Will Three Areas Be Stumbling Block to Peace in South Sudan?

Based on my personal engagement with Dr Riek and some valid points raised by Molana Deng Biong, here is my message that I shared with Dr. Riek about three areas:

Dr Riek, let me congratulate you for appreciating the bold decision taken by President Salva to revert to 10 states. Yet we received with great concerns your rejection of three areas. I personally feel that three areas should not be a stumbling block for moving on in implementing the peace agreement. Here are some suggestions that you may consider:

1. Yourself and me were co-agents during Abyei Arbitration and you provided a real leadership that culminated to the final decision of the court. Your presence during the announcement of the final result left profound appreciation among people of Abyei about your unwavering support to their cause.
2. You are among few leaders who recognized the outcome of Abyei Community Referendum.
3. Provisions of Article 97(4) of the 2011 transitional constitution accord Abyei Area as defined by the PCA in the Hague 2009, a special administrative status.
4. The President of the Republic issued Rep.Order N0.03/2015, to establish the current Abyei Special Administrative Area or the instrument known as the Abyei Establishment Order,2015.
5. A reference was made particularly in Rep.Order 036/2015, that Abyei was not affected and Rep.Order N0.03/2015, retained its validity.
6. That when you assumed office of the 1stVP in April 2016, Abyei and Pibor ( came through an agreement) were there.
7. That, as a matter of reality on the ground, the UN Security Council in its highly celebrated resolution 2445/2018, recognized what they termed the Juba-appointed administration in Abyei box and that UNISFA to coordinate issues of Messiriya nomads with their administration in Muglad.

8. Unlike other minority ethnic groups in other states, the people of Ruweng were exceptionally affected by incidents in 2013 and that created great mistrust. Having their own administration will help in administering themselves while gradually building trust with their neighbors with your support and your brother President Salva. The oil revenue from the area could be shared with Unity state. Also the boundaries of the area could easily be worked out under the new leadership of the presidency.

I am confident brother Riek that you will be able to agree with your brother President Salva on the three areas. People of SS are tired of war and they are desperate for peace and you can make a difference.

Thanks
Dr Luka Biong

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