The Presidents of Uganda Yoweri Museveni rejected a decision by IGAD’s Council of Ministers to reduce the number of South Sudan’s current 32 states to 23 plus Abyei.
TThe Council of Ministers of the East African regional bloc, IGAD, made a decision today in Ethiopia’s capital, Addis Ababa.
The issue of the number of States and boundaries is one of the outstanding issues preventing South Sudanese warring parties to form a transitional government by the February 22nd dateline.
The Ugandan leader who publicly supports President Salva Kiir arrived in Addis Ababa on Saturday evening. After his arrival, he addressed the Council of Ministers, saying their decision to reduce the number of states is not supported by any reason. Museveni then asked the Council of States conduct more consultations with Kiir and the opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar tomorrow morning before IGAD’s heads of state and government make a final decision on the issue of the number of states and boundaries.
One senior SPLM-IO official who demanded anonymity described Museveni’s demand as “not new” and accuses him of working against peace.
“Museveni is an ally of Kiir. He fought alongside Kiir against us (SPLM/A-IO) so we are not surprised,” the official says, adding, “If he doesn’t like the number of states be reducers then we would like to know what he wants.”
“Museveni position as a piece maker while advocating for the same status quo in South Sudan will never be accepted,” the official asserted.
It is not clear what IGAD’s heads of state and government will decide tomorrow. However, several officials with IGAD Secretariat told the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) most IGAD’s leaders no longer support Museveni’s more than six years of opposition to find lasting peace in the war-wracked young nation.