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KAMPALA - 8 Feb 2019

No rush to form a new government: SPLM-IO official

South Sudan’s new transitional government should not be hurriedly formed on false basis, a senior opposition official said.

Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, a member of the armed opposition faction (SPLM-IO) told Radio Tamazuj on Thursday that any attempt to form a new government on the basis of manipulation is a “non-starter”.

“The agreement says you cannot form any government without unifying the forces… Now we have not trained and unified the army. The issue of cantonment is still being discussed, so forming the government without unifying the army will be a violation, “he said.

“What about the states? We don’t know the number of states,” he added.

Oyet said the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In-Opposition (SPLM-IO) objects to proposed amendments to the country’s transitional constitution.

Last week, the National Constitutional Amendment Committee (NCAC) submitted the proposed amendments to the constitution to the justice and constitutional affairs ministry.

“We reject the procedure and some of the changes made to the bill. It is contrary to the peace agreement. There is no any government that should be formed in May on the basis of violations,” Oyet said.

Of particular concern, Oyet further stressed, are issues such as decentralization and power devolution, which are still unresolved.

“The draft amendments bill can only be submitted to the justice ministry of the revitalized TGoNU. Also, the text has not incorporated the agreement fully because the system of governance which is the devolved system is missing in the text, he explained.

According to the top SPLM-IO official, amendments to the country’s constitution do not reflect the revitalized peace deal.

He pointed out that the incumbent government plans to retain the current decentralized system of governance during the transitional period.

 “RJMEC has violated the agreement by retaining the decentralized system of governance during the transitional period,” he said.

The opposition official further said the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the main guarantors to the peace agreement, should either make amendments to the bill or order its withdrawal.

“We want IGAD as guarantors to the peace agreement to direct the NCAC to withdraw the bill and make the necessary amendments,” he said.

He urged IGAD member states to make major changes to the bill.

In September last year, South Sudan’s warring factions signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.

The revitalized peace accord stipulates that there shall be a transitional government formed after eight months of the pre-transitional period.