A Section of the Map of the 28 states decreed by President Kiir on 2 October 2015.
By Ariik Atekdit
JUBA, 10 May 2016 [Gurtong]- Authorities in Tonj State have accused the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Committee (JMEC) and the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) of working closely in order to see South Sudan drag again into conflict over the refusal of the two organisations to recognize the newly created 28 States.
Demonstrations kicked off in Tonj Town on Monday to condemn the Wednesday’s Press Statement made by the UN’s Special Representative of the Secretary General which said that JMEC and UNMISS don’t recognise President Kiir’s 28 States that were established last year.
The Acting Governor, Mr. Manhiem Bol Malek speaking on phone from Tonj before addressing the protestors on Monday said, “Our people have come out today (Monday) to protest the statement that disqualifies the 28 States as official administrative units in South Sudan. We are urging authorities in UN mission and JMEC to stay away from the 28 States issue.”
Margaret Ellen Loej last week said, “It is very clear that there are challenges around the country in relations to how borders have been drawn in the 28 States proposal, and that has led to ethnic tensions in many parts of the country.”
“First and foremost, I would like to say that the situation in the former Upper Nile State around Malakal is particularly sensitive because of the ethnic composition of the population,” Ellen said adding that they don’t formally recognise the 28 States as a mission.
However, the acting Governor said that the statement of Ms. Ellen was an abuse of South Sudan’s sovereignty and called it interference in the country’s internal affairs.
“This is interference into our national affairs. Indeed the UN Mission is planning to engineer warfare in South Sudan. I am saying this because our people will objectively fight against the cancellation of 28 States and the very UN should be answerable. These organisations are against the stability of South Sudan,” Malek stated.
“The people of Tonj State will not accept to return to Kuacjok again if the former Warrap State is re-unified. If they are serious, Madam Loej should come to Tonj State and address the public and see how people will react against her. She should not give Malakal as an example of South Sudan in the issue of 28 States,” Malek added.
Malek said that the border disputes between States will be addressed by the Border Disputes Committee established by the President. “I am sure the nation is ready to solve any problem but not to reverse to the decision.”
The Agreement of Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (ARCISS) only recognized the former 10 States. However, several government officials have said that they will work together with the SPLM-IO to implement the agreement in reference to the 28 States.
View the FULL Map of the 28 States