Lam Akol declines to meet President Kiir over formation of new government

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South Sudan’s main opposition leader, Lam Akol (AFP)
Akol also said an amended constitution must also recognize that the country would be governed through the existing 10 states as it is stipulated in the peace agreement which president Kiir himself and the leader of the armed opposition faction of SPLM-IO, Riek Machar, had signed in August 2015.

The opposition’s alliance leader and the minister of cabinet affairs, Martin Elia Lomuro, were expected to meet President Kiir over ministerial portfolios allocated to “Other Political Parties”, but Akol told reporters on Thursday that he did not meet the president and has not met him in “more than a year and half.”

He was reacting to reports quoting presidential spokesman, Ateny Wek Ateny as claiming that Akol and Lomuro with other political leaders from other political parties have met with the president on Tuesday to work out how to form a transitional government.

Ateny said that the government has selected its 16 ministerial portfolios and that the process began on Monday. He said that Lomuro “is in agreement with the government” but Akol had reservations.

This implies that the government is trying to suck in the opposition groups to form a transitional government on the basis of the 28 states and without the agreement of the SPLM-IO faction.

Akol however said he declined participating in committees that are working out transitional government on principle, adding his alliance of 18 political parties had rejected formation of the government which recognizes 28 as it violated the agreement.

He expressed hope that the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) will have to make a decision to ensure that the “supremacy of the agreement prevails” and revert the country back to 10 states as it is the system which the peace agreement had recognized when it was signed in August last year.

The other opposition parties are given the ministerial portfolios of cabinet affairs and agriculture.

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