An Open Letter to Amb. Dr. Islmail Wais, IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan
By the Leaders of Civil Societies,
Feb 12, 2020 — Following the Summit of the IGAD Heads of States and Government on the situation of the Republic of South Sudan, held in Addis Ababa from 8-9 February 2020, the Summit delegated His Excellency Dr. Abdalla Hamdok, Prime Minister of the Republic of Sudan and Chair of IGAD General Assembly and His Excellency General Yoweri Kaguta Museveni, President of the Republic of Uganda, both as co-guarantors of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS ) 2018. The Summit mandated the two leaders to separately and jointly meet with His Excellency General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, and His Excellency Dr. Riek Machar, leader of the Sudan People Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) with objective to reach amicable solution on the outstanding issue of number of States in the Republic of South Sudan.
As a result, Dr. Riek recommitted the position of the SPLM-IO to only 10 States plus Abyei Administrative Area, while President Salva Kiir, on behalf of the Government first agreed to return the country back to ten States but after meeting with his delegation, changed his mind and maintained the government position of 32 states plus Abyei Administrative Area respectively.
The two guarantors of the R-ARCSS could not resolve the stalemate and accordingly closed the meeting with conclusion that the Government will go back to South Sudan and conduct popular consultation with people of South Sudan and thereafter, the final outcome shall be communicated to the regional and international community during the upcoming tripartite meeting to be held in Addis Ababa on February 15,2020,
Noting that only thirteen days are left before the end of the one hundred-day extension of the deadline for the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity on February 22, 2020,
Acknowledging that the formation of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity has been postponed twice in May and November 2019,
Realizing the fact that no genuine Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity can be formed without agreeing on the number of States and their borders,
Recognizing the fact that 2015 peace agreement was based on 10 States,
Having recognized the enormous sufferings being experienced by people of South Sudan, particularly women and children and the cost of non-implementation of the peace agreement going up for the international community,
IGAD Council of Ministers having recommended reduction in the number of States from 32 to 23 or 10, while IGAD Heads of States Summit, having noted the recommendations of the Council of Ministers to reduce the number of States in South Sudan,
Noting the fact that economy of South Sudan has collapsed,
Government of South Sudan having requested further consultations on the number of States,
Reducing the number of States back to 10 which have some positive legal and constitutional implications and is affordable in light of the current economic crises in the country and majority of South Sudanese communities in the Country, at IDPs camps and outside the country in refugee camps, being in support of 10 States,
We the Civil Society Organizations leaders in Kenya, would like to register our support for reduction of South Sudanese States from 32 to 10.
This is because of the following reasons: –
1. The 2015 Agreement was signed based on 10 States
2. The independence of South Sudan was based on 10 States
3. The border of 10 States are very clear and have no disputes
4. The 10 States are economically viable and sustainable
5. The 10 States promotes unity and social cohesion as opposed to 32
6. States which are created on tribal basis promotes tribalism and disunity among South Sudanese
7. The 10 States were created by Sudan government and affirmed by independence of South Sudan,
8. The current budget of South Sudan is based on 10 States
9. The population of South Sudan is smaller than Kenya, Uganda, Sudan, Tanzania, Nigeria and USA among others and therefore does not require 32 States
10. The economy of South Sudan has collapsed and cannot sustain 32 States
Creation of 32 States gives political and economic domination of South Sudan to an elite and the expenses of remaining 64 tribes of South Sudan and therefore supporting the current 32 States is blessing permanent political and economic domination of the 63 tribes by one tribe.
11. Maintaining 32 States may force other communities to unite and form a country of their own, so as to come out of political and economic domination by one tribe.
In order to maintain unity of South Sudan, overcome economic and political domination by one tribe, bring lasting peace in South Sudan, we call upon IGAD, AU, UN, C5, EU, TROIKA, Amnesty International, Enough Project, Human Rights Watch and other international groupings and institutions to put more pressure on South Sudan Government to reduce the number of States from 32 to 10 and ensure that an all-inclusive, transparent, regional and tribal balanced Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity is formed on schedule in South Sudan in line with the signed Revitalized Peace Agreement, without neglecting any of the articles of this agreement.
Mr. Daniel Deng
Dr. Wesley Natana
You can reach these Civil Society leaders through email at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.