Archive for: June 2014

Saving South Sudan from Further Implosion and Disintegration

By: Tongun Lo Loyuong, Germany, JUN/22/2014, SSN;

The devastating violent implosion that befell South Sudan at the turn of the year is no longer defensible and nor do claims to remain in power. The alleged coup that precipitated the violent social disintegration has since been found to be null and void by the overwhelming majority, including by regional powers that were previously “concerned” by the matter and committed armies to come to the “rescue.”

But this was always a coup against the people of South Sudan, fabricated by a minority rogue elements in the political leadership to rid political opponents, protect the illicitly acquired assets and consolidate grip on unjust political and economic power by all means.

Unsurprisingly, it is this lonesome rogue minority clique that continues to believe in its own lies and that is now left joggling its manufactured coup narrative to explain the violence away, while posturing on claims of “legitimacy” as a pretext to continue clinging to power come rain or shine.

Both president, Salva Kiir and his deputy, James Wani Igga among others, continue to defy logic and common sense. Igga has been shuttling the region and lamenting the possibility of an interim government without president Salva.

“There will be no interim government in South Sudan without the legitimate president, Kiir,” he is paraphrased as saying while begging for support from the “Good Samaritan” to the effect.

Meanwhile Kiir attempts to fallaciously reason with the public that “if there was no coup how can the eruption of the violence mid-December last year be explained?!”

There are many explanations to the violent eruption. But coup attempt in the conventional sense is not one.

Kiir has since issued an ultimatum in this vein likewise that there will be no interim government without him, much to the delight of a choir of South Sudan lawmakers who chanted elementary school songs of “we shall never surrender.”

But who can blame the “parliamentarians” for assuming such a schoolboy mentality when their memory is still vivid with the threat of being made “to roam the streets” should their disobedience prove noteworthy!

Away from the mental processes of Kiir and coterie and their cognitive ability to see that which even a real schoolboy sees, South Sudan is bleeding as a result of their intended or unintended actions and poor choices.

With it all claims to legitimacy to cling to power have equally evaporated. What remains should be the undertaking of justice and accountability rather than the reward of presiding over an interim government to restore sanity in South Sudan.

The unspeakable atrocities and wanton human rights abuses that have been committed against innocent South Sudanese largely across ethnic lines and the tens of thousands of lives lost in this war of power and greed demand justice and accountability let alone staking legitimacy claims to continue ruling South Sudan.

Add to this the nearly 1.5 million displaced people whose livelihoods have been ended, properties destroyed and villages razed by this meaningless civil war.

Famine is poised to further claim more lives of perhaps another generation of the vulnerable South Sudanese— mainly women and children—a situation that seems too late to reverse.

The emergency response efforts pursued by members of the humanitarian community though laudable are, at best, damage limitation mode to redress their own complicity or complacency in failing to read the signs and prevent the violent conflict.

The coup narrative has crumbled under its weight and is advisable to be let go. The claims to legitimacy equally ring hallow in the face of the grim ramifications of this senseless civil war and the innocent killing rampage.

As the peace talks enter negotiations on security and interim government arrangements in South Sudan, the regional and international stakeholders officiating the peace process can enhance the process of saving South Sudan from further implosion and violent social disintegration by primarily factoring in the tragic realities of the civilian massacres and the circumstances around which this war broke out in South Sudan. This should serve as the premise of any attempt to find lasting solution to the crisis.

The strategic objectives of the current phase of the peace process should therefore, aim to facilitate the so-called “new political dispensation.”

At the center of this new political outlook should be the establishment of a neutral governing body to oversee the beginning of the groundwork for building viable federal democratic state institutions that can assist South Sudan to begin to take the first steps towards nation building.

The administration of transitional justice and national healing, peace and reconciliation, which is integral to any way forward in South Sudan, requires such a neutral governing body.

The composition of this government must be without those who are yet to clear their names whether related to the atrocities committed in the current violent mayhem or pertaining to corruption allegations. To his credit, Dr. Riek Machar seems comprehending of an interim arrangement without him.

It does not take Wisdom of Solomon to determine the instigators of the current violence and hence their subject to investigation for their potential culpability in these crimes before international justice is paramount.

The same culprits are the ones using various claims to derail and spoil the peace process from urgently concluding the crisis and restoring peace and order in South Sudan. They can be part of the process to determine the modalities to end the violence and negotiate their exit strategy.

But they cannot play any role in the interim arrangements to save South Sudan from further implosion and social disintegration and restore peace and stability, which is integral not only to South Sudan but also to the increasingly fragile regional and international peace and security.

Religious and ideological extremism is on the rise and South Sudan must not be allowed to become a safe haven for these groups, which in the presence of the current security breakdown might potentially be the case.

In this context, and while the Inter-governmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the regional body mediating the peace process must be commended for trying to facilitate a peace process that seeks to be inclusive in order to find lasting peaceful solution in South Sudan compared to previous ones, the mediators must, nonetheless, exercise caution and due diligence in the stakeholder selection process, particularly when it comes to civil society representation.

Getting it right at the second time of asking will go a long way in determining the fate of sustainable peace in South Sudan, which will ultimately contribute to the fate of regional and international peace and security.

There are simply too many wolves in sheep skin hovering around the negotiation table at the moment, including those who at one stage or another were part and parcel of the current establishment or were its custodians but who are now disguised as members of the civil society. The civil society pretenders must therefore, be thoroughly vetted before their inclusion in the Roundtable.

Not every Bari man or woman represents the interest of the whole Bari community in South Sudan. The same holds for a Dinka, Nuer, Shilluk or any other member of the various ethnic groups and tribal cleavages of South Sudan. In fact the experience from the current mess in South Sudan suggests that individualism and looking after one’s self-interest rather than serving the nation drives public service in South Sudan.

It would appear that there are genuine efforts to find lasting solution to the current crisis in South Sudan. With a little bit more rigor, perhaps current crisis may yet prove to be a blessing in disguise for South Sudan.
Will we have a reason to celebrate come our third independence anniversary in a little more than two Weeks?

Tongun Lo Loyuong is a PhD student in the U.K. beginning from September, 2014. His research interest is on the role of civil society in transitional justice and reconciliation in South Sudan. He holds two Master’s Degrees with honors and academic excellence from the United States. The last of his two MAs is in International Peace Studies and Policy Analysis for Political Change, from the University of Notre Dame – Indiana. He is reachable at: tloloyuong@gmail.com. For South Sudan news feed, follow him on tweeter; and for more commentaries visit his blog at: http://tloloyuong.wordpress.com/.

Federal system of government strengthens national unity

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUN/22/2014, SSN;

A debate on any topic of interest should be seen as a way of increasing understanding for an informed decision. The debate may clear some ignorance about the topic. This should be viewed as something positively contributing to mutual understanding.

The current debate on federalism should be seen as something useful to increase understanding. Some people are expressing outright ignorance mixed with fear of what federalism is all about. Some are even losing their heads as the debate heats up which seems to have touched raw nerves.

Objectivity is fast disappearing, producing sycophants who are trying by all means to please their masters to sustain their high table positions. Intellectualism is being replaced with simplistic arguments where federalism is dismissed outright as non starter.

The sustainability of national unity does not depend on somebody’s subjectivity to prescribe what people should support. Rather it is an objective undertaking and collective responsibility born out of inclusiveness where people can instinctively identify with the nation.

Arguably, inclusiveness can be achieved through federalism when there is an active participation at the state level in addressing local issues that a centralized system is too remote to address.

As will be seen in the text there may be some hidden reasons why some people ardently reject federalism. However, as the debate carries on there will come a time when the majority will either reject or support federalism. Naturally as people gain knowledge of something it is expected that they will make an informed decision which may go either way, to reject or support federalism.

Something that is imposed on people may hardly be sustainable. People should therefore be contented that neither a federal system nor a centralized one will be imposed. Any system of government that will be adopted will hopefully be according to the will of the majority with the rights of minorities respected and dissenting views taken on board. Federalism will naturally be gaining ground.

Debate on federalism

The debate on federalism has produced proponents on one side and opponents on the other. The proponents of federalism are positive as they conceive federalism sustaining national unity.

In a federal system of government the federal constitution allocates power between the federal (national) government and the component units (states), determining which powers are the exclusive prerogative of each government and which powers are shared.

It is to be noted that when powers are shared, the federal constitution defines how conflicts among the governments with regard to these powers are to be resolved. In sustaining national unity the federal constitution regulates the relations among the states and between the federal government and the states.

Adopting a federal system of government should be seen as part of reforms to consolidate national unity in view of communal heterogeneity and complexity as for example in South Sudan. Federalism creates an environment that encourages full participation of people in running effectively their development affairs to improve living standards.

Who will object to services closer to home? Only the naïve may do so. This is in contrast to a centralised system where accountability may be wanting and most of the budget is retained at the centre with the peripheries nearly abandoned. This will hardly be the case in a federal system where peripheries are catered for.

Proponents of federalism are champions of equitable power sharing and distribution of resources for the benefit of all. On the other hand opponents are negative in their imagination and will do anything to reject federalism. They should understand that federalism is like a hedge in between that makes relations greener.

Conception of federalism

The opponents of federalism conceive federalism negatively. This has generated a lot of misconception of federalism. Arguably most of the misconception is based on ignorance, fear and deliberate misinterpretation. Ignorance may be associated with high levels of illiteracy.

Somebody somewhere in the debate on federalism has said, because of high illiteracy rate, 72 per cent, in South Sudan, the adoption of federalism must wait until the illiteracy rate is about 11 per cent. What a strange idea indeed.

On average the literacy rate in Equatoria is 32 per cent, in Bahr el Ghazal 22.25 and in Upper Nile it is 29 per cent respectively. It can be seen that the literacy rate in Equatoria is higher than in the other two former regions. However, the literacy rate in Upper Nile is higher than that of Bahr el Ghazal.

The higher literacy rate in Equatoria may explain the level of understanding of federalism here that the overwhelming demand is for a federal system of government in South Sudan. Partly due to its high literacy rate Upper Nile may also demand a federal system of government. This makes it unacceptable to hold Equatoria hostage because of the others’ low level of understanding of federalism.

In the debate fear is the only factor for the rejection of federalism. For example, somebody in a very simplistic way cited Munuki Residential Area as excluding non Equatorian residents from attending committee meetings. Is this a major issue that can lead to the rejection of federalism? Of course, this can simply be administratively tackled if a genuine complaint is raised.

