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President Kiir’s 28 states is a “complicating factor”, says JMEC chairman

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January 8, 2016 (JUBA) – The chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), the highest body to oversee and monitor the implementation of the peace agreement signed in August by rival parties in South Sudan, has admitted that the unilateral creation of 28 states by president Salva Kiir has become a complicating matter which threatens the implementation of the peace agreement.

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Botswana’s former president Festus Mogae (Photo File AFP)

Former president of Botswana, Festus Mogae, who was appointed by the African Union (AU) to head the body, said he would instead focus on formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity (TGoNU) and leave the issue of the states for now.

“The states are a complicating factor for now… but we are going to be concentrating on the positive side on the implementation of formation of transitional government of National Unity,” president Mogae revealed to a Juba-based Catholic church-run Radio Bakhita on Friday.

President Kiir, his government, supported by the Jieng [Dinka] Council of Elders (JCE) – a tribal organization composed of Dinka intellectuals - have refused to reverse the decision and have continued to proceed with the implementation of the unilaterally created 28 states despite condemnation by the other parties to the peace agreement.

Mogae said there is a serious stalemate between the parties over the matter, saying his office will now instead concentrate on formation of the national government and leave state governments until the matter will later on be resolved by the transitional government.

The comment from the head of JMEC implies that the former Vice-President and leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, will first be appointed as First Vice-President by President Kiir. The two will form the government based on the ministerial portfolios they selected on Thursday.

JMEC chairman said he was happy that the parties resolved on the selection of national ministerial positions and appointment of 50 members of the SPLM-IO to the transitional national legislative assembly.

Sources close the processes in Juba told Sudan Tribune on Friday that the government of national unity may be formed before completion of some of the needed amendments in the constitution, including the number of states.

Observers however say forming a transitional government of national unity in Juba before resolving on the number of states and formation of state governments is a recipe for another conflict within the new would-be national government.

The government initially rejected the idea to create more states during the two-year of peace negotiations in Addis Ababa with the opposition factions, despite earlier proposal by the SPLM-IO to create 21 federal states for the country.

The East African regional bloc, IGAD, and other partners in the mediation persuaded the SPLM-IO to drop the proposal of creating more states, saying this will be collectively tackled by all parties in the constitution making process.

However, about 40 days after the peace agreement was inked, President Kiir came up with a unilateral decision to create 28 states, prompting condemnations from other parties and regional and international mediation groups.

(ST)

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  • 9 January 2016 08:17, by Eastern

    JMEC and partners need to confront the snake in the house (JCE and their 28 states) now rather than later.....The ARCISS can be scuttled with disastrous consequencies to the poor South Sudanese with the spillover to the neighbouring countries in the region. A firm position on the 28 states must be taken now!!!

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  • 9 January 2016 08:33, by Akuma

    Those advocate for reversal of 28 States are the worse enemies in South Sudan. If JMEC need peace in South Sudan, then let them stop talking about more states and focus on the implementation of peace agreement. What next since their dissident Riek Machar accepted to work with gov’t.

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    • 9 January 2016 08:47, by Eastern

      ....it will become apparent to the proponents of the 28 states that the ARCISS can’t be implemented; it’ll have to be shelved and the country taken over by an international administration - a far worse scenario than having tie share government power with ’rebels’. It will be difficult to reverse the terms of the Trusteeship before its lifespan ends!! Ask East Timorese.

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    • 9 January 2016 09:49, by choldit

      Akum or whatever ur real name is, the issue of 28 states shld not be taken lighter. I really don’t knw why the JMEC shld keep it for another time. How cld the peace be implemented. In 28 state formula, Dinka took other ss tribe lands, esp the Nuer lands in Upper Nile. This makes issue of 28 states an introduction of another war between Dinka another ss tribes. Let be mature when talking abt 28 sta

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    • 9 January 2016 10:02, by Malakal county Simon

      Segregated 28 is against the will of SouthSudanese people’s and most of all, is against the peace accord. It’s seems only the Dinka tribe support this triba 28 States, because it’s favourite them.

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    • 9 January 2016 20:41, by jubaone

      Akuma,

      Your message is clearly understood. The South Sudan MUST be split into different entities. Equatorians must simply take issues headlong; that is fight for total Independence of Equatoria. Whether theese jienges or other nyagats, they are the same; simply worthless. Equatoria does NOT need jienges or nyagats, it can do it alone. period

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  • 9 January 2016 10:13, by Gabriel Ajak

    Dragging 28 states back to the table is a big jok, u better forget about it n continue with the implementation of peace rather then dwelling on impossible issues.

