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S. Sudan rejects reversal of decree creating 28 new states

November 2, 2015 (JUBA)- South Sudanese government has rejected mounting internal and global pressure seeking reverse of the establishment order expanding the constitutionally recognized 10 states to 28 states, despite signing peace agreement with armed opposition leadership under the country’s former vice president, Riek Machar.

South Sudan’s presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny (AFP)

The spokesperson for the presidency, Ateny Wek Ateny, said no amount of pressure on the government would compel president Kiir and his government to reverse the directive because it was a popular demand by the people.

“The government reiterates that it will not under any circumstances bow down to the calls to revoke its decision on creating 28 states”, presidential spokesperson, Ateny Wek Ateny said in an interview with The Nation Mirror newspaper.

James Morgan, one of the South Sudanese diplomats to its mission in neigbouring Kenya, also supported government’s position rejecting the reversal of the order, asserting "no evil on earth will ever change the order". The diplomat claimed the order was too popular among South Sudanese communities to be reversed by the president.

“The creation of 28 States or the additional 18 states in our country is the will of the people which no evil power on this planet earth will ever change. No IGAD, no G10, and not even your armed uncle Kingdom”, an angry Morgan wrote in response to an opposition supporter calling for revocation of the president’s 2 October decree.

The remarks follow declaration of the formation of new rebel group within South Sudan’s Upper Nile state in protest against creation of more new states. Observers and political analysts points out that the order, if implemented, would create more division among communities especially in Upper Nile region as it undermines unity of the people and violates the terms of the peace agreement. Legal experts have also argued that the order usurps legislative functions.

A South Sudanese rights activist has petitioned regional and international bodies over Kiir’s decree.