S.Sudan: President allows return to 10-province system
South Sudanese President Salva Kiir compromises with opposition on long-time hot-button issue of regional states
JUBA, South Sudan
The president of South Sudan has agreed to return the country to a system of 10 states rather than the current 32, raising hopes for a compromise to end internal clashes.
President Salva Kiir said he resolved to return the world's youngest nation to 10 states plus three administrative areas, easing a "sticky issue" as the country moves on from civil war.
"The compromise we have just made is in the interest of peace [...] I expect the opposition to reciprocate," Salva Kiir said following a meeting of top government and military officials in the capital Juba.
The agreement will help move the country beyond "this imposed senseless conflict," Kiir said, calling the compromise "one of the most painful decisions I have ever made."
The number and boundaries of regional states have been a major sticking point in the long drawn out disagreement between South Sudan government and opposition forces on forming a transitional government of national unity slated for Feb. 22.
The former warring parties are expected to return to the negotiating table in Addis Ababa on Feb. 15.
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