The fear of federalism cited is that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan. How will people be divided is a mystery that only the fearful may have the answer. The fear that federalism will divide the people of South Sudan is an insult to the intelligence of the people as though they are simpletons who cannot think critically. The people of South Sudan will not be divided but only if they so desire.

Naturally the people of South Sudan are not one people as some would like to preach as if others are daft. However, one thing is certain. The people of South Sudan are of one destiny and this was their only strength that sustained them through the ages in the long and bitter armed struggle for dignity, freedom and equality. As in the old Sudan, in South Sudan we are still people of one destiny united in our quest for justice and fairness for all.

Federalism will never ever divide the people of South Sudan as claimed by the opponents of federalism who tend to be too simplistic in their perception. The people have a bigger goal to achieve, South Sudan that is a paradise for all. Centralisation has obviously brought many problems that solutions are hardly available.

Deliberate misinterpretation of federalism

The opponents of federalism have been relentlessly engaging in deliberate misinterpretation. A crucial discovery can be made at this juncture from this deliberate misinterpretation of federalism. The demand for federalism seems to have uncovered something dangerous to the unity of South Sudan, a neocolonialist agenda of the supposedly informed opponents of federalism. In their fury against federalism the opponents have displayed their true colors and frustrations have got the better of them.

The target is Equatoria which is the lead in the call for a federal system of government in South Sudan. So arguably, the rejection of federalism is not because it is a bad system of government but because it is an obstacle to the neocolonialist agenda.

This is a contradiction to the concept and spirit of a liberation struggle to establish a fairer system of governance that delivers and meets people’s aspirations for a decent life. The turmoil we have may be due to such contradiction. So the venom is now spat out. Neocolonialism will not only target Equatoria but it will go beyond when the project in Equatoria is over.

Conclusion

South Sudanese are people of one destiny. They share the same aspirations for dignity, freedom, equality, justice and fairness for all. How true the saying is that one rotten apple spoils a bag of apples. Some opponents of federalism may have genuine concerns.

However, it is clear that others may have neocolonialist agenda. These people may hardly have the unity of people of South Sudan in their hearts but only their interest.

In conclusion, poor understanding of federalism can be addressed through an open debate and discussion, and possibly through talk show in the media. However, people’s freedom to express their views should not be muzzled.

The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is clear and allows for freedom of expression and media as stipulated in Article 24(1). Opponents of federalism may need to demonstrate that they do not have neocolonialist agenda for their position is unconvincing.

Bagari and Bazia Atrocities in Western Bahr-el-Ghazel

Breaking News, JUN/21/2014, SSN;

(From Eyewitnesses in Wau) Once again, the vampire Rezik Zacharia, governor of Western Bahr al Gazal has been bugged by Paul Malong, the military chief of staff who is thirsting for the blood of the Balanda people.

This time he has sent the military personnel to Balanda villages; Bagari, Faragalla, and Bazia, whereby they are beating people and asking for the whereabouts of the rebels. Not only that, but they are also looting people’s properties of whatever kind they can see.

They are looting the Balanda properties as if it is the Balanda people who refuse to pay them, the soldiers, their salaries.

Because of these atrocities people are leaving their villages and running to Wau city.

The main aim of Gov. Rezik is to provoke the Balanda in such a way that if they react against those SPLA troops then they will have an excuse to massacre them like what they did in Wau in December 2012.

Even though the country is supposedly on a ceasefire between the government troops and SPLM-in-Opposition rebels, there is no peace in Balanda villages.

Moreover, this is happening during the farming season and it is chasing people away from their farms, forgetting that the Balanda farmers basically feed Wau city and the consequence will be starvation in Wau next year.

Kalwendu Gbaga Gbaga

South Sudanese Political Elites Are Too Reactive To Even Mild Criticisms

BY: John Adoor Deng, Australia, JUN/20/2014, SSN;

I am surprised by the disproportional reaction from South Sudanese political elites to simple matters of criticism. One wonders how democracy and freedom of expression can grow in this country. Little things make big headlines especially coated in threats and bullying languages.

Comparatively, leaders all over the world— unless South Sudan is a country on a different planet and operates with distinctive values and customs– are inundated with criticisms both during their reign even after they had left offices.

In most parts of the world, leadership is understood as a significant responsibility. It comes with great rewards – people trust you, follow you, admire you, and are inspired by you.

Equally, however, leadership comes with a fair amount of disrespect, fear and the desire to lop the tall poppy. Coping with criticism in a leadership context is not a case of reacting defensively to justify your actions. Instead, it requires much more expansive comprehension of how your actions are perceived by others and how you perceive their actions.

While it’s not easy taking the analytical road over the critical, doing so brings the best outcomes for both the short and long terms. In the words of the wise man, Aristotle, “Anyone can become angry. That is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose and in the right way — that is not easy.”

He also said that Criticism is something you can avoid easily—by saying nothing, doing nothing and being nothing.

Although not many leaders can comprehend Mr Aristotle position on criticism, it is necessary that leaders in high positions abide at least to some of this comprehension.

In the real sense, do South Sudanese political elites know that the price of leadership is criticism? If they know, why do they bother to lead while they hardly cope with criticisms?

Naturally, no one pays much attention to the last-place finishers. But when you’re in front, everything gets noticed. So it is important to learn to handle criticism constructively.

Jonas Salk, who discovered the polio vaccine, had many critics in spite of his grand accomplishments. He once made this interesting observation: “People will tell you that you are wrong. Then they will tell you that you are right, but what you’re doing is really not important. Finally, they will admit that you are right and what you are doing is very important. But after all, they knew it all the time.”

I appeal to South Sudanese political elites to avoid being reactive to small issues and criticism. As the country is severely divided on tribal lines, it is a high time that our leaders show smiley faces, respond to queries cautiously and calmly.

The reaction toward recent statement from the public servant of IGAD was responded disproportionally. The peace talk cannot be postponed simply because a certain layman has referred to President Kiir and Dr Machar as stupids.

It does not correlate at all, because of these things: Firstly, Mr Maalim Mahboub is a mere worker for IGAD and, therefore, whatever he says should be treated as misconduct against public service codes and regulations within the organisation.

Also, president Kiir is the employer of Mr Maalim Mahboub because IGAD countries fund IGAD. How can a boss complained publicly about a mistake committed by his subordinate?

Secondly, Maalim Mahboub is neither a mediator nor a head of state of the Federal Republic of Ethiopia which is chairing and hosting IGAD peace talks. What then is the connection between Maalim Mahboub with postponing the talks mediated by those Hon. mediators with no body called Maalim Mahboub among them?

Thirdly, is it worth it to pull out of peace talks simply because of a mere statement from a mere person?

Many of us thought that our leaders went to Addis-Ababa to bring back peace to the country. We thought that they went to Ethiopia with an open mind to compromise their interests so that the interest of the innocent public could be realised.

I appeal to all of especially the delegates on both sides to Ethiopia, to stop putting unnecessary hindrances to the noble quest for peace in the country.

Sincerely, your withdraw from the peace talks simply because of a mere statement says many things in the eyes of the international community than such words of Mahboub Maalim.

For the rule of law and freedom of expression to flourish in our country, our political elites should lessen their disproportional reaction to criticisms.

The Author is John Adoor Deng, BA, BTH, MPRL, MPPP-current and Director of South Sudan Support Foundation (SSSF). He can be reached at johnadoordeng@yahoo.com.au


Pros & Cons of Pres. Museveni’s ‘intervention’ & lessons we can learn from it

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, CANADA, JUN/20/2014, SSN;

Ugandan, or rather, Museveni’s ‘intervention’ in South Sudan’s conflict has caused various reactions in Africa and especially in South Sudan depending on one’s political allegiance. There are those who oppose or support the ‘intervention ‘on principle and there are those who support or oppose it given their political colors.

Like always, I support or oppose any given political incident given the valuation I give it. For me, Museveni’s intervention has both negative and positive aspects to it. And both of these have something to teach not only the South Sudanese people but the Ugandans themselves; who seem to be in a deep political slumber; or a hypnotic semblance of democracy.

While there are positive sides to this ‘intervention’, the ‘intervention’ is largely negative because it’s self-interest motivated and unintelligibly pursued.

Pros of Museveni’s Intervention

The White Army and the Nuer soldiers who joined Dr. Riek Machar in his Rebellion didn’t do so because they wanted to per se. It’s very clear that they did so as a response to the reported massacres of unarmed Nuer civilians in Juba. This tells me that had the ‘White Army’advanced to Juba or captured Juba, the city would have been a grotesque scene of massive tribal genocide.

My reasoning rests on the fact that the White Army had and still has no clear political agenda. With no doubt, they only wanted to take revenge regarding what they heard coming out of Juba.

This is manifest in what they did in Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and other areas they mindlessly ravaged.

Museveni’s ‘intervention’ therefore helped prevent the capture of Juba and the avoidance of what would have been a massive genocide.

We also need to remember also that had Riek and the White Army captured Juba, President Kiir wouldn’t have just given up and leave Riek Machar to assume presidency.

Having seen how the president relies so much on his Jieeng tribesmen, it’s conceivable that the president would have actually mobilized the Jieeng tribe to reclaim his presidency or wage a guerrilla-style war.

Whatever the case would have been, the capture of Juba would have been a disaster for South Sudan because the WA would have done what they did in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal by going on a killing rampage!

Another positive consequence of Museveni’s ‘intervention’ is the fact that it showed South Sudan’s leadership that a strong, cohesive, well-trained and always-paid-on-time army is crucial for national defense.

The Cons of Museveni’s Intervention
Museveni and Uganda People’s Defense Force (UPDF) made a mockery of not only the South Sudanese national army but also, South Sudanese generally. Had President Museveni been a conscientious leader who’s helping out a fellow president, Museveni would have put his UPDF forces under the solid command of the SPLA without any exception.

When the government forces recaptured the state capital town of Bor from the rebel forces in January, the indiscipline Uganda commander, one Paddy Ankunda (or whatever his name is) unashamedly announced that “UPDF has captured the town of Bor in S. Sudan. Big relief to trapped Ugandan, international community.”

How about the SPLA acknowledging UPDF instead of UPDF unashamedly claiming credit in a war that’s not theirs! You’re only helping! Duh! Whatever happened to humility among Africans?

