JUBA (HAN) February 3, 2016 – Public Diplomacy and Regional Stability Initiatives News. IGAD issued a communiqué on Sunday (January 31) after an extraordinary Foreign ministers’ meeting, calling on all the parties to the Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan to form a transitional unity government at the national level without an amended new constitution.
IGAD also called on President Kiir’s government to “suspend” the implementation of the 28 states he unilaterally created on 2 October after the peace agreement, describing the decision as “inconsistent” with the provisions of the peace deal which only recognizes the existing 10 states in the country. The communiqué also called on the parties to establish an inclusive boundary commission with membership of all parties to the peace agreement in order to review creation of more states, and in case of disagreement, the parties should revert to the 10 states as provided for in the accord. The South Sudan Government said on Monday (February 1) that it welcomed the communiqué.
Information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, said “The government is in full agreement with that (boundary’s commission) and this is what actually what we have been working for.” He told Sudan Tribune that the IGAD communiqué was consistent with the Government position. The leadership of the armed opposition SPLM-IO also welcomed IGAD’s call to suspend the issue of the states and form a transitional unity government. An SPLM-IO spokesperson said the 28 states should be treated like the rest of political proposals from other parties in the country if the government wanted to table it for discussion in the future.
“If it is a political decision of one party or faction to create 28 states after signing the peace agreement based on the existing 10 states, then this decision is not legally binding and should not therefore appear anywhere in the constitution, as it is not in the peace agreement. It should be treated as a suggested policy proposal from one party.”
After a meeting of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission on Tuesday (February 2), the South Sudan Minister of Information said the IGAD communiqué had been adopted as the best option for way forward and as a roadmap for the implementation of the Peace Agreement and the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity. The meeting had also agreed on the deployment of about 3,000 components of the joint police and military forces from the SPLM-IO as soon as possible in Juba and Greater Upper Nile. MFA