Source: PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd – South Sudan

32 vs 10 vs 23 vs 21: Warring Parties reached a Deadlock on the Number and Boundaries of States in South Sudan

Wednesday, December 04, 2019 (PW) — For the past two Days, IGAD has engaged Parties signatories to the R-ARCSS to agree on the number of States and boundaries in South Sudan. The Number of States and Boundaries is one of the sticking points which led to the extension of Pre-Transitional Period to 100 Days.

During the deliberations, the following three options were tabled:

1 – 32 States by the Government 

2- 10 States by the SPLM-IO

3 – 23 States by the SSOA

The deliberations took a day and half without any solution and compromise; but yesterday evening, the facilitators pressured the parties to compromise and come up with a possible solutions to address this issue.

The government delegation was asked to state their position of compromise; they say let the SPLM-IO first agreed to compromise, which the SPLM-IO said it was willing to do for the sake of peace and suffering civil population in the country. 

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The SPLM-IO stated that the Party will move upward from 10 States to a midnight and also suggested that the government must move downward from 32 States. 

In this regard, the government was only willing to move upward – to increase the number of States to 40 even 55 States. When the government delegation was asked to explain the rationale of moving upward, they failed to give sufficient answers rather than the false narrative of taking towns to people without any reference to the states’ boundaries, governance structure and their economic feasibility.

SPLM – IO delegation explained their rationale of sticking to 10 States – that it’s in the agreement and that the country is facing eminent economic collapse or has collapsed and does requires more states. More importantly, the 10 States have clear marked boundaries and will take people of South Sudan war over land issue.

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When things go tougher at around 6PM or so and without any solution on sight, the facilitators decided to strike the balance by reconciling the two positions of 10 and 32 States. 

They added both numbers, 10 States +32 States =42 and then divide 42/2= 21 States. 

The facilitators informed the delegations that we can go with 21 States as a midpoint. 

The SSOA agreed and say we can only add 2 more to make it 23 States.

The SPLM-IO also on their part agreed with the formula and accepted 21 States.

The government on their part disagreed and stick to 32 or it could only accept moving upward up-to 55 States.

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Then, the deadlock is reached. The discussion was adjourned for today, December 4th, 2019.

@nyoldit

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