This was for one a great insult to the President of South Sudan (who asked for UPDF’s help), the SPLA as the national army, and the general spirit of building bilateral relations. If this is the best discipline the UPDF top brass can offer then good luck to dear Uganda populace!

Embarrassing the nation you are supposedly helping is naïve at best and imbecilic at worst.
A good lesson is this: Get a real friend next time; a friend who’d not embarrass you and selfishly call it ‘intervention’.

Besides the fact that UPDF, the supposedly brotherly force helping a good neighbor, were nothing but hired mercenaries who were paid by the government of South Sudan as the average South Sudanese died of hunger and diseases, they did nothing if little to save the lives of innocent civilians.

Civilians were butchered in Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and other areas of South Sudan in their presence and they had the nerves to brag about capturing the town of Bor? They captured ashes and dead civilian bodies!

As if it wasn’t immoral enough for Uganda to delve into the coffers of a poor nation at war and whose citizens were dying through guns, hunger and diseases, they took the money but did nothing to protect the civilians.

South Sudanese died in their thousands as UPDF took the SPLA money! SPLA wasn’t paid as UPDF took the money!

The moral lesson: Next time you need a friendly force, get us someone who actually cares about civilian lives not just money!

And we also know that any leader who thinks he’s the only person capable of leading his country is delusional and cares less about his own people. A good leader knows that each and every citizen is an equal and that a host of citizens is capable of leading the country.

This latter sentiment fosters self-esteem among the citizens and a sense of equality. However, Museveni believes he’s the only man capable of leading Uganda. Why would we allow such a mind to be a close ally when he doesn’t care about his own people?

I’m sorry, Uganda, but President Museveni is treating you like idiots and that’s the same way he’s treating South Sudanese leaders. Think for yourself for once! Vote Museveni out!
I know some South Sudanese and Ugandans will rush to say: “But Museveni helped you during your liberation war! You’re being such an ingrate!”

The average Ugandan is the friend of South Sudan not President Museveni!

Well, if you know what politics is then know that nations and leaders don’t ‘care’ about other nations and their leaders. They show interest as long as there are tangible and visible benefits obtainable from such an ostensible ‘care.’ Museveni never cared about South Sudanese. He had high stakes in helping late Dr. John Garang de Mabior succeed! America of course!

But remember, I’m not aiming this at the average citizens of Uganda (who are our actual friends) but National Resistance Movement and UPDF. (I don’t know what Museveni is still resisting!) Resistance against Democracy, Human Rights and Freedom?

And worst of all, President Museveni either has a mental problem or is utterly and blindly arrogant. How on earth do you say you’re part of a bloc (IGAD) that wants to end the war in South Sudan but then you take side?

How on earth do you declare yourself part of the mediating body and then take up guns and shoot at one side of the two parties you’re supposed to bring together? Maybe NRM has a different definition of a ‘good leader’ or ‘Intervention’!

This man is way worse than Goodluck B. Jonathan of Nigeria and Kiir Mayardit of South Sudan.

The same Museveni, who had to get help from South Sudan, Central African Republic and Congo to go after a weak rebel group under another delusional and murderous man, Joseph Kony, is making fun of leaders facing crisis!

Wasn’t Lord Resistance Army (LRA) killing people in Northern Uganda, abducting girls and boys, cutting off people’s limbs and terrorizing the whole population? Why didn’t Museveni hang himself then?

Why did it take years for Museveni to reduce the effect of LRA in Northern Uganda? Why are UPDF and NRM unable to capture Joseph Kony even when Riek Machar was able to meet him! Isn’t UPDF such a mighty army?

Lesson: A man who can’t put his house in order can’t put another man’s house in order.

Thousands of Ugandans were terrorized, maimed or killed by Kony while UPDF and Museveni were there! Why did we think Museveni and UPDF could prevent our civilians from being killed?

And lastly, South Sudan, as a new nation, wants to develop as a democratic and human-rights-conscious state. President Museveni is a grotesque figure to even think of as a role model.

Besides his shameful treatment of opposition figures like Dr. Kizza Besigye, his determination to remain in power for eternity is a good but scary example! He’s a scary figure to run away from!

To recap, Museveni showed no respect for South Sudan and its leaders, has no heart as he allowed his UPDF to be paid by the struggling South Sudanese government, failed to protect civilians, and he’s not a person to be emulated at all.

Human rights are just like Britain in the 15th century. Freedom is regarded as anti-NRM and Museveni thinks there’s democracy in Uganda!

While Museveni has helped in keeping Kiir in Power, his name should be considered incompatible with humane care, freedom, democracy, human rights, honesty, human decency, and respect for one’s friends!

Sorry Beny Museveni, it looks like Kiir isn’t going to hang himself anytime soon!

Unless Museveni democratically and peacefully transfers power, and actually democratizes Uganda, South Sudan should stay away from this mad man! Seriously, what good can we possibly learn from President Museveni?

Many bad things: Stay in power for eternity, intimidate and make opposition figures’ lives hell on earth, assume regional supremacy, stifle human rights and freedom, spend the money on the army not development, hoodwink the civil population…oh man!

Kuir ë Garang is a South Sudanese poet and author living in Canada. He’s the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically’and ‘Is ‘Black’ Really Beautiful?’ For the contact visit www.kuirthiy.info


Yes….. Kiir is ‘STUPID’….. and that’s our problem

JUN/17/2014, SSN;

EDITORIAL ANALYSIS: Absolutely, the calling of president Salva Kiir ‘stupid’ signifies the obvious political and diplomatic frustration by IGAD’s Secretary-general, Mahboub Maalim, especially when the same Kiir puts his selfish interest foremost than the terrible predicament he has now brought on the millions of South Sudanese.

Exacerbating his supposed ‘stupidity’ further, our supposedly stupid president has subsequently and in a typically primitive knee-jerk reaction, cancelled his government’s further attendance of the peace negotiations in Addis Ababa for his self-interest again because, as his information minister, Makuei, reiterated, ‘Kiir deserves an apology.’

What a selfish president! Does Kiir seriously care about the millions of South Sudanese citizens dying from the unnecessary war and the impeding famine he has created?

As further elaborated by the Ugandan Member of Parliament, Dr. Kenneth Omona, “the disagreement between Kiir and Machar didn’t warrant war but if they’re insisting on war they become STUPID. War is always the last resort… many fertile grounds of maturity were ignored. The entire political and military class should embrace dialogue… if not, then it’s STUPIDITY.”

Nothing wrong here with the criticism of the Ugandan politician which echoed what IGAD’s Mahboub Maalim first rationalized, after all, IGAD has already wasted 17 million US dollars on the seemingly futile and endless peace talks in Addis.

What’s really more important at this critical time in our nation– the political calamity South Sudanese are enduring because of Kiir’s blunders or, to put it bluntly, the protection of his obviously well-publicized ‘stupidity?’

However, what’d worry citizens of South Sudan more is the unstoppable and rapid political metamorphosis of Kiir into a typical murderous and genocidal dictator, a buffoon and an idiot, the likes of Gadafi, Bokassa and the Pol Pots.

It can’t be any more disputed now is the fact that Kiir had carefully premeditated, planned and executed the mortal annihilation of Dr. Riek Machar and his Nuer tribes-people by his creation and use of a predominately Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazel Dinka militia just as the then Hutu president Habalyimana created the ‘Interahamwe’ paramilitary milita that massacred a million Rwandese in 1994.

In all frankness, most South Sudanese unanimously and quietly applaud the critical observation of IGAD’s Mahboub Maalim on Kiir’s mental status when he called Kiir as stupid.

To contextualize the alleged characterization of Kiir as ‘stupid,’ perhaps Mr. Mahboub Maalim meant either one or all of the following definitions:
1- A stupid person as one tending to make poor decisions or careless mistakes;
2- Lacking intelligence or care;
3- Having or showing a lack of ability to learn and understand things or
4- Not able to think normally because you are drunk.

Even though Mr. Mahboub Maalim’s so-called insult was meant for both Kiir and his nemesis, Riak Machar, it’s unarguably apparent that Kiir is the prime target since his is the most important player and the one surely impacted by all of the above qualifications as far as our current emotions are concerned.

What kind of leader is Kiir really? As a more diplomatic and civilized person, Mr. Mahboub Maalim even came to Juba recently and probably wanted to meet Kiir and iron out the problem, but, not surprisingly for most South Sudanese, Kiir flatly avoided meeting his so-called ‘insulter.’

That’s just another blatant diplomatic ‘stupidity’ by Kiir as Mr. Maalim would have most probably directly expressed his ‘apology’ as demanded by Kiir and the issue permanently resolved.

The great civil rights leader, Martin Luther is quoted having said the following: “Nothing in the world is more dangerous than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.”

Exactly, these are the two most important drawbacks of president Kiir, his stunted formal education only serves to exacerbate his utterly shameful manifestations of ‘stupidity’ in all facets of his deplorable leadership.

Since ascending to power by default after Garang’s sudden death, Kiir has been a pawn easily and persistently manipulated by his Dinka tribesmen for their particular interest and to the fatal detriment of the nation.

From the likes of Bona Malwal against Garang during the liberation to the Arthur Akuein, Athorbei, Athian, Telar and the Paul Malong, billions allegedly stolen by these tribes-people and the country utterly now devastated, obviously with Kiir’s implicit connivance.

Going back to our current predicament, how many times has Kiir publicly promised the nation that he will ‘never take us back to war?’

According to Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba, now permanently incarcerated by Kiir in Juba, in his letter of resignation from the SPLM to Kiir, aptly opined that, “the struggle for democratic reforms in the SPLM has resulted in the death of tens of thousands of our innocent citizens betrays an inner tendency to dictatorship the very antithesis of liberation, which united us in the SPLM.”

In his latest book also, ‘South Sudan: The state we aspire,’ Dr. Peter A. Nyaba further opined that “the leadership of Gen. Salva Kiir is such that it can permit perpetual political instability and squabbling, which indeed could spell the dismemberment of the SPLM and South Sudan.’

Since assuming the SPLM leadership and presidency, he stupidly averted tackling and resolving the simmering internal contradictions within the SPLM, and true to his poor leadership, he blatantly resorted to his one-man or one-clan rule/dictatorship.

True, not only has the SPLM and its SPLA disintegrated but South Sudan is now breaking apart as witnessed in the renewed call for federalism and possibly who knows, a federal Equatoria or Upper Nile state might in future break off and become two sovereign nations. Why not?

