ADDIS ABABA – South Sudan government has rejected an IGAD position endorsing 32 states, according to information minister Michael Makuei Lueth.
This afternoon, the regional bloc which mediated the 2018 revitalized peace agreement endorsed the reduction of the country’s 32 states to 23.
Speaking to reporters following the meeting, Makuei who is also the government spokesman accused the regional bloc of siding with the opposition for endorsing reduction of the states.
“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.
“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
“The first respondent was president Museveni who decided to criticize the presentation and said that it was not supported by any reason and he gave a lot of leading examples that was followed by president Salva.
“President Salva gave a clear position of the government of South Sudan that we in 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.
“The envoys were asked to give a good reasons which they could not give. So, at that end, the meeting was called off, the heads of state and government went and sat to consult and after consultation, they called president Salva, Salva went in with the minister of foreign affairs and they were asked more questions which they answered separately and as a result, it was decided that this sitting should be adjourned and that whatever position they will have, they will consult with Riek Machar tomorrow morning after which the heads of states and government will meet again and deliberate and come up with a communique.
“Of course the position of the government is very clear. We are saying the government should be established, maintain the status quo of the 32 states and after that, this inclusive R-TGoNU will now decide whether to go for a referendum or to push it to the constitution making process. This is our position and if rejected by the opposition, then we go immediately for a popular consultation which we can do now.
“The government will be formed whether IGAD like it or not.”
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