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States issue should not impede South Sudan peace process: Kiir

South Sudan leadership receives a briefing from negotiating team in Juba on 20 July 2018 (ST Photo)
July 21, 2018 (JUBA) - South Sudan President Saturday directed his negotiating delegation to resume talks on the power-sharing and governance in Khartoum and make the necessary efforts for a compromise on the issue of the states.

The negotiating team rejected the power-sharing ratio at the local government level saying the 2015 peace deal does not include it, but it is limited to the states executive level.

Further, for the state government, the delegation said the incumbent government should get 80% instead of the proposed 55%, the SPLM-IO only 10% instead of 20%, SSOA 5% instead of 10% and the same for the OPP.

The team in its observations, seen by Sudan Tribune, in addition, pointed out that "maintenance of the 32 states was traded by the return of Dr Riek Machar as the First Vice President".

In a statement released Saturday afternoon, the South Sudanese presidency said Kiir met Minister Martin Elia Lomoro and Minister Awut Deng Achuil again in presence of First Vice President Taban Deng Gai and Vice President James Wani Igga.

"President Kiir has directed the negotiation team to make sure the states issue should not be an obstacle to peace," said the statement.

"Lomoro promised that members of the delegation will make every effort to achieve lasting peace in the Country," further read the short statement.

Ministers Achuil and Lomoro are expected to be in Khartoum on Monday. The two negotiators arrived on Friday to Juba where they met the leadership and briefed it on the talks.

The statement didn’t refer to the composition of the Independent Boundary Commission which is rejected by the government team because it includes 10 foreigners and 5 South Sudanese.

Further, it was not clear what would be government position on the Council of States. For the upper chamber of the legislature, the mediation proposed to dissolve it and the number of its members shall be determined by the IBC, adding that the minimum of its members should be two for every state.

In October 2015, President Kiir dissolved the nation’s 10 regional states and created 28 new ones, a move that was then interpreted as a violation of the peace deal signed in August 2015 to end the civil war in the young nation.

In a separate decree issued on 15 January 2017, the president formed four additional states.