Furthermore, Kiir became a habitual liar, promising the people a million promises but delivering absolutely nothing except more death and more disaster.

Kiir persistently vowed to curtail the rampant corruption perpetuated by those in his inner circle including the J-ONE tribal aides who just opened the cash safes there and marched away with millions of dollars in their pockets while the president watched.

With sheer stupidity, Kiir publicly revealed those unnamed 75 thieves in his government who stole 4 billion US dollars and up to date, not a single suspect has ever been apprehended.

Just recently after returning from signing the Cessation of Hostilities with Machar in Addis Ababa, Kiir while addressing his supporters at Juba Airport, pointed with his hands at the mushrooming high rise buildings around, said the following: “These hotels are built by those people who stole money from Malakal and Bentiu.”

What a show of sheer stupidity by Kiir on SSTV! So he knows where the money was stolen from and who stole that money and built those towering hotels and yet he’s totally incapable to apprehend those people.

Many a times, Kiir promised to build a hundred schools periodically across the nation, nothing happened and education basically has collapsed.

How often has he promised to build hospitals in all states and improve service delivery and yet the people across the nation desperately lack basic necessities of life.

Security was promised and yet tens of headless bodies are constantly delivered openly at the Juba Morgue. The citizens across the country are forever living in fear. Even foreign embassies have advised their citizens to either leave the country or not even to come into the country.

Only under president Kiir has South Sudan, a country rich with oil revenues and other resources, but where billions of dollars disappear from the national coffers with no one held to account; a country where going into politics is synonymous with absolute sycophancy and with illicitly acquiring vast wealth with the cynical blessing of the president, a country where the expression of views against the ineptitude of the president or against the corruption and insecurity leads to sudden death in the hands of Kiir’s village henchmen.

Unfortunately and finally, our nation, that was once the beloved darling of the world as the newest nation, is now a shameful laughing stock of the world.

Compounding our situation further is the “current moral deficit and decay” in the SPLM. As Dr Lual Deng noted in his book, some of these leaders go to church every Sunday and tell lies to the innocent congregation.

That fateful Sunday of December 15, 2013, Pres. Kiir postponed the closing session of the SPLM politburo to allow him and others to go pray in their respective churches (he went to Kator Cathedral of Archbishop Paulino Lukudu) and guess what, it was the very fateful night he executed the incredulous massacre of innocent fellow citizens.

This is clinically a man of split personality, a psychopathic and genocidal leader where Kator Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro’s many, many years of prayers and benediction have had no divine effect on Kiir.

Clearly, Kiir is not accepting the IGAD proposed Transitional government without him as leader as it’s looks ominous that a peaceful resolution to our national crisis is nearly unattainable and only war remains the only option.

South Sudan has failed, will continue to fail and stay at the bottom of all nations for the foreseeable future, thanks to Kiir’s now internationally acknowledged ‘stupidity.” END


Transitional Justice is the only Solution to the deep rooted problems of South Sudan

BY: Daniel Juol Nhomngek, KAMPALA, JUN/17/2014, SSN;

I. Introduction

In the past two decades, scholars and practitioners have focused increasing attention on the question of how countries and societies can come to terms with a history of violence and war, oppression and human rights violations . The concept of transitional justice (TJ) has come to play a prominent role in academic debates on democratization, nation-building and state reconstruction and has gained widespread support from international organisations .

Judicial proceedings and prosecution of individuals suspected to have committed gross violations of human rights, truth commissions designed to establish a record of wrongdoing, reparations to the victims and vetting or dismissals of persons from certain positions have become “central ingredients in the ‘menu’ of reforms recommended by international organisations, donor agencies and outside experts for societies in transition from war or authoritarianism” The concept of reconciliation has gained similar popularity.

In the past decade “reconciliation” has become one of the four main categories of initiatives that receive donors’ support, along with political development, socio-economic assistance and security . Many researchers and practitioners see reconciliation as a necessary requirement for lasting peace, assuming that once a top-down political settlement has been reached, a bottom-up process should take place, in which unresolved issues of the conflict will be handled in order to prevent questioning of the settlement and a return to violence . In this context, coming to terms with the past is considered a precondition for building peace and future relationships .

In this paper my argument is as it has always been that the cause of the current conflict in South Sudan has nothing to do the failure of the SPLM in administration as a government per se but it is as a result of structurally deep rooted problems that have been stirred up by the SPLM failure to investigate these deep-rooted issues and instead sit on them as a government as if there is nothing wrong in South Sudan.

Yet in reality, South Sudan has been bogged down in circle of violence in the past decades where killings went on unabated especially between Nuer and Dinka as a result of hatred sowed by Arab’s divided and rule. Arabs divided not only Dinka and Nuer against each but other tribes against Dinka as a way for them to survive against South Sudanese nationalism. Therefore, for South Sudan to be stable, it must critically adopt some procedures as a way of solving past problems as a precondition for building peace, reconciliation and stable future relationship. Hence, the following solutions should be adopted as a ways of solving problems of South Sudan:

II. WHAT SHOULD BE DONE TO ACHIEVE PEACE BUILDING, JUSTICE RECONCILIATION AND STABLE FUTURE RELATIONSHIP AMONG DIFFERENT TRIBES IN SOUTH SUDAN?

There is a need to adopt transitional justice mechanisms in solving the South Sudan current crisis.

The concept of transitional justice stems from the international human rights movement . At first, it referred to the judicial process of addressing human rights violations committed by dictatorial or repressive regimes in the course of democratic transition but later on, the term also came to be used for processing war crimes and massive human rights abuses committed in violent conflicts .

The concept has now increasingly gained in importance, and has been widely discussed by peace building agencies engaged in war-torn societies during the past two decades . Along the way, it has gradually extended its meaning and it today covers the establishment of tribunals, truth commissions, lustration of state administrations, settlement on reparations, and also political and societal initiatives devoted to fact-finding, reconciliation and cultures of remembrance.

I will explain each of the terms used in the above paragraph such as tribunals, truth commissions, lustration of state administrations, settlement on reparations, and also political and societal initiatives devoted to fact-finding, reconciliation and cultures of remembrance in more details in the coming paragraphs since they explain what constitutes the transitional justice.

Hence, the application of Transitional Justice in the present conflict in South Sudan is important if the peace building and reconciliation have to be achieved.

As a component of transition justice, there is a need for establishing strong Accountability mechanism in South Sudan.

Accountability derives from the fact that no society can claim to be free or democratic without strict adherence to the rule of law; there are mass atrocities and crimes that have been so devastating that civilization cannot tolerate their being ignored. Yet in South Sudan, there are cases of large-scale human rights violations like what happened in Bor and other places in 1990s and the recent massacres in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu in 2013 and 2014 all these killings should not be left unaccounted for.

In addition, there have been continuous killings among cattle keepers in different parts of South Sudan before and after the independence of South Sudan yet in reality the government seems to be reluctant to tackle these problems. The government appears to have failed to control the killings that have been going among cattle keeping yet it is the role of the government to prosecute the accused and provide justice to the victims.

The blamed cannot be much placed on government due to complexities involved in such prosecutions, which sometime makes it impossible to prosecute everyone, given the limits to the law and prosecution because the crimes and atrocities committed are enormous. The accused or criminals cannot be prosecuted without causing more violence since majority of government officials and army offices are involved in committing those crimes in one way or the other.

Hence, although formal criminal justice provided by courts is important, additional activities are needed that focus on documenting the truth about the past if peace building and reconciliation is to be achieved in South Sudan. Such additional activities of parts of transitional justice and are explained below which among others include:

a) Within Truth Recovery.

The government should conduct within truth recovery. In this respect, within truth recovery has four different notions which are: objective or forensic truth (evidence and facts about human rights violations and missing persons), narrative truth (storytelling by victims and perpetrators and communicating personal truths and multi-layered experiences to a wider public), social or dialogical truth (truth of experience that is established by interaction, discussion and debate) and healing or restorative truth (documentation of facts and acknowledgement to give dignity to the victims and survivors) . In other words, within truth recovery means finding out the whole of what had exactly happened in the past and finds the way out how to help the victims.

The overall goal of within truth recovery is to ensure that the victims express their views and explain their own experiences which they underwent when they were being tortured by the accused. The other reason for within truth recovery is to satisfy victims psychologically that their needs for justice have been met. This point is important because it helps to restore confidence of the victims and public at large in justice system. This is because the public can only respect and seek recourse to the law if the law is able to adequately respond to their needs for justice by the victims.

In fact, one of the causes of current problems in South Sudan in most of the States, but, especially three states of cattle-keeping communities is the fact that law has been less responsive to the need for justice of these communities hence leaving citizens with no option but to take the law into their own hands.

In addition, what even makes things worse is the fact that authorities are less accountable and less impartial sometimes. For examples, some authorities are often accused by the civil population of supporting their clan-mates when there is a conflict. This leaves other clans dissatisfied with the government’s performance and especially with the law. The overall result is that the rule of law disappears and insecurity reigns. Therefore, the only way to achieve the rule of law is to ensure that authorities are made more accountable and victims must be allowed to tell the truth of what happened to them in the past and to get redress in terms finances and justice, especially social justice.

b) Reparations.
The government should pay reparations to the victims of violence and crimes.
As it has been observed, reparations play an important role as they belong to the few efforts undertaken directly on behalf of the victims . Nevertheless, reparations need to be closely connected to other processes aiming at documenting and acknowledging truth; otherwise they could be interpreted as being insincere . The need for reparation is underlined by the fact that in African Traditional Justice, there is always a focus for reconciling the victims with the culprits.

As justice was done in African traditional societies, the victims were always at the focus of the justice system meanwhile justice would also try to reconcile the victims with the culprits, unlike the modern justice system offered by courts where justice is only aimed at protecting the interest of the public hence leaving the victims of the crimes in unhelpful position. This tends to cause the disobedience to law as many are less respectful to law since law does not respond to their needs. This is because sometimes the victims might have lost the source of livelihood; hence, there is a need to restore such victims to their previous position, which is the concept of restorative justice.

Restorative justice (also sometimes called reparative justice) is an approach to justice that focuses on the needs of the victims and the offenders, as well as the involved community, instead of satisfying abstract legal principles or punishing the offender. Victims take an active role in the process, while offenders are encouraged to take responsibility for their actions, “to repair the harm they’ve done—by apologizing, returning stolen money, or community service”. Restorative justice involves both victim and offender and focuses on their personal needs.

