SATRDAY 15 FEBRUARY, 2020
South Sudan’s warring parties have reached a tentative agreement to revert to ten states, paving the way for the creation of a transitional government of national unity.
In an overnight about-turn, President Salva Kiir stood down from his stance on 32 states, saying he was compromising for the sake of the country’s peace.
A document released by the Presidency in Juba on Saturday indicated Kiir, his First Vice President Taban Deng Gai and Vice President James Wani Igga, who represented the incumbent government, agreed to go back to the original ten states South Sudan had at independence. They also added three administrative regions which they argued could be addressed during the transitional government expected to be formed with opposition leaders Riek Machar.
These regions include Abyei, whose border demarcation with Sudan is still a matter of discussion. They also included Ruweng and Greater Pibor Areas, usually seen as oil-rich.
Opposition groups welcomed President Kiir’s move to revert to 10 states.
However, James Oryema, who represents the SPLM-IO in Kenya, said there was no justification to add the two, saying all parties were comfortable with Abyei because of the issue with Sudan.