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South Sudan’s NDM rejects new committee on state boundaries

The Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) members pose on 19 March 2019 (IGAD photo)
November 2, 2019 (JUBA) - The National Democratic Movement (NDM) led by Lam Akol voiced its rejection of a recent decision by President Kiir to form a new committee to discuss the number of state and boundaries.

On 18 October, Kiir issued a presidential order on “the formation of a Committee to look into the Number of States and Boundaries in the Republic of South Sudan, 2019 A.D.”

The decision is seen as an attempt to circumvent the IGAD chaired Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) which is tasked with this issue under the revitalised peace agreement signed on 12 September.

"We reject the Presidential Order in its entirety and consider it as null and void," said the NDM Secretary-General Mahjoub Biel Turuk in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Saturday.

"The NDM will only take part in a discussion on the number and boundaries of States in South Sudan that is convened and chaired by IGAD as clearly stipulated in the Agreement and as came in the final report of the IBC," Turuk further said.

He said the IBC had already agreed to re-establish the 10 state system what Kiir had unilaterally discarded previously before to add that the decision was support only by six South Sudanese while the peace agreement implies that 7 of the 10 South Sudanese members vote with the majority.

The 15-member body includes 5 appointed by the government of President Kiir, five by the opposition groups and five by the IGAD.

The NDM official went further to say that there is no room to form another body besides the agreed Commission and that President Kiir has no mandate to do so.

"Therefore, the President of the Incumbent Government has usurped powers that were not his".

The SPLM-IO says they will not take part in the transitional national unity government before the full implementation of the security arrangements and the settlement of the number of states and their boundaries.

President Kiir has to form his new government at the end of the extended pre-transitional period on 12 November.