Archive for: July 2014

Riek & Kiir- Two sides of same coin: Failure, incompetence & tribonationalism

BY: Kuir ë Garang, ALBERTA, CANADA, JUL/22/2014, SSN;

Let’s not kid ourselves! South Sudan is a completely tribalized country. We can pretend that only a given section of the society is the problem but history will soon show that the sooner we acknowledge it and find a way to get rid of it or reduce it the better things will be for all of us.

President Kiir Mayardit has ushered in a culture of dirty nepotism and Jieeng-centeredness in his administration, an unfortunate tribonationalism. Regrettably, the leadership will pretend that the administration is not Jieeng-dominated.

Even when this kind of behavior and attitude is leading the country nowhere, senior officials still believe nothing is wrong with both the administration and the country as a whole.

If one section of the country isn’t safe in the same city the president lives in then you got to ask yourself: What’s wrong with these leaders?

Instead of devising ways aimed at bridging the tribal divide and possibly use it to bring long-term inter-tribal understanding, the senior officials either further inflame tribal tensions through their careless rhetoric or through lies that easily flash on their faces.

Not only have the officials succeeded in making South Sudan gain number one as the most fragile state, they’ve also brought the country to a new low.

The only head of state who was able to attend South Sudan’s third anniversary ‘celebrations’ was President Museveni of Uganda for obvious reasons. The president of Kenya, Prime Minister of Ethiopia and the president of Sudan didn’t show up.

This is a clear indication of how bad the leadership has failed. But they still think everything is okay. Beats me!

And even worse, they still think there was a coup attempt when the world (even our neighbors) sees no evidence.

Non-Jieeng officials in Kiir’s government are either puppets or self-interest driven folks. If the likes of Dr. Riek Gai and Dr. Lomoro have any true sense of self and care for South Sudan, how come they allow South Sudan Television to be used for divisive politics by the President and people like Malaak Ayuen of SPLA?

Such educated people should advise the president regarding the value of different opinions.

Instead of using his TV show to instill discipline in SPLA soldiers and to show Nuer people that SPLA has a national face and intent, Malaak has politicized the show and uses a language that discourages Nuer from the government. How good is that to the president and the country?

Rebellion as I’ve always maintained, is bad for South Sudan and I’ll never endorse it come what may! However, Dr. Gai and Dr. Lomoro, being the boot-lickers they have become without any personal integrity left, should nonetheless let the president know that being criticized or being told that such and such a thing is wrong is not only good for the president, but also, for the nation; because it gives the president an avenue to evaluate his performance.

Riek Machar on the other hand is not doing any better. How can a leader rely exclusively on a unitribal fighting force?

Riek’s failures, leadership fantasies and dictatorial tendencies in 1991 are well-documented by Deborah Scroggins, Dr. Lam Akol, Dr. Adwok Nyaba…among others. This means that Riek needs to do more to be seen as a national leader.

His administration is overwhelmingly Nuer and his fighting army is made up of the same. I know some people will cite Dau Aturgong! Go ahead! Yet Riek is accusing President Kiir of being a tribal leader. Duh!

While Riek Machar didn’t start the current crisis, he’s not done any better than President Kiir.

Like President Kiir, he relies on his tribesmen and civilians have been killed in thousands under his leadership. I’ve not seen the national character of Riek Machar! He needs to translate his ‘democratic’ ideas into actions.

While Riek boasts of having supporters from other tribes in South Sudan, one has to realize that all these non-Nuer men are categorically ‘jobbists’, to use Dr. John’s term.

You’ll agree with me that all the men with Riek Machar are men who either lost their jobs or didn’t find any avenue to land well-paying jobs in Kiir’s government. Not a single one can boast of having quit Kiir’s government while still a minister or a senior official. This still brings their national character to question.

President Kiir is both a failure and a tribonationlist but citing that as a reason for joining an armed resistance when one’s primary reason for leaving is the the loss of jobs, isn’t honorable!

Besides, Riek knows that South Sudan is tribally divided; however, he’s not put down any clear modalities that would help bring about inter-tribal understanding. We don’t even know the official policy or political position of Riek Machar and his group.

There’s no document except constant and vacuous call for ‘democracy’ and ‘freedom.’

