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SSOA rejects South Sudan governance draft deal saying states issue is red line

Participants in Entebbe meeting pose after reaching an agreement on the power sharing on 7 July 2018.
July 24, 2018 (KHARTOUM/JUBA) - The South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA) Tuesday has rejected the draft governance and power-sharing agreement saying they cannot compromise on their position against the 32 state and the power-sharing at the level of local governments.

The South Sudanese parties to the peace revitalization process had to initial a draft agreement on the governance last Thursday 19 July establishing a mechanism -the Independent Boundaries Commission (IPC)- to settle the difference over the 32 states during the transitional period.

Also, the same draft agreement on which Juba expressed strong reservations provides that the power-sharing deal will include the counties and not be limited to the state governments only as agreed in the 2015 peace deal.

However, the Sudanese mediation told them on 21 July that " Juba would want to maintain its illegal 32 States and would not like to have SSOA and other Opposition groups represented at sub-national levels of government". SSOA spokesperson Kwaje Lasu said.

The further said that the two issues are a red line that they cannot make any concession on it.

"SSOA delegations will continue to engage in the peace talks but will not compromise on fundamental issues related to our suffering people," he stressed.

The statement pointed out that the 32 states have been established by President Kiir in clear violation of the peace agreement wondering how come the government logic and insist on an illegality.

The South Sudanese government Monday said they would sign the draft agreement even if they have one reservation at the state level.

The Sudanese government for its part, said they have extended the invitation for the IGAD leaders to attend the signing ceremony on Thursday 26 July in Khartoum.

Opposition leader Deng Alor told the semi-official Sudanese Media Center (SMC) that the parties would reach an agreement on the outstanding issues.

"I am sure that a full consensus on the power-sharing before would be reached before the deadline for the final signing on Thursday," said the leader of the SPLM Former Political detainees.

(ST)