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Power sharing deadlock hits S. Sudan’s Latjoor state

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July 7, 2017 (JUBA)- Peace partners in South Sudan’s coalition government are deadlocked over power sharing in Latjor, one of the country’s newly-created states given to the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) in accordance with the 2015 peace agreement.

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The map of South Sudan’s Latjoor state (Getty)

Latjoor is one of the 28 states of South Sudan. It is located in the Greater Upper Nile region and it borders Eastern Nile to the north, Eastern Bieh to the south, and Ethiopia to the east.

The former governor of Upper Nile state, Simon Kun Pouch said the contentious political matter was now at the level of the presidency.

“There is no problem, but there is a need for clarification on how to share portfolios in the Latjor. The power sharing talks about power sharing for executive cabinet ministers,” Kun told Sudan Tribune Friday.

He added, “You know that the 2015 peace deal gives 46% to the government and 40% to SPLM-IO in each of the three states of Unity, Jonglei and Upper Nile but it did not talk local government, which is where there has been discussions which have not been concluded and is the main reason the state government has not been formed”.

The ex-governor, who is part of the negotiating team on behalf of government, expressed optimism of the breakthrough, saying there was a possibility President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Taban Deng Gai will break the deadlock for government to be formed.

Latjoor state is inhabited by the Jikany Nuer section in Upper Nile region. Its capital, Nasir, has for long been a contested town between government troops and forces of the armed opposition faction led by the first vice president designate, Riek Machar.

The new state, according to the August 2015 peace agreement between president Kiir and rebel leader Machar, will be governed by the opposition faction along with another oil rich Unity state.

However, when appointing governors for the 28 new states, the South Sudanese leader told the governors of the states curved from Upper Nile and Unity to be ready to vacate their seats once the armed opposition group nominates their governors for these states.

(ST)

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