The same Riek now calling for democracy was the one who wanted to ban SPLM-DC of Lam Akol when he (Riek) was Vice President. You can also check the list of his employees when Riek Machar was VP and you’ll be convinced that Riek is as tribonatonalist as Kiir.

Both Riek and Kiir are killers, incompetent leaders, care only about remaining or ascending to power at the expense of South Sudanese civilians and they surround themselves with mostly their tribesmen.

These two leaders are a disgrace to South Sudan. I wish their consciences get awakened to give South Sudanese a chance for peace.

While Riek has a better case diplomatically speaking, he risks, again, becoming a greater failure if he doesn’t put tribal issues between Jieeng and Nuer into serious consideration. Imagining military victory is mere delusion.

Kuir ë Garang is the author of ‘South Sudan Ideologically.’ For contact, visit www.kuirthiy.info


Public Opinion indicates support for Machar’s SPLM/A-in-Opposition

BY: MOHA THABO, SOUTH AFRICAN, JUL/19/2014, SSN;

As an expert in South Sudanese and Sudan’s affairs, and someone who has worked in the Sudan for more than 30 years, and after interviewing so many South Sudanese citizens, community leaders, intellectuals, academia and political and civil society groups outside and inside south Sudan, the result of the interview indicated a very strong support for SPLM/A in opposition under Dr. Riek Machar.

An estimated 80 percent of south Sudanese said there was no coup, but there was a clear plan by the ruling clique under president Salva Kiir to assassinate opponents within the SPLM to keep themselves in power and that plan was premeditated a long time ago.

Private army were illegally trained, graduated and armed and paid by tax payers’ money, reshuffling of those who want reform within the SPLM party so that it became democratic immediately took place.

I have also interviewed a good number of members of Parliament, ministers, officials in state and county levels about their opinion on the current crisis. Majority of them said they are just taking their time; they don’t like the government but because they are being bribed with lots of money, they want to continue getting paid for a certain amount of time before they could join opposition under Dr. Riek Machar.

I could not publish their names for security reason and as requested by them. The first thing they ask me was assurance that I would keep their names secret. This is quite telling that those against the government are above the estimated 80 percent.

It appears to me that no one wants to be associated with the government but because money is being poured to bribe many to act as if they are with the government while at heart they are with SPLM/A in opposition.

“THE 1991 Bor Massacre”

I have come to understanding that majority of South Sudanese are not interested in hearing the incident of 1991 Bor massacre because they believe Juba is using it as a way of garnering support from South Sudanese and that is the only think they could think of to make Dr. Riek Machar look bad.

The world was surprised to see that the majority of south Sudanese including Dr. Garang’s family and officials from Bor in the area are not interested in hearing about the massacre as they consider it as past history.

Instead they accused and threatened to take legal action against those who are using the incident to score their political goal which according to public opinion will not succeed.

When we look at the history of the Sudanese people liberation movement since 1983, we notice lots of horrible things happened, rape, killing, looting, force marriage and so many unbearable acts. All these were against international law.

When Garang was interviewed about those horrible acts done by soldiers under him, he said whatever destruction that his soldiers have done is unacceptable but it is part of a war; that is the reason he reconciled with Dr. Riek in 2002 because he believes whatever happened in Bor was part of war and in war anything is possible.

I was in Western Equatoria in 1992 and Eastern Equatoria, Ikotos, 1993, I have witnessed soldiers from Nuer and other tribes being slaughtered in large numbers because they are suspected of being associated or supporters of Dr. Riek and Lam Akol group.

When South Sudanese leaders reconciled in 2002 and said in a document that we will never scratch old wounds but move forward. Just like the Bible says, if you make mistake and you reconcile with your brother, God will forgive you and your brother will not judge you on the past knowing that any human being is capable of making mistakes but should be judged on the present and not on the past.

Dr. Riek Machar according to international public opinion is now recognized as a legitimate leader of South Sudan and Salva Kiir is seen as a trouble-maker who just wants to stay in power and a promoter of tribalism, nepotism, corruption and you name them.

Dr. Riek is seen as someone who can bring democracy to the people of South Sudan; he is seen as someone who can uplift the lives of the suffering and bring them to the level of world stage through implementation of justice, democracy, equality, peace, development and prosperity.

People don’t see him as a Nuer but people see him as someone who can improve the lives of all including those with the president.

The main disagreement between Dr. Riek Machar and President Salva Kiir were:

*Dr. Riek wanted SPLM to be transformed into a democratic party: leaders should be elected and it should be a universally acceptable secret voting: President Salva Kiir was against and called for a show of hands which allows intimidation.

*Dr. Riek wants term limit in the constitution, a term limit allows you to stand for 2 terms and leave the chair to the new blood: President Salva Kiir is against and called it a red line.

*Dr. Riek calls for a democratic federal system so that services can be taken closer to the people but president Kiir is against because he is interested in keeping the power in the hands of one man:

*Dr. Riek was against removing elected governors and officials unless there are serious issues, Salva Kiir removed without consultation and called himself a democratically elected and yet remove democratically elected official.

In addition, the survey of the SPLM secretariats in South Sudan and abroad said SPLM under president Salva Kiir has lost vision and direction and those who try to correct it were intimidated or killed.

It is also worth mentioning that Pagan Amum, former secretary general of the SPLM was removed because he had requested for a meeting of the political bureau to be held to set the agenda for the convention as stipulated in the SPLM constitution and has requested for it more than 30 times but Salva did not respond to it.

Ann Itto tried few times, no one listens until December 2013 when Salva illegally by-passed the political bureau and went direct to convene the convention. The speech was very hostile.

The opening speech said there are people here who want to divide the party and are traitors. They have stabbed the movement in 1991.

Many south Sudanese told me, Is this the way a leader can talk? Given that SPLA have done horrible crimes and including Salva himself, all were forgiven by the various tribes for the sake of peace, why would anyone scratch old wounds.

Is South Sudan to be ruled by one person without challenge? These are some of the questions I got from angry south Sudanese who said they are preparing and mobilizing to join rebels should peace fail.

The strong impression I got from people is that, they want Salva Kiir to go in order for the country to be in peace. World opinion also indicates that Dr. Riek if peace fails will take over the country by military means.

My colleagues with the BBC who have been walking and driving with the government army in towns of Bor, Malakal, Bentiu and other areas told me, the government troops have very low morale, some are escaping to their states saying they have no reason to fight the rebels after understanding the cause of the conflict.

Lots of soldiers from Equatoria are saying why should we fight against rebels; they are calling for a federal state and that is what Equatorians wants. I talk to one General from Equatoria and he told me that; he is not motivated to fight because he feels that he is fighting against his interest; he is cutting the hand that feeds him.

Implying that Dr. Riek is calling for a federal system and Salva is against and as an Equatorian, he is for a federal state and he is defending those who are against his interest.

He told me, the rebels will take over easily if the peace fails and that he has sent a lot of soldiers back home as there is no reason to fight.

I ask why he is still with the government, he said he is getting big money though the government is tribal but he is waiting for his time.

In conclusion, I think the people of South Sudan should sit down and try to sort out things by themselves and come to a definite conclusion if they want to end the suffering.

Millions have been displaced, thousands have been killed and properties lost in massive numbers. Researchers like me feel bad. Though am South African, the war hurts me a lot because I am an African and I don’t want to see my fellow brothers and sisters killing each other.

As in South Sudan, we had undergone a very horrible moment due to apartheid and seeing people being killed, displaced… it’s jut unimaginable. I wish South Sudanese good luck. God bless.


Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let’s serialize it Part Five

BY: SINDANI SEBIT, NAIROBI, JUL/18/2014, SSN;

Part 5 of these series focuses mainly on the sources of financial resources for both the Federal Government and Federal states and how the federal resources can be distributed between the federal government and states. It will further illustrate how state resources can be distributed within the states. It will also outline the role of the body that will be responsible for financial resources distribution at the three levels of government.

Before discussing the sources of revenue for both the Federal and State Governments, it’s important to point out here that South Sudan is endowed with vast resources that if managed well, would spur rapid economic development in the country and perhaps transform the country into a middle class country within 15 to 20 years.

With a population of nearly 10 million and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1,858 in 2011, there is no reason why the economic transformation in South Sudan cannot supersede its neighbours because South Sudan has the highest GDP compared to all countries in the East African Region.

It should also be mentioned here that the GDP referred to above is calculated based mainly on oil income that accounts for 98% of the production in South Sudan. However, South Sudan has other resources that could increase rapidly the GDP if these resources were exploited.

These resources include copper, gold, diamonds, uranium, chromium, manganese, iron ore, zinc, mica, silver, tungsten and hydropower. In addition, one would also need to mention some of the potential economic areas, namely agriculture, forestry, fishery, trade and commerce which could have vastly contributed to boast the economy of the country. Sadly enough these resources are yet to be exploited.

In addition to failure to exploit all the potential of South Sudan, rampant corruption and poor resource distribution by the regime in Juba has, severely stagnated the economic development of the country.

This is due to concentration of resources in the hands of the central government, poor planning by the central government, incompetent leadership, weak governance institutions at the center, lack of separation of powers between the executive, parliament and judiciary so as to ensure accountability, transparency and prudent planning and implementation.

Therefore, as the situation exists now in South Sudan, most of the country resources are used rightly or wrongly in Juba and its environs while the so called states have been neglected.

Judging from the 2014 budget of 17.3 billion SSP whereby a total of 14.098 billion (81.5%) (6.590 billion, to repay doubtable debts, 4.130 billion for central employees and soldiers and 3.130 billion for security) was allotted to the central Government, no kind of imaginable development or services can been rendered at state level.

Therefore, the proposed federal System for South Sudan is a deliberate effort to correct the gross failures created by the current constitution and form of government that exists now.

This can only be done by establishing independent governing institutions at all three levels of federal government. These are aimed at guaranteeing accountability, transparency and prudent planning and resource management.

Secondly, by establishing mechanisms that can distribute resources equitably and equally, to all the federal states as per the population sizes. The objective here is to ensure that these resources reach the intended populations and guarantee that the resources are used for the intended purposes.

In relation to a country, resource is defined as “the means available for economic and political development such as minerals, labour force and armaments” (Free dictionary) or “a country collective means of supporting itself or becoming wealthier as represented by its reserves of minerals, land and other natural assets” (Oxford dictionary) or “is a source or supply from which benefit is produced.

Typically resources are materials, energy, services, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable” (Free encyclopedia).

Therefore in a federal system, the right to collect revenue from resources must also be divided according to the levels of government namely Federal resources and state resources.

1. Federal resources
The federal government resources will include among others that may be regulated by federal law:
a) Natural resources such as mineral and petroleum
b) Customs
c) Immigration
d) Federal courts (federal Supreme Court and Federal Court of Appeal)
e) Value Added Tax (VAT)
f) Assets such as airports, railways, weight and bridges
g) Services such as Federal employees, investments

Therefore, the Federal Government will collect revenue from mineral resources, immigration, customs, courts (Federal courts), VAT, federal investments, income taxes on federal employees, service taxes on airports, railways and weight and bridges. The revenue collected by the Federal government shall all go to the national consolidated fund.

The funds collected by the Federal government are for whole nation and the federal government is not entitled to use it until it is distributed between the federal government and the states. The distribution of this fund shall be done by the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission.

This is an independent commission which is set up under a constitutional provision purposely to ensure that national resources are collected and distributed between the Federal Government and the federal states according to a formula defined by the constitution which should be 30% for the Federal Government and 70% for the Federal States.

This ratio is purposely established because Federal States are the service delivery organs in the country and so they must be provided with enough resources to effectively and efficiently deliver services according to the needs of the states.

This is meant to offset the current system in Juba where the regions are designated to deliver services to the people yet they helplessly depend on the central government on what is given to them as grants. As usual these grants have always being less than 10% of the national income. As a result the regional governments have failed to deliver services to the people.

2. Federal state resources
The federal state government resources will include among others that may be regulated by state law:
a) Land
b) Games and parks
c) Courts
d) Royalties
e) Services
f) Taxes
g) Loans

Therefore, the federal states revenue sources will include land and housing rates, market taxes, licenses, agriculture, court fees, game and game parks, tourism and recreation services including parking fee and income taxes from state employees and residents. Others are vehicle registration fee, service taxes such for water, sewerage and electricity, road tolls and import and export taxes. However, interstate taxes such not be levied. The states will also get resources from royalties, federal contribution and loans from local banks.

3. Distribution of federal resource between the Federal Government and states
In sharing the national resources at whatever level, the principle of public finance is underpinned by the fact that there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters.

The public finance system shall promote an equitable society, and in particular that the burden of taxation shall be shared fairly and revenue raised nationally shall be shared according to the federal constitutional provision of 30% to 70% in favour of the federal states and that distribution of resources at state level is equitable.

Expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country, including making special provision for marginalized groups and areas in addition to ensuring that the burdens and benefits of the use of resources and public borrowing shall be shared equitably between present and future generations.

The principle shall also guarantee that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way. Financial management shall be responsible and fiscal reporting shall be clear.

However, while sharing the federal resources, the following additional criteria should be taken into consideration:

a) The national interest and obligations shall be a priority particularly such as in a state of war and national calamities. This means the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission must ensure that resources are made available to the Federal Government to meet these challenges before distributing the federal resources according to the formula set out in the constitution. In such situation, the federal government is required to come out with concrete budget proposals that shall be reviewed by the commission to ensure that they meet legitimate needs that are in the interest of the nation. Thereafter the commission with present such request to the Federal Parliament for debate and approval. Once approved these funds shall be credited to the emergency fund account created for this purpose.

b) The need to ensure that State governments are able to perform the functions allocated to them
In order to ensure that the annual federal resources are shared between the federal government and the state governments according to the stipulated formula, this money shall be calculated on the basis of the most recent audited accounts of revenue received and approved by the federal Parliament.

4. Distribution of 70% of the federal resources among the states
The distribution of federal resources among the states shall be shared according to population size in each state. This is to ensure equity in distribution of resources among the states and guarantee that every citizen in each state gets its correct share of the national resources and services.

This means that states with large populations will get more money than those with low population. This is because high population density means there is greater need for more services such as health, education and road infrastructure. Demand for housing, water and electricity increases with increasing population in addition to other social demands such as recreation, sporting and urbanization.

Therefore once the 70% of the Federal funds is credited to state allocation account, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission shall calculate the amount to be allocated to each state according to the population of the state. This shall be done independent of the state governments so as to avoid undue pressure exerted on the commission by the state governors. The population of the state shall be calculated according to the latest census taking into consideration the country’s average annual population growth rate.

5. Distribution of state resources to the counties
The state resources that shall be distributed among the counties of each state shall include funds received from the federal government and the funds collected by the state. All these constitute the state revenue.

While distributing these funds, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission should first consider the state government budget which should not exceed 30% of the total state revenue. This must be the budget approved by the state parliament. Having allocated the amount to the state government, the rest of the funds (70% of the total) shall be distributed among the counties based on the following criteria:

a) The fiscal capacity and efficiency of county authorities to absolve the funds;
b) Developmental and other needs of counties are ensured
c) Economic disparities within and among counties and the need to remedy them is considered seriously
d) Affirmative action in respect of disadvantaged areas and groups is upheld

Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission

This commission shall be established through a constitutional Act like other independent commissions established under this Act. This means members of the commissions are:
• Subject only to the Federal constitution and law
• Independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority
The Commission members shall be nominated and appointed by the President/Prime minister subject to approval by the federal parliament. It shall be composed of:
• Four persons who are not members of parliament nominated by various political parties represented in the federal Parliament according to their strength
• Permanent Secretary in the ministry of finance
• Two persons nominated by the Public Service Commission. These should not be members or employees of the commission
• One person nominated by the Judicial Service Commission who is not a member or employee of the commission

Person nominated to be appointed to this commission shall have extensive professional experience in financial and economic affairs or should be a qualified lawyer in case of the representative of the judicial service commission

The commission shall be charged with the following responsibilities
1. Ensure that the revenue raised by the federal government is shared according to the constitutional stipulated sharing formula of 70% revenue going to the states and 30% remaining with the federal government
2. Make recommendations concerning basis for the equitable sharing of state revenue to the counties
3. Make recommendations on the matters concerning financing of, and financial management by state governments
4. While formulating the recommendations, the commission should seek to consider the following:
• National interest
• Public debt and other national obligations
• Ensure that state governments are able to:
a) Perform their functions
b) Development needs
c) Economic disparities within the counties in each state
d) Affirmative action in regard to the disadvantaged areas and groups within the states
• Population density of each state
• Desirability of the county and predictable allocations of revenue
• Need for flexibility in responding to emergencies
• When appropriate define and enhance the revenue services of the federal and state governments
• Encourage fiscal responsibility
5. Determine, publish and regularly review a policy in which it sets out criