, saying it was a misunderstanding as the SPLM-IO has only been using the proposed 21 states for its internal organization.
“It is not true. We abide by the 10 states on which the peace agreement is based. However, we apply the proposed 21 federal states when it comes to our internal organization as SPLM/SPLA (IO),” James Gatdet Dak, the opposition leader’s spokesman, explained to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.
He said, for instance, the membership of the SPLM-IO’s National Liberation Council (NLC) was selected based on the 21 former colonial districts in the country, but when it comes to the power sharing among the parties to the August peace agreement, this will be based on the 10 states.
The 21 states, he however reiterated, will be presented for adoption as governance structure during the upcoming constitution-making process in accordance with the peace agreement.
The opposition has also called on president Kiir’s government to revoke his creation of 28 states, saying the decision violated the peace agreement and the constitution.
Over 500 cadres that compose the advance team of the opposition group to Juba have been awaiting resolution of the situation created by the 28 states before they could return to the national capital and to the other states capitals and towns.