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 President Kiir’s advisor says no consensus to review 28 states

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مُساهمةموضوع: President Kiir’s advisor says no consensus to review 28 states   الجمعة يونيو 03, 2016 7:25 am

June 2, 2016 (JUBA) – A senior presidential advisor allied to President
Salva Kiir, has denied any consensus reached by the presidency to
review the number of states in the country, saying the President had
no power to reverse the 28 states as the matter had allegedly been in
the hands of the people.
In an exclusive interview with
Sudan Tribune on Thursday,
Presidential Advisor on
Decentralization and
Intergovernmental Linkages, Tor
Deng Mawien, a relative to
President Kiir, said the committee
agreed on Wednesday by the
presidency to be formed will only
work on the boundaries of the 28
states but not to temper with their
numbers.
Mawien totally dismissed the joint
spoken statement which First Vice
President, Riek Machar and Vice
President, James Wani, issued to
the public on Wednesday after the
presidency meeting.
In the joint statement to the press
by the two deputies after the meeting, a committee of 15 members will
be constituted from all the parties to the August 2015 peace agreement
and from the international partners to come up with recommendation
on the number of new states and determine their boundaries.
“We discussed the issue of the 28 states. We decided to tackle this
through a committee. That committee will be composed of 15
members…So that they can work on the number of states, review them
and they come up with recommendation on the number of the states
and this will be within 30 days. Within 30 days this work will be done,”
said First Vice President, Riek Machar, in a press statement to the
media, also broadcasted on the South Sudan TV (SSTV) on Wednesday
evening.
Machar said the 15 members of the committee will include 10 South
Sudanese from the parties in the peace deal and 5 others from the
international partners. He added that they would ask South Africa and
Tanzania to bring in two members from their countries.
He also said the presidency agreed to release prisoners of war and to
budget for establishment of cantonment areas for the forces across
the country.
Also, Vice President, James Wani, who held the joint spoken statement
with Machar, confirmed the outcome of the presidency meeting with
President Kiir’s participation.
“Really, I have nothing to say further, what the First Vice President has
just articulated is absolutely in place. These are the issues we agreed
on,” Vice President Wani said.
“But one would want to underline the fact that the meeting of today by
the three of us has been one of the most successful meetings,” Wani
added.
However, the presidential advisor, Mawien, who did not attend the
presidency meeting, said reviewing the number of the states was not
agreed in the presidency.
“As far as I know there were only three important issues which the
President with First Vice President and the Vice President have
discussed and reached a consensus. The meeting of the three leaders
which took place yesterday afternoon was very important. It resolved
that cantonment sites for SPLM-IO forces will be established in the
country. This means some places will be identified as areas of
assembling points in Equatoria and other places in the country. The
meeting also resolved to release prisoners of war and to lift the state
of emergency. These were the issues which were discussed. There was
no consensus on the number of states,” presidential advisor, Mawien,
said on Thursday when asked to comment on the latest political
development.
Mawien further explained that the issue of the number of the states
was no longer in the hand of the president for him to decide whether
to reverse the order or not.
“I think the issue of the states is no longer with the president. It has
left his hand and it is now owned by the people themselves. If there are
people who still want this issue to be discussed again, or if they want
the number of states to be reduced or expanded, they should now talk
to the people and see what the people will say in this regard. What the
committee will do is to review borders and make necessary
recommendations on how issues relating to borders can be resolved
amicably,” explained Mawien.
The decision of the three leaders has also received mixed reactions
from the public with opposition figures insisting on the revocation of
the establishment order, asserting that the agreement was signed on
the basis of ten states in addition to the fact that the decision itself
was not constitutional in the first place.
Onyoti Adigo, the Minority Leader in the national parliament from
Democratic Change party, said Thursday his party would continue to
reject the implementation of 28 states because it violated the peace
agreement.
“I understand that political parties will be represented in the committee.
For us, we will not nominate a member to participate unless the terms
of reference are clarified. We need to know the work of the committee
itself first and when it will start work. When this is clarified, we will
nominate,” said Adigo.
The opposition figure asserted that the establishment order unilaterally
issued by Pesident Kiir to expand the number of states to 28 from 10
was issued without carrying out studies so that the views of the people
at the grassroots levels were incorporated.
“No studies were carried out. It was a decision of certain people who
wanted to sabotage South Sudan like now. There are problems caused
by the 28 states. The current economic crisis is one of them. As we
speak there are people who did not get salaries for three months, four
months and two months, it is a problem of 28 states,” he said.
“There is no money. If there is no money to pay employees where will
the budget come to establish all these states? It is not economically a
viable decision.”
He said his party has not stopped rejecting the creation of more states,
adding that they will stick to the 10 states.
“Of course we are still rejecting it until now, we will not accept 28
states, now there is no room for 28 states or 13 states or 50 states,
and we demand 10 states according to the agreement,” he added.
President Kiir on 2 October 2015 issued an establishment order
announcing the creation of 28 states. He later issued another order
appointing governors to run the new states even after he signed the
peace agreement based on 10 states with the armed opposition faction
under the leadership of Machar.
Critics say the 28 states, which gave the ethnic Dinka almost half of
the country’s states, is meant to grab other communities’ lands in
Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal regions and annex them to the Dinka
lands.
Proponents however argue that the decision was made in accordance
with the will of the people.
(ST)

www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article59166
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