In addition, it provides help for the offender in order to avoid future offences. It is based on a theory of justice that considers crime and wrongdoing to be an offence against an individual or community, rather than the state. Restorative justice that fosters dialogue between victim and offender shows the highest rates of victim satisfaction and offender accountability. Restorative justice is a form of justice of African Traditional Communities, which is relevant to solving South Sudanese recent conflict.

In the recent conflict in South Sudan, for instance, many people have lost their property in the hands of government in Juba during the December 2013 Conflict, which was replicated in the hands of rebels in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal in 2013 and 2014 respectively. The conflict has led to massive deprivation of personal property among victims which had left them impoverished. The government, therefore, has a sole duty both under the Transitional Constitution, 2011 and under the international law to take up responsibility to compensate those who do not know those who deprived them of their property and to ensure that those culprits known must compensate their victims. The concept of reparations is important if peace building and reconciliation are to be achieved in South Sudan.

c) Institutional reforms.

Institutional reforms are a prerequisite for truth and reconciliation. The court system must be reformed and strengthened to ensure that they are independent in their role of the enforcement of law, which as a result protects the rule of law. In this respect courts are able to provide justice to those who are in need of it. In addition, there is a need for the army reformation. This will help in get professional and efficient army and it will also help to redefine the role of the army.

The role of the army is to protect the nation not individual tribe-mates. In fact, the outbreak of the December 2013 war was due to the fact that the army was made up of unprofessional army officers who joined the army untrained hence became many of them aliened themselves to their tribe-mates more than a nation they became source of insecurity to the nation and acted as a flashpoint of conflict as we have been seeing. The same was and still the case with other organized forces.

The problem with the untrained “organized forces” is that they tend to be more indiscipline and also pay more allegiances to individuals rather than the government itself. Therefore, there is a need for South Sudan to reform all the organized forces, it should also reform courts (both customary and formal courts) if the rule of law, peace building and reconciliation is to be achieved.

In summary, in relation to the institutional reforms, Justice and the rule of law, judiciary and justice ministries; prisons; criminal investigation and prosecution services; human rights commissions and ombudsmen; and customary and traditional justice systems should be established and strengthened to be independently carrying out their works.

The government should form a committee to investigate all root-causes of the past crimes that cause recurrent conflicts, suspicions and misunderstanding among different communities and act on the findings of the investigation accordingly.

According to the conflict transformation theory overcoming ethno-political conflicts in particular society requires more than the reframing of positions. It is therefore necessary to alter the various manifestations of conflict by addressing the root causes, and to focus on structural, behavioural and attitudinal aspects .

There is also a need for balancing peace and justice. A relevant part of the Transitional Justice literature has centred on the dichotomy of peace against justice and truth against justice . In the peace against justice debate, advocates of the legalist approach have emphasized criminal justice as a means to deter future human rights violations and to support peace building . Another argument is that criminal justice will stigmatize the elites who perpetuate conflict, and help separate individual from collective guilt, breaking the cycle of violence .

However, the skeptics of criminal justice doubt whether the criminal justice can achieve all conflict resolution in societies which have been bogged down in the cycle of violence. Some have criticized international criminal justice in particular and argued for domestic prosecutions based on the conviction that justice should follow rather than precede the consolidation of peace .
In earlier debates bargains and amnesties, rather than prosecutions, were often seen as the best ways to achieve peace because of the need to contain ‘spoilers’ in many post-conflict regions . Since then, most advocates of transitional justice have come to reject the idea of impunity and emphasize that amnesties, if applied at all, should be introduced as partial and conditional .

In short, for South Sudan to achieve peace building and reconciliation there is a need for justice because without justice there is no true peace and reconciliation. This implies that South Sudan should recommend to the UN Security Council to establish International Criminal Tribunal for South Sudan (ICTSS) to prosecute those who are accused of having committed international war crimes as provided for under Articles 6, 7 and 8 of the ICC Statute. War crimes, crime against humanity, and sexual slavery have been committed in South Sudanese war and the perpetuators of these horrible crimes cannot be prosecuted through transitional justice. Therefore, there is a need for the establishment of ICTSS.

There is a need for the establishment of interim government. When I talk of interim government I do not mean the formation of new government entirely but I mean the restructuring of the current government so that it can become a new government that can reform the whole system. This implies that the President and his Vice should remain in power to carry out reform while involving all civil population in transformation.

The interim government should have a life span of three years so that it can reform the whole system and implement all recommendations that the National Dialogue Committee and the Peace will recommend to be done in order to achieve lasting peace. The role of the interim government should include the following:

Writing of the permanent constitution of the republic of South Sudan. The Constitution should contain the following democratic elements:
I. Establishing a firm basis for peace and stability;
II. Entrenching the sovereignty of the people;
III. Promoting consensus politics as the basis for decision-making through:

Democratic governance; popular participation in governance by all citizens; decentralization/federalism by stipulating clearly what should be done to achieve it; regular free and fair elections in this regard, the constitution should stipulate the modalities of achieving free and fair elections by discouraging votes rigging and domination by majority over minority; accountability and transparency in the conduct of public affairs; a separation of powers coupled with checks and balances as the basis of government; guaranteeing the independence of the judiciary and establishing effective administration of justice; the upholding, promotion and protection of basic human rights; the promotion and consolidation of national unity and national consciousness through promoting English as a national language; the promotion of socio-economic development; guaranteeing national independence and territorial integrity; fostering Regional, African and International co-operation; provide for direct election of the president, who should be limited to a maximum of two terms in office; and enshrining fundamental rights and freedoms; including special provisions for the rights of women, children, minorities and other disadvantaged and/or marginalized groups; the constitution should also provide for a Leadership Code of Conduct; it should establish an Inspectorate of Government; It should have national objectives and directive principles; it should provide safeguards against arbitrary amendment; the constitution should recognize the army and other security organs as integral organs of the state and society; and it should promoted for the protection of environment.

Apart from the enactment of the new permanent constitution, the interim government should also overhaul the whole system of governance in all states by guiding people in electing the commissioners and governors so that the people are able to elect commissioners of their will and choice.

The interim government should carry out parliamentary elections boss at States and national levels because they MPs elected in 2010 have partly to blame for the failures of the current government. The elections for state governors should also be carried out.

In addition, Riek should not be part of interim government because this will encourage more people to rebel against the government. He should wait for 2018 general elections to contest if he wishes.

The government should also invest more resources in building human power by investing in education and health sector more than any other sectors. This further implies that there is a need for free and compulsory primary education for all children in South Sudan.

The government should also support secondary and university students to ensure that they get quality education not half-baked education which has been one of the current causes of the problems of South Sudan. Education Sudan provided for South Sudanese previously had never emphasized on moral aspects of education but instead it only dealt with political and military aspects of education, which tends to create ruthless politicians who do not care for the needs of other citizens’ yet true education is supposed to emphasize on moral responsibility of every receiver of that education towards the country and its citizens.

This implies that education curriculum for South Sudan should be revised in order to ensure that education adopted emphasizes on knowledge rather than money oriented as has been the case with current education. In addition, education for South Sudan should emphasize on human rights and ethics and gender. They should be introduced in South Sudan syllabus and made compulsory in both secondary and University levels.

There is also a need for the government to establish a special programme for the transformation of the cattle keeping communities. This is because if these communities are not educated and transformed, South Sudan will never be at peace simply because most of them will remain illiterate and as a result they will continue being source of instability in South Sudan; it therefore, worth investing in their social transformation.

This means that the government needs to make primary education compulsory for all the children from cattle-keeping communities and put a closer watch over their progress in Schools. The compulsory education for all children in these communities will help to cut the link between the current generation which is keeping cattle and the next generation that will replace them in ten years to come. This will help to reduce illiteracy among these communities and reduce instability in South Sudan in general.

South Sudan should also establish truth and reconciliation commission to investigate all crimes committed in the Cattle keeping communities to investigate the underlying factors that always act as the source of tensions among them. The violence keeps on escalating because of the underlying factors that have never been unearthed. The truth and reconciliation commission will help to discover these hidden factors and enable the government to act on them accordingly.

This is important because after violent conflicts between ethnic groups like what happened in December 2013 yet these communities remain living next to each other while maintaining their distinct identities, there is likelihood that extremists within both communities are eager to tie responsibility for past crimes and human rights violations to their ethnic adversaries. The truth and reconciliation will help to reduce such tension.

Also, in order to counteract such tendencies, a truth commission is considered as a means “to engage and confront all of society in a painful national dialogue, with serious soul-searching, and attempt to look at the ills within society that make abuses possible”; furthermore “civil society produces a sense of public ownership in this process, so that this dialogue actually leads to something. Otherwise, a country has merely a nice history lesson, destined for the bookshelf” .

An important policy recommendation stems from these reflections, arguing that truth and reconciliation commissions should be established “only where […] a robust civil society remains intact. Where such conditions do not exist, the commission’s mandate should be narrowly focused on documenting the truth along the lines of some earlier commissions rather than on the broader reconciliation goals established more recently. In a context that lacks a civil society altogether, a more top-down approach may be appropriate”.

However, research on truth commissions has also revealed enormous shortcomings and it has become clear that – apart from a strong civil society – there is a need for reliable alliance partners in parliaments, governments and administrations who are willing to engage in institutional reforms and establish the rule of law. Therefore, the government of South Sudan must be able to contribute positively to the establishment of the truth and reconciliation commission and commit itself in executing what it is dictated by the truth and reconciliation Commission upon it to do.

The elections at the presidential level should not be carried out in the near future but should be done after three or four years after the whole transformation has been carried out. This is because carrying out general elections before the reformation will cause more divisions among the people than now because the suspicion is still great. Nevertheless, parliamentary elections in different states should be carried out as a part of democratic reforms in different states.

In addition, the government should review the qualifications of the future MPs. The qualifications should be stipulated in the Constitution and in my opinion every person who contests in parliamentary elections both at states and national levels should be at least a diploma holder from the recognized institutions of learning, or the holder of university degree and above from recognized universities. While at states levels, MPs should at least be holders of O-Level certificate and above. There should be in addition of strong verification mechanisms of those documents.

The above suggestions are important because they absence of social transformation currently is because MPs who are in the parliament are not well-educated and therefore, do not know the importance of development in people’s lives but instead use national resources for personal development a concept that comes with them from their home areas.