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  • 9 January 2016 10:33, by Dengda

    I think the leader of JMEC used word "complicated issue" mean there’s pulling force into this issue and cannot be overidded by JMEC leadership. For example the issue of Abyei was complicated that why it escapped and be resolved later, so continuing implementing peace agreement is the way forward, because the parties in the conflict will work and eat together, then sprite of understanding growth.

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    • 9 January 2016 10:42, by Dengda

      building trust here, is the key to peaceful settlement. You can see there’s slight different between 28 & 21, so it like "Babul Banyop". I believe in matter of one year from now, things will be alright. But chosing difficult part is not strategy in conflict resolution.e.g. Just like in examination, you can not spent time cracking your mind on difficult questions, you start with simple questions.

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      • 9 January 2016 11:48, by Son of Upper Nile

        Obama talked of consequences for the party that makes intransigence. Now it’s obvious Kiir & JCE who istited on refusing 21 states letting IO agree to sign agreement with 10 states. If guarantors of IGAD countries & international community doesn’t show tough stand now JCE will chose what the like to implement & refuse what they dislike. It’s better UN trusteeship than primitive tribal JCE ruling u

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        • 9 January 2016 13:38, by Hardlinner

          son of upper Nile, you are indeed stupid and deserved to be kick out of south Sudan. over 2,000,000 south Sudanese died during the liberation of south Sudan. i have never heard of any UN soldier getting killed during liberation. therefore your suggestion is foolish and laughable.

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          • 9 January 2016 15:38, by Eastern

            Softliner,

            Don’t be naive. Don’t castigate the UN as you would an individual. The UN through its humanitarian wing dubbed the Operation Lifeline Sudan (OLS) saved the lives of more than the 2,000,000 people you claimed died liberating South Sudan! Yes, UN has the responsibility to reign in sanity when people continue to flee the country after signing of the ARCISS.

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          • 9 January 2016 15:40, by Eastern

            Concerened South Sudanese and the international community who will feel the impact the war that will be caused by the imposed state will not stand back and see a country go down because of these ’cosmetic 28 states’ - no way!!!

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          • 9 January 2016 19:57, by Son of Upper Nile

            Hardliner I am nationalist more than you & the tribal system you are supporting. 2 Million didn’t die to install another Jalaba like system which I personally voted against. Therefore better UN that care for the lives of ALL impartially than the way your uncles want to grab others ancestral lands. It won’t work because no single tribe will relinquish their land to fake 28 states

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          • 10 January 2016 00:58, by Mr Point

            The influence of the UN, the collective organisation of world states, is not limited to the number of soldiers in blue helmets.
            It is much wider than that.

            Should you check the spelling for your user name ? It should be "hardliner"?

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  • 9 January 2016 14:30, by Eyez

    Thank you Mr. Chairman (JEMC) let the transitional government be formed, as it will lure the culprits to losen their guard, as they scramble for positions, thus, it will be easy to curb the wings of those JCE animals who refuse to see logic, they will be dealt with accordingly when the time is right, any challenge of these 28 Jienge states will play into their hands of derailing the peace.
    X

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  • 9 January 2016 15:24, by Dinka Aliap Chawul

    @FETEOIS MOGAE,according to ur suggestions,its u had learned abid bout SPLA_IO,GOVT,FDS & other political parties and situations of S.Sudan in general,JMEC basic principles is clear,its not create or decreate states in S.Sudan but to helps finds peace,creations of states was nt the roots cause this conflict,start ur example with simple questions! or else u will fail from start,n ur career will be

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  • 10 January 2016 01:55, by jur_likang_a_ likan’g

    Not only complicated but also unwanted by a common man in the country. South Sudanese need to choose the way they are led.

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  • 11 January 2016 10:33, by hamil

    These 28 states are not going to work much as the greedy, tribal bunch who rushed into their formation think they can quickly do it, sit back and relax. It is not going to work we hate another senseless war in South Sudan but this is clearly a sensless, malicious and provotative act that is like laying a bed for another senseless war and blood shed.

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    • 11 January 2016 10:47, by hamil

      Cont....

      The only way top determine the popular support for the formation of these states is through referrendum. The world and South Sudanese are being forced to believe that everyone is rallying behind these 28 States it is only the President and his Evil-Consumed Jieng Council of Elders. The cry of every South Sudanese was PEACE* but the JCE

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  • 11 January 2016 10:50, by hamil

    And Salva Kiir rushed into formation of these States not for the benefit of all tribes but one single tribe that is why there is dissatisfaction from all corners of the country about the motive of these 28 States. We have another war waiting in the wings and until Kiir and his JCE are in power this country will not know peace

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