Source: Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan
January 17, 2019 (JUBA) - The SPLM-IO has rejected South Africa's proposal to settle the critical issue of the states' number and boundaries. Instead, it called for a swift resolution by a regional and international panel.
On Thursday, President Salva Kiir accepted a proposal made by South Africa's Deputy President David Mabuza to form an arbitration body including the IGAD and South Africa. He further said this mechanism has 90 days, after the formation of the transitional government to settle the issue.
Previously Kiir and SPLM-IO leader agreed to refer the matter to Mabuza as his efforts were focused on the states' issue and had discussed it with the peace partners.
However, on Friday, SPLM-IO leading figure Angelina Teny told reporters that it was vital to settle the two sticky issues the security arrangements and the number of states and boundaries before the formation of the transitional cabinet.
Speaking about the states numbers, she pinpointed to the formation of the Council of States which is linked to the number of states and stressed the need to settle the issue as quickly as possible.
"The legislature cannot be formed without having addressed the issue of the number of states, so this is one clarification we wanted to make," she added.
In line with the revitalized peace pact, the Council of State shall be reconstituted as shall be recommended by the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC).
She further went to propose to form a panel comprising the African Union High-Level Ad Hoc Committee for South Sudan (C5) comprising its Members namely, South Africa, as Chair, Algeria, Chad, Nigeria and Rwanda and the three Troika countries including the US, th UK and Norway.
This committee will determine the number of states and their boundaries in two weeks so, that the Council of States can be formed in a short time at the beginning of the transitional period.
It worth mentioning that the speaker of the upper chamber will be nominated by the SPLM-IO while the Transitional National Legislative Assembly will be chosen by the SPLM-IG.
Teny who is also the head of the SPLM-IO defence committee proposed to deploy UN forces in the capital and troubled areas such as Yei and Juba-Nimule route where there are fighters of the holdout groups.
The IGAD countries decided to deploy 1600 troop force called Regional Protection Force (RPF) to be integrated to the UNMISS but the United Nations was not enthusiastic to the idea.
UNMISS chief Shearer said there is a sizeable number of peacekeepers deployed in the country and if there is a need for more troops this additional force would be under the command of the UNMISS.
Teny said this RPF should be deployed as approved by the UN Security Council in 2016.
"We need to sit down and look at the deployment of UNMISS in some areas until such a time that we can deliver the unified forces for the delivery of the security services," she stressed.