South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) shakes hands with South Sudan's exiled rebel leader Riek Machar in Juba, capital of South Sudan, Sept. 9, 2019. Riek Machar arrived in Juba on Monday for face-to-face talks with President Salva Kiir. President Kiir and Machar are expected to discuss and reevaluate progress and challenges facing the revitalized peace deal they signed in September 2018 in Ethiopia to end more than five years of conflict. (Xinhua Denis Elamu)

The solution to the current political crisis in South Sudan hinges on home-grown conflict resolution initiatives as opposed to relying on foreigners, an expert said on Tuesday.

Peter Adwok Nyaba, a scholar said that foreign players cannot be trusted to provide solutions to a political stalemate linked to the creation of the number of states in the world’s youngest nation.

Business24

“As South Sudanese, we are not seeing the problem, the South Sudanese are not seeing that those whom we have brought as mediators and observers are people who have their own interests different from ours,” Nyaba told Xinhua during an interview in Juba.

“If we differed, we have to go back to where we differed, identify what the problem is and from there, it will become easy to solve the (political) problem,” he added.

Nyaba, a former minister of higher education, said that South Sudanese need to start debating on what should be done to improve the economic situation in the country.

“What is happening is that people are negotiating on the number of states but a national debate will need people to sit down on a platform, and their people will give their opinions and something objective will come out of it,” said Nyaba.

He said that the proposal to hold a referendum on the number of states and their boundaries as supported by some government officials will not be possible because of the heavy displacement of the population.

“Any referendum on the number of states might need its own conditions. You need people to be there, people are not there, they are all displaced. Some people are in the protection of civilian sites (PoCs). The issue is not the number of states or their tribal boundaries, it is under development,” said Nyaba.

He said that South Sudan’s citizens have to agree on the root cause of political stalemate to enable warring parties to solve the challenges facing the country.

President Salva Kiir and Riek Machar, the leader of the main-opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO) failed again to agree on the number of states and their boundaries in Ethiopia, during the 34th extra-ordinary summit of the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

IGAD mediated the 2018 revitalized peace deal in Ethiopia after the 2015 peace deal collapsed following renewed clashes in July 2016.

The government said it will seek to consult with the people of South Sudan and report back to the IGAD on Feb.15 in Ethiopia.

The number of states and security arrangements are still the major unresolved issues that have delayed the formation of the transitional unity government since May last year when the pre-transitional period ended.

The former warring parties have twice extended the pre-transitional period, as they are left with only twelve days of the 100 days extension period agreed upon in November, before forming the unity government on Feb.22.

South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013, after President Salva Kiir sacked his deputy Riek Machar leading soldiers loyal to the respective leader to fight.

Under the 2018 peace deal, Machar will return to take up one of the five vice presidency positions in the transitional unity government expected to be formed in February. Enditem.

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