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South Sudanese parties fail to agree on the number of states

December 4, 2019 (JUBA) – The parties signatory to the revitalized peace agreement have failed to agree on the numbers of states South Sudan should have, mediators said.

South Africa’s special envoy to South Sudan, David Mabuza (SABC)

Speaking to reporters on Wednesday after a two-day meeting of the parties in Juba, South Africa’s special envoy to South Sudan, David Mabuza said the parties are considering two options on the number of states.

“We are going to finalize the issue of the states and boundaries in the next 10 days,” he said.

The meeting of the parties was attended by Mabuza and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) special envoy to South Sudan, Ambassador Ismail Wais.

Lam Akol, a member of South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) said they needed a win-win situation after the parties failed reach a compromise on number of states.

“We are likely to see between 10 and 32 states after what transpired during the meeting of the parties,” he remarked.

On his part, South Sudan’s cabinet affairs minister, Martin Elia Lomoru urged the parties to the peace accord to ensure they agree on the number of states and boundaries.

Early last month, President Salva Kiir and the country’s opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the peace agreement by 100 days.

The delay in forming a national unity government on November 12 came after Machar’s group raised concerns that the country’s security arrangements are still incomplete.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter dismissed.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

(ST)