South Sudan’s president draws “red line” over 28 new states
The South Sudanese president, Salva Kiir has drawn a red line over revocation of the 28 new states he unilaterally created despite signing a peace deal with the armed opposition and other stakeholders to end 21 months of conflict.
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President Salva Kiir addresses the nation at the South Sudan National Parliament in Juba, November 18, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomon)
The president made these remarks at his residence on Sunday after meeting representatives of the Jieng Council of Elders (JCE) who visited him to inquire if the decision by the armed opposition advance team to pull out of ongoing discussions would not advance affect the peace deal signed last year.
“I hear people opposed to this demand are pulling out their representatives as a way to put a pressure on the government to make concession”, said Kiir.
“There is nothing which can be conceded because this is not the demand of the government. If they want, let them call the people and let them [the people] come out and say they do not want”, added the president.
The South Sudanese leader, a senior aide said, described as a “non starter” all calls for him to reverse the October 2015 order, further stressing that it was now time for government to move closer to the people with services.
“People have been walking and going to where the government headquarters is located. This situation has changed. The government will now be within the location where it is required”, Kiir said.
“The people will no longer be looking for the government”, he added.
The president, however, stressed that the armed opposition’s move will in any way affect implementation of the agreement, which ended the conflict.
“We are ready to implementing it [agreement]. Our ministers have been nominated. There is no problem. We are ready to work with them”, he stressed.
South Sudan’s information minister, Michael Makuei Leuth said Friday that the current cabinet and parliament will continue to operate as legal entities until the armed opposition faction accept and recognise the 28 states as part of governance structure.
The signed peace agreement only recognises the 10 states in the constitution.