The Jieng (Dinka) Council of Elders said that revoking Salva Kiir’s order to create 28 states in South Sudan as the SPLM-In Opposition and other groups have demanded would cause another war.
The self-appointed group, which comprises influential Dinka politicians who advise President Kiir, held an emergency meeting Saturday to discuss the matter.
“Reversing this popular decision will have dire consequences,” said Aldo Ajou Deng, a prominent member of the group, on Saturday. “The majority of our people who have been celebrating since December creation of more states will not accept and this will mean another war, which the council does not encourage.”
Aldo said a position paper based on the results of the meeting will be published soon.
President Salva Kiir has tried to establish by decree 28 states, replacing the ten constitutionally established states. He appointed in December new governors for these states, including in areas that the peace agreement had said would be ruled by SPLM-IO governors.
By the terms of the peace deal, SPLM-IO were given the governorships of two of the ten states, Unity and Upper Nile. The SPLM-IO said in a press statement Friday that while they will stick with the current 10 states as per the peace agreement, they will not entertain a return to war over the matter.
The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Mechanism (JMEC), which is tasked with overseeing implementation of the peace deal, had called on the rebels and government to negotiate over the issue of 28 states to reach a solution to the matter.