Finally, there is an issue of federalism, which many are talking about. What has to be noted about federalism is that federalism is the form of the government, which states are run by the citizens according to the way they think fit. It is an important form of the government that South Sudan should adopt given the diverse nature of South Sudanese Communities. I recommend it.

However, it is not appropriate now to talk it because there is a lot of insecurity and since federalism is the national right for every citizen, there should be an involvement of all citizens of South Sudan in deciding whether South Sudan should be run as it is now or should go for federalism. This means that the people will go for referendum.

Going for referendum means that there is a need for a permanent constitution that will guide people on how to go about referendum. The debate on federalism should not be brought up in peace talk because it is irrelevant. It should only be brought up during the constitutional debate because the constitution after that would be used for conducting referendum on federalism in South Sudan.

In summary, the above suggestions have been put forward for the national dialogue that is going to take place in Juba. They contain important points that can offer permanent solutions to South Sudan problems if they are adopted as they are or modified. It is the belief of the author that the solutions to South Sudanese problems can only be found when the suggestions of the kind made in this discussion are adopted by the government. This stems from the belief that the problems of South Sudan are deeply rooted and structured and therefore needs structured and deep approach.

The Author is a concern citizen and a lawyer from Makerere University and can be reached through the following contacts: juoldaniel@yahoo.com; +256783579256


Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let us serialize it – Part 2

BY: Dr. SINDANI SEBIT, NAIROBI, JUN/17/2014, SSN;

The second part of these series will mainly focus on the state and legislation at federal level. This includes the declaration of the country, sovereignty of South Sudan, the federal structures that form the government of the Federal Republic of South Sudan.

This means that the Federal government is composed of the Executive, the Legislature, the Judiciary and the independent Commissions and offices. These are independent of each other. This part also includes the form of Federal Government.

Two proposals are made here which include the Presidential and Parliamentary systems of governance. The basic idea is to enable the people of South Sudan examine the advantages and disadvantages of each system because they have to decide on which one to choose with a full knowledge of what they are choosing.

The last part of the article looks at the function or the role of the Federal Government as opposed to the role of the state governments which shall be described in later parts of this serialization and the legislature at the federal level. Two houses of parliament are proposed. These include the Federal Assembly which will mainly be responsible for Federal legislation and the Senate that will be tasked with oversight role on the state and local authorities.

It is hoped that this serialization will enable everyone understand the system being proposed and feed us back with constructive suggestions.

Declaration of the country
South Sudan shall be a federal state that shall be a multi-party democratic state consisting of at least 17 autonomous states. In order to get the 17 states, it is proposed that the following current states will be divided into 2 states. They are; Upper Nile, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Western Equatoria, Northern Bahr el Ghazal and Lakes. Bentui, Northern Bahr el ghazal and Warrap states will remain as they are now.

The proposed division of the 7 states is based on size of the state and populations involved. The aim is to create manageable, viable and self sustaining entities.

South Sudan will have both Federal and state governments. These two levels of government shall be distinct and interdependent but mutually related. They will conduct their mutual relations on the basis of consultation and cooperation.

Sovereignty of South Sudan
Power in the Federal Republic of South Sudan belongs to the people. The people exercise this power either directly in referendum or through their democratically elected representatives. The People delegate their powers to state organs such as:
• Parliament which includes Federal Assembly and Senate and State assemblies
• Federal Executive and executive structures including state executive
• Judiciary and independent tribunals.

Therefore, the Government of federal Republic of South Sudan shall be composed of the following three organs of the government. They are:
1. The executive. This will be headed by the President or Prime Minister (whichever form of government the people will agree on)
2. The Parliament headed by the speaker of the Parliament
3. The Judiciary to be headed by the Chief Justice

The three organs of government shall be independent of one another and act as checks and balances on each other. The independence of these organs shall be enshrined in the constitution and guaranteed by tenure of office and separate funding as shall be described below.

See below the graphic representation of the Federal and state governments. In addition, there are independent commissions. They are not subjected to the executive, parliament or judiciary though they may serve some of these organs such as the parliamentary service commission and judicial services commissions. These two commissions are actually meant to strengthen the independence of both the parliament and the Judiciary as will be seen later in sections dealing with independent commissions.

In the graph, you will also notice clear lines of responsibility. For instance, the Parliament and Judiciary are not responsive to the executive and for that matter the President or Prime Minister. The Parliament will be headed by the speakers of both houses of Parliament and the Judiciary will be headed by the Chief Justice. The only legal advisor to the executive will be the Attorney General. Therefore, the Attorney General shall be a member of the cabinet but not the speakers of the two houses of parliament and the Chief justice.

Proposed Federal Government structures for South Sudan
Federal Level Federal Government
=
=
=
Executive Legislature Judiciary Independent Coms and Offices

Cabinet F. Parliament F. Supreme Court H. Right Com.
P. Serv Com.
President (Or F. Senate F. Court of Appeal Parl. Serv. Com.
Prime Minister)
Jud. Serv. Com
Ministers
Re. Alloc. Com.
A. G Office
Sal. Rev. Com
OfF. Chief Persecutor Ind. Elec. Com
Aud. General

Cont. Accounts
State Level
State Government
Executive Legislature Judiciary
Governor S. Parliament High Court
Ministers Magistrates
County Administration County Councils County Courts
Payam Administration Payam councils Paramount Chiefs
Boma Administration Boma committees Local Chiefs
Form of Federal government

The form of the Federal government shall either be Presidential or parliamentary system. This proposal is made for the stakeholders in South Sudan to decide because the two systems are different and have their advantages and disadvantages.

Presidential Federal system
In this system of governance the president is the head of government. The president is directly elected by the people. The advantages of the presidential system are:
• People participate in “electing” their president directly
• There is likelihood that there will be checks and balances because the executive is independent of the parliament and Judiciary particularly when the president has no majority in parliament
• The president is the icon of the country and has the powers to veto any resolution of parliament when he/she deems it not to be in the interest of the country
• Stability is guaranteed in the presidential system as the president has fixed term in office
The presidential system is however bedeviled by its setbacks. These include:
• In tribalized country like South Sudan, tribal tyranny of numbers can always ensure that large tribes or collusion of large tribes can propagate or dominate the presidency because they will always vote for their own tribal candidate. In fact the American constitution recognized this fact right from the beginning. This is precisely why the president of America, which is the only federal state with presidential system, is elected by Electoral College. Each state is allocated a number of Electoral College and if a candidate gets simple majority in each state he/she takes all the number of the Electoral College in that state. This has worked against the tyranny of numbers.
• The exercise of Veto powers by the president can always work against the aspiration of the people because the president can always veto a resolution not on the interest of the people but on the interest of his/her party
• The presidential system is always expensive because the people have to elect the president and parliamentarians while in the parliamentary system it is only the parliamentarians that have to be elected
• The President usually does not regularly come to the parliament to account for his/her decisions thus making the president to act at liberty without any regard to the feeling of parliament
• In the presidential system, it is rather difficult to change the president easily making some of them become dictators as the case is now in South Sudan
• The presidential system tends to focus electoral campaigns on personalities rather than platforms and programs because the focus is on one person (candidate) and not the party.

Parliamentary system

In a parliamentary system, the party with the highest number of MPs or commends a collusion with the highest number of MPs in the assembly shall be the governing party. Therefore the Government is headed by a Prime Minister elected by federal Assembly among the party with highest number of MPs or collusion with highest number of MPs. Instead a Ceremonial President shall be elected by consensus by the members of both houses of the federal parliament. The role of such President will be to preside over public occasions such as opening of the parliament, commemoration of martyrs and independence days and receiving and bidding byes to ambassadors.

The main advantages of the parliamentary system are:
• It eliminates the concept and practice of tyranny of numbers because the people will not elect the Prime Minister directly but the members of Parliament who elect the Prime Minister. This means if any person wants to become a Prime Minister he/she should have a party that enjoys country wide support.
• Parliamentary systems are much more efficient, accountable, and less prone to corruption and the quality of the leader is better. This is because the prime Minister is regularly subjected to parliamentary sessions where the Prime Minister and the entire cabinet is called to account for their decisions. This keeps them on their toes and ensures that it is harder for them to do things in secrete or under the table. In addition, usually parties choose their best leaders as party leaders increasing the chance that the country gets the best leader
• Parliamentary system allows the leader to be easily removed once he/she looses parliamentary majority compared to presidential system that the country has to undergo the arduous path of impeachment which rarely succeeds
• In parliamentary system, there is fusion between the executive and the legislature. This eliminates political gridlock and allows the people’s representative to engage the executive directly in debates
• The basis of checks and balances in parliamentary system is the shadow cabinet feature which oversees and scrutinize government activities and this makes the government competitive and transparent

However, the parliamentary system has also its shortcomings and these include the following:
• The government can be unstable because of changes in MP loyalties or collusion parties disagreeing among themselves leading to call for vote of no confidence on the Prime Minister. However, this can always be mitigated with succession close in the constitution which ensures that the party of the Prime Minister is always called upon to select another candidate to complete the term of the ruling party
• Lack of effective parliamentary oversight because the Prime Minister controls parliament and this may lead to laxity from the part of the government
• Democratic participation of the people in directly electing their president is undermined and this may alienate the people from participating directly in the governance

Functions of the Federal government

The federal government proposed in South Sudan should only exercise delegated powers. These include:
• Foreign policy, foreign affairs and international trade
• Army and National security
• Customs and tariffs
• Mineral resources and petroleum
• Value Added Taxes
• Monetary, Currencies and coinage
• Measures and weights
• Transport including Airways, railways and communications at federal level, road traffic, construction of national road trunks, pipelines, navigation, civil aviation, space travel and
• Federal policies on health, education, agriculture, veterinary, tourism, energy and public investment
• Immigration and citizenship
• Relation between religion and federal state
• Federal language
• Courts at level of Federal supreme court and federal court of appeal
• Federal economic policy
• Federal statistics and election
• Intellectual property rights
• Labour standards
• Federal public works
• Disaster management

Legislature

The Federal Republic of South Sudan shall establish two houses of Parliament namely the Federal Assembly and federal Senate. These two houses of Parliament will form their respective functions in accordance with the constitution that will be developed and enacted. Basically the role of Parliament is generally:
• Legislative authority of the country is derived from the people and vested in parliament at all levels
• It must manifest the diversity of the nation
• Represent the will of the people and exercises their sovereignty
• It considers and amends the constitution. However, some amendments many require referendum
• Protects the constitution and promotes democracy
• Sole body for making laws

