Opposition Parties Unite Against S. Sudan 28 States
Opposition parties in South Sudan have united in a nation-wide effort to stop the creation of 28 states in the African country.
The national alliance of 18 opposition parties claim the move is unconstitutional and contravenes the Compromise Peace Agreement, which was only signed in August. Earlier this week opposition members rejected a constitutional amendment that would justify the conversion from 10 states to 28.
Government plans to go ahead
Despite growing opposition against the decree, the government has signalled it is prepared to go ahead with implementing 28 states in the country. Earlier this month the South Sudanese cabinet approved President Kiir’s 28 state decree, promising to present the bill to parliament “as soon as possible”.
Unsurprisingly, the order from President Kiir has been met with resistance from former vice-president Reik Machar’s armed opposition. Kiir and Machar have been at the centre of conflict in South Sudan since 2013 and the peace deal agreed in August has done little to prevent ongoing violence.
Machar’s SPLM-IO faction isn’t alone in its opposition to Kiir’s decree though. The 18 party alliance is led by Lam Akol, who claims the group has a strategy in place to garner support from other political forces and the general public.
Meanwhile, secretary general of the alliance, Martin Abe Aligo, called on all South Sudanese people to unite and make their presence known to both the government and supreme court.
“It is the responsibility of all of us, whether as political parties, as civil society, as churches, whether as Muslims or Christians and whether as government supporters or ordinary citizens, to come out with one voice and tell the government and the supreme court that this order should be suspended,” he said.