Kiir agrees to relinquish controversial 32 states
President Salva Kiir has agreed to return the country to 10 states plus three administrative areas despite government supporters sticking to 32 or more.
This comes during a rare meeting of the country’s top officials in Juba this morning as talks aimed at resolving the contentious issue of the number of states hit a deadlock.
The final resolution was announced by the Minister in the Office of the President, Mayiik Ayii Deng.
Minister Mayiik said President Salva Kiir has decided to return the country to 10 states and their previous counties; plus Abyei, Ruweng and Pibor Administrative Areas.
He pointed out that the decision was made for the sake of peace and unity in South Sudan. The minister noted that the justice minister has been directed to effect these legal changes immediately.
Opposition officials could not immediately be reached to comment on Kiir’s decision. It is unclear if the opposition will welcome the order.
The parties have twice failed to form a unity government, first in May 2019 and then in November the same year, when they agreed to give themselves100 days to resolve disputed issues and establish the government by February 22.
Under the terms of the peace deal, the rival parties are to create a unified army and agree on the number of states and their boundaries.