Role of the federal Assembly
The Federal assembly which will be the highest legislative organ in the federation shall:
1. Be made up of elected representatives from defined constituencies and special groups. The constituencies should not be based on counties but population. Each constituent should have 50,000 to 100,000 people. Number of constituencies should not be more than 210. The speaker of the Federal assembly is an ex officio.
2. Deliberates and resolves issues of concern to the people
3. Enacts legislation on the following:
• Allocation of national revenue between the national government and state governments at a ratio of 20:80 in favour of the states
• Appropriation of funds and expenditures
• Carry out oversight over the national revenue and its expenditure
• Oversees the conduct of the executive
• Approves declaration of war and extension of state of emergency in a country

Role of federal Senate
This will be the second tier of the Federal Government. It will be charged with responsibilities over the federal states and local authorities and shall perform the following:
1. Made up of elected representatives from federal states. Each federal state elects 3 representatives and representative from special group within the federal state to the federal senate regardless of the population of the state. The speaker of the federal senate is an ex officio
2. Represents the federal states and protect their interest
3. Debate and approve the bills concerning the federal states
4. Act as oversight to the federal state officers and local authorities
5. Ensures that federal state officers are recruited and removed in accordance to a specified article in the constitution

General Guidelines (Important summary but not exclusive)

The general guidelines here are mainly focused on membership of both houses, procedures for election, affirmative action for the parliament, exercise of parliamentary powers, privileges and immunities and the role of the parliamentary service commission. The exercise of parliamentary power and privileges is to ensure the independence of Parliament and while the establishment of the Parliamentary Service Commission is to ensure that the parliament is able to government itself and regulate its function according to act of parliament without interference from the executive.

A. Qualification of Candidates
1. Federal Assembly and federal :
• University degree
• Nominated by parties for elections
• Independent candidates must be supported by 2,000 supporters for the Federal Assembly and 1,000 supporters in cases of federal senate during presentation of their papers to the electoral commission.

B. Elections to both houses must be conducted under an independent electoral commission
The role of the electoral commission shall be discussed under the independent commissions

C. Terms of both houses
• Specified in constitution; Suggestion 5 years
• The parliamentary calendar must be independent. This means dates for opening and closure of parliament are predetermined and inserted in the constitution. Therefore, the President or the Prime Minister will not prorogue a parliament at his/her will
• Sitting of both houses can only be extended from these dates under state of war and should not be more than 6 months

D. Promotion of representation of marginalized groups.
• Federal Assembly shall enact law to ensure promotion of rights of such groups such as:
 Women
 Persons with disabilities
 Youth
 Ethnic and other minorities
 Marginalized communities

E. Vacation of office of Member of the Federal Assembly or federal senate
• Among others, member being absent from 6 sittings without written permission from the speaker
• Member resigns from his/her political party
• Member joining another party

F. Recall
• The electorate should have the powers to recall a member of any of the two houses before the end of her/his term
• Conditions and procedure for the recall should be stipulated in the constitution

G. Determination of question of membership in either house. This should be done by high court in case of:
• Validity of election
• Vacancy in the seat of the member of any of the houses

H. Party leaders. Both houses should have:
• Leader of Majority who should come from the party with the highest number of members in the house
• Minority leader who should come from the party with second highest number of members in the house

I. Exercise of Powers
• The Federal Assembly exercises powers through bills that are assented to by the President or Prime Minister
• The Federal Assembly exercise bills that are related to the federal government, the federal Senate exercise bills that relate to oversight over the federal states while the federal state assemblies exercise bills related to state issues in accordance with separation of functions of the government organs

J. Powers, privileges and immunities
• Parliament (Federal and State) is independent of the executive and judiciary
• Must exercise freedom of speech
• Conducts business in open with participation of the public and media
• Petition of parliament by any citizen or group of citizens must be allowed; parliament must pass a law regarding the public engagement

K. Parliamentary service commission
• Set up with specific number of people
• Responsibility is to:
 Provide services and facilities to parliament
 Set up offices and supervise them
 Prepare budget for the parliament; parliament must have its own budget
 Promote parliamentary democracy
 Work for the welfare of the members
.
L. Other thing to be mentioned and enshrined in the constitution is conduct of business in the parliament which includes quorum, language, voting, committees of the house, standing orders, location and sitting of the parliament and offices of the parliament

Conclusion
As previously stated, the aim of these series to enable South Sudanese read, discuss and crucially understand the form of governance that the SPLM in opposition is proposing so that the form of government that they believe will create permanent peace and prosperity in the country in agreed upon and established. The country needs progress and peaceful co-existence.

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya


Phobia of Federalism in South Sudan

BY: Daniel Amum Odwel, SOUTH SUDAN, JUN/17/2014, SSN;

The fear of federalism may be an illusion due to egocentric mentality in some groups within South Sudanese societies which had enjoyed loin shares for long times, or may result from constructive ideal that it may lead to disintegration of the nation. For people who championed federalism may have convincing reasons or had vivid previous frustration experiences with central system that neglected their cost.

What is Federalism? Is a political concept in which a group of members are bound together by covenant with a governing representative head? The term ‘’ federalism’’ is also used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as states or provinces.

Federalism is a system based upon democratic rules and institutions in which the power to govern is shared between national and provincial/ state governments, creating what is often what is called s federation.

To be certain about federalism let’s try to observe other nations that have it:
In Europe, “Federalist” is sometimes used to describe those who favor a common federal government, with distributed power at regional, national and supranational levels. Most European federalists want this development to continue within the European Union. European federalism originated in post-war Europe; one of the more important initiatives was Winston Churchill’s speech in Zurich in 1946

United States Vs European Federalism:
In the United Stated, federalism originally referred to belief in a stronger central government. When the U.S. Constitution was being drafted, the Federalist Party supported a stronger central government, while ‘’Anti-Federalists’’ wanted a weaker central government. This is very different from the modern usage of “federalism” in Europe and the United States. The distinction stems from the fact that “federalism” is situated in the middle of the political spectrum between a confederacy and a unitary state.

The U.S. Constitution was written as a reaction to the Articles of Confederation, under which the United States was a loose confederation with a weak central government. Further, during the American Civil War members of the Confederate State of America, which seceded in favor of a weaker central government, but today the United States ‘’ Federalism’’ argued for a stronger central government, relative to a confederacy.

In contrast European “federalism” argues for a weaker central government, relative to a unitary state. In The modern American and as the power of the Federal government has increased, some people have perceived that this system has become much more unitary state than intended.

Indeed, most people politically advocating “federalism” in the United States argue in favor of limiting the powers of the federal government, especially the judiciary.

In general, two extremes of federalism can be distinguished: at one extreme, the strong federal state is almost completely unitary, with few powers reserved for local governments; while at the other extreme, the national government may be a federal state in name only, being a confederation in actuality.

Indian Federalism:
The Government of India known as the Union Government was established by the Constitution of India and is the governing authority of a federal union of 29 states and 7union territories.
The government of India is based on a tiered system, in which the Constitution of India delineates the subjects on which each tier of government has executive powers.

The Constitution originally provided for a two-tier system of government, the Union Government (also known as the Central Government), representing the Union of India, and the State governments. Later, a third tier was added in the form of Panchayets and Municipalities.

In the current arrangement, The Seventh Schedule of the Indian Constitution delimits the subjects of each level of governmental jurisdiction, dividing them into three lists:

A, Union List includes subjects of national importance such as defense of the country, foreign affairs, banking, communications and currency. The Union Government alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the Union List.
B, State List contains subjects of State and local importance such as police, trade, commerce, agriculture and irrigation. The State Governments alone can make laws relating to the subjects mentioned in the State List.
C, Concurrent List includes subjects of common interest to both the Union Government as well as the State Governments, such as education, forest, trade unions, marriage, adoption and succession. Both the Union as well as the State Governments can make laws on the subjects mentioned in this list. If their laws conflict with each other, the law made by the Union Government will prevail.

The Indian federalism is asymmetric federalism in which special provisions to certain state is granted and also aspect of Indian federalism is the system of President Rule in which the central government (through it appointed Governor) takes control of state’s administration for certain months when no party can form a government in the state or there is violent disturbance in the state.

People shouldn’t worry about federalism because each power will be well establish to avoid contradiction authority: The federal government has certain express powers which are called enumerated powers, and that powers should be spelled out clearly in the Constitution, including the right to levy taxes, declare war, and regulate interstate and foreign commerce.

In addition to that the federal government had implied power to pass any law “necessary and proper” for the execution of its express powers. Other powers need to be reserved to the people or states which can be called reserved powers. This means the states will be legally subject to the final dictates of the federal government.

Federalism in the Church:
This expression is found in ecclesiology the doctrine of the church and the good example is the Presbyterian Church governance that resembles parliamentary republicanism, a form of political federalism to a large extent. In Presbyterian denominations, the local church is ruled by elected elders, some of which are ministerial. Each church then sends representatives or commissioners to Presbyteries and further to a General Assembly. Each greater level of assembly has ruling authority over its constituent members.

In this governmental structure, each component has some level of sovereignty over itself. As in political federalism, in Presbyterian ecclesiology there is shared sovereignty.

Other ecclesiologist also has significant representational and federalist components, including the more anarchic congregational ecclesiology, and even in more hierarchical, Episcopal ecclesiology.

Some Christians argue that the earliest source of political federalism (or federalism in human institutions; in contrast to theological federalism) is the ecclesiastical federalism found in the Bible. They point to the structure of the early Christian Church as described in the New Testament.

This is particularly demonstrated in the Council of Jerusalem, described in Acts chapter 15, where the Apostles and Elders gathered together to govern the Church; the Apostles being representatives of the universal Church, and elders being of the local church. To this day, elements of federalism can be found in almost every Christian denomination, some more than others.

Division of Powers:
In a federation, the division of power between federal and regional governments is usually outlined in the constitution. It is in this way that the right to self-government of the component states is usually constitutionally entrenched. Component states often also possess their own constitutions which they may amend as they see fit, although in the event of conflict the federal constitution usually takes precedence.

In almost all federations the central government enjoys the powers of foreign policy and national defense. The constitutions of Germany and United States provide that all powers not specifically granted to the federal government are retained by the states.

The Constitution of some countries like Canada and India, on the other hand, state that powers not explicitly granted to the provincial governments are retained by the federal government. While the Australian Constitution allocates to the Federal government (the Commonwealth of Australia) the power to make laws about certain specified matters which were considered too difficult for the States to manage, so that the States retain all other areas of responsibility.

Where every component state of a federation possesses the same powers, we are said to find ‘symmetric federalism’. Asymmetric federalism exists where states are granted different powers, or some possess greater autonomy than others do. This is often done in recognition of the existence of a distinct culture in a particular region or regions.

It is common that during the historical evolution of a federation there is a gradual movement of power from the component states to the centre, as the federal government acquires additional powers, sometimes to deal with unforeseen circumstances. The acquisition of new powers by a federal government may occur through formal constitutional amendment or simply through a broadening of the interpretation of a government’s existing constitutional powers given by the courts.

Usually, a federation is formed at two levels: the central government and the regions (states, provinces, territories), but for Brazil constitution of 1988 had included the municipalities as autonomous political entities making the federation tripartite, encompassing the Union, the States, and the municipalities.

Each state is divided into municipalities (municípios) with their own legislative council (câmara de vereadores) and a mayor (prefeito), which is partly autonomous from both Federal and State Government. Each municipality has a “little constitution”, called “organic law” (lei orgânica). Indeed, this ‘’free municipality’’ is established by the federal government and cannot be revoked by the states’ constitutions.

Moreover, the federal constitution determines which powers and competencies belong exclusively to the municipalities and not to the constituent states. However, municipalities do not have an elected legislative assembly.

The Tenth Amendment to the United State Constitution reserves all powers that are not delegated to the Federal Government to the States and to the people.

Organs of Government:
The structures of most federal governments incorporate mechanisms to protect the rights of component states. One method, known as ‘intrastate federalism’, is to directly represent the governments of component states in federal political institutions. Where a federation has a bicameral legislature the upper house is often used to represent the component states while the Lower house represents the people of the nation as a whole. A federal upper house may be based on a special scheme of apportionment, as is the case in the Senates of the United States and Australia, where each state is represented by an equal number of senators irrespective of the size of its population.

Alternatively, or in addition to this practice, the members of an upper house may be indirectly elected by the government or legislature of the component states. The lower house of a federal legislature is usually directly elected, with apportionment in proportion to population, although states may sometimes still be guaranteed a certain minimum number of seats.

Federations often have special procedures for amendment of the federal constitution. As well as reflecting the federal structure of the state this may guarantee that the self-governing status of the component states cannot be abolished without their consent. An amendment to the constitution of the United States must be ratified by three-quarters of either the state legislatures, or of constitutional conventions specially elected in each of the states, before it can come into effect.

In referendums to amend the constitutions of Australia and Switzerland it is required that a proposal be endorsed not just by an overall majority of the electorate in the nation as a whole, but also by separate majorities in each of a majority of the states or cantons. In Australia, this latter requirement is known as a double majority.

Some federal constitutions also provide that certain constitutional amendments cannot occur without the unanimous consent of all states or of a particular state. The US constitution provides that no state may be deprived of equal representation in the senate without its consent. In Australia, if a proposed amendment will specifically impact one or more states, then it must be endorsed in the referendum held in each of those states. Any amendment to the Canadian constitution that would modify the role of the monarchy would require unanimous consent of the provinces.

The German Basic Law provides that no amendment is admissible at all that would abolish the federal system.

Having put forward all these different perspective of federalism in different nations, South Sudan had full right to formulate it own federal system suitable to it environment.
Federal system is kind of decentralization of government to give room to citizens in their geographical area rights to become self-reliance, self-governing, self-supportive and self- propagating to their own being.

Federalism will ensure development and progression in all sectors and will reduce political rivalry at national level and will minimize widespread corruption which is uncontrollable. Every corrupted elite within the state will not have chance to mount to national leadership because he or she will be disqualified by his own people. In other words, this will encourages any person who wishes to aspire for high position at national level to toil hard at state level to ensure his/her dreams.

Personally I cannot be fully certain that federalism can resembles God kingdom whereby justice, equality, freedom and love are it characters, because human beings is selfish by nature that may lead to dictatorship tendency and especially when the rules and regulations that govern the state are not being follow, closely monitor and evaluated.

You may argued that the South Sudan Government is decentralized government since its inception, you may be right to some extent but fallacious to great level because the central government control everything even at state level, how comes Governor of state is removed by the president of nation or how comes could the President maintained unwanted Governor in the state.

What is the work of parliamentarians in the state, how comes the governor of state could implement what is not constitution like appointment of Mayor, I think the legislative assembly seems to be toothless or ignorant about their responsibilities stipulated in constitution of state. The Mayor supposed to be elected by the people and not appointed by the Governor of the state. Those questions should be answered by people who fear federalism.


A Case for Federalism in the Republic of South Sudan

BY: J. Omunu, SOUTH SUDAN, JUN/15/2014, SSN;

Let me dive in straight to the topic. Many would agree with me that the Republic of South Sudan is a one-party state with the political power vested in the central government. President Kiir has no constitutional restrictions in his exercise of power over political activities at all levels of governments. He can appoint and fire elected MPs, Governors, University Chancellors, members of Judiciary Branch with impunity etc.

Thus, the fate and prospects of South Sudanese political and socio-economic stability is now hanging on the establishment of a balanced federal system of government in South Sudan.

In this brief discussion, I argue that the problem confronting our new country is a highly centralized system of government disguised as “decentralized democratic system” under a retarded one-party system: the SPLM.

In this system of government, political power is centrally concentrated in the hand of one strong Big-Man: President Salva Kiir who is holding power over all public policies affecting the citizens.

In theory, federalism is all about the distribution of wealth, power and authority between central and states levels of governments, such that each level of government is self-governing in its assigned geographical area.

Many economists will argue that a federal state encourages development in areas where citizens are determined to work hard for the common benefit of all.

Strictly speaking, the centralization of power by the SPLM ruling elites since 2005 has produced contradictory end results. I would argue the current political system largely reflects the South Sudan’s messy and failed system of governance.

Surprisingly, after attaining its independence from the “old Sudan,” the SPLM ruling elites mostly from the Dinka forcefully argued for centralized and unitary government much like that of Sudan.

You may recall in the “old Sudan,” concentration of power at the center was considered a necessary prerequisite to maintaining the country’s territorial integrity and unity.

However, the supposed benefits of “decentralization” in South Sudan have proved illusionary if not absolute failure.

On the other hand, the post-independence Sudan has been rocked by tribal conflicts, military coups, and civil wars due to concentration of power in Khartoum, and specifically at hands of few Jallaba elites.

Therefore, although an argument for establishing decentralized government or one-party state that many would hope will help unify the various ethnic groups, the Sudan’s experience has been disappointing.

The experiment clearly shows that centralization/decentralization system does not cement the country’s unity or helps equitable distribution of power and resources that suits the various ethnic groups’ interests within the Sudan.

Like the northern ruling elites in the Sudan, members of a particular tribe in the newly independent South Sudan, see no problem with that same failed centralized political arrangement because they consider themselves not only different but more equal than others, to borrow words from Orwell’s Animal Farm.

Make no mistake about it, the ongoing senseless war and killings are but an illustration of the cases where members of a dominant tribe continue to dominate political and economic power at the expense of members of other groups.

Needless to say that the competition for political and economic control resulted in the massacre of innocent Nuer ethnic groups in Juba who had nothing to do with the power struggle within the SPLM, followed by subsequent revenge killings of innocent Dinka in Bor and Akobo.

Such are the results of skewed public policies designed to benefit a few and particular ethnic group at the expense of others. It is therefore difficult to validate the claim that the current “decentralized” government can unite the multi-cultural, multi-ethnic, multi-lingual and multi-religious nation of South Sudan.

As noted above, the newest country in Africa is not only experiencing internal divisions and inter-tribal war but economic stagnation as well.

In brief, South Sudan is now a dictatorship by all accounts. The poor governance practiced in the country can be attributed to the bad South Sudan Transitional Constitution-2011, which clearly concentrated excessive powers in the hands of one strong-man (President Kiir).

This is the genesis of the problems and constitutional failures to address the conflicting interests of 64 ethnic groups in post-independence South Sudan.

Contrary to that Federalism allows equitable distribution of power and resources, and it allows individual groups to preserve their cultural heritage.

As we speak, it is only the incumbent President Kiir and his cronies or pro-status quo folks are the ones criticizing Federalism on the false premise that such a system of government reinforces tribalism. Their argument holds no water – simply because Federalism has never been tried before in South Sudan.

Bear in mind, South Sudan is a very huge country, which makes it more difficult for the central government in Juba to deliver basic services and serve local communities in remote areas of the country efficiently.

For example, the Murle people and many other small tribes have been forgotten by the central government in Juba. Their repeated calls for justice and a genuine political reform in the country have gone unanswered and ignored by those bourgeoisie sitting in their air-conditioned offices in Juba.

Juba has remained unresponsive to these demands for reform.

Paradoxically, the SPLM/A leadership raised the aspirations of ‘Junubin’ (South Sudanese) followers during the struggle for justice, freedom and equality with the promise of democratic rule, economic development, improved education, health care, basic service delivery and taking towns to the villages.

These promises helped to mobilize volunteer fighters from the various ethnic groups, and later with the 2011-referendum that led to resounding yes of 99.8% votes for independence South Sudan.

However, the unfulfilled expectations have created widespread frustration and armed rebellions against the ruling SPLM party that fails to fulfill its promises.

No wonder the so-called “disgruntled” members within the ruling SPLM party known today as the SPLM-in-Opposition decided to fight and push for change.

Most of all, the weak decentralization system currently in place proved to be the problem, therefore, federalism is more desirable than the latter and it can be the best prescribed solution for the South Sudan’s political and socio-economic crisis if there is a political will in the country.

As one of our South Sudanese respected elder and distinguished professor pointed out:
There are those who fear federalism so much, and want to convince others not to support it. While federalism may not solve all our current problems, it will go a long way to mitigate some of it. It has however to be implemented in tandem with other important reforms of our weak institutions.

Federalism, thus, would likely preserve unity, ethnic harmony, and above all, it is most likely to advance economic and individual freedom.

In conclusion, federalism will protect individual rights against a powerful central government or dictatorship.