The Minister of Information and Broadcasting, who doubles up as the government’s spokesperson, Michael Makuei Lueth has reiterated that the Number of States and their Boundaries will and shall forever remain as 32 states and the government must always maintain its stance on such an issue.

“Number of states will and shall forever be 32 states, they’ll only be reduced according to the will of citizens of South Sudan, not the opposition. As the government of the people, that’s our position, we’re ready for the formation of the unity government on 22nd February,” said Michael Makuei Lueth, Minister Of Information and Broadcasting.

The issue of the Number of states and their Boundaries has been and continues to be a sticking point, imperilling the implementation of the peace process.

Last week, South Africa’s Deputy President, David Mabuza proposed an arbitration mechanism – an alternative dispute resolution method aimed at addressing the current impasse over the number of states and their boundaries.

“We are going to subject the question of the number of states to arbitration, a mechanism that is going to take 90 days. 90 days will go into the government of national unity,” said South Africa’s Deputy President, David Mabuza.

However, the proposal was rejected by the leadership of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-IO, one of the main signatories to the peace agreement, and instead called on the international community and the region to form an independent body to look into the issue.

“The legislature cannot be formed without having addressed the issue of the number of states, so this is one clarification we wanted make,” said Angelina Teny, head of the SPLM-IO Defence Committee.

South Sudan’s government and opposition factions signed an agreement in September 2018.

Under the terms of the agreement, the Independent Boundaries Commission (IBC) was supposed to resolve the issue of the number of states their boundaries, however, the commission was unable to reach a consensus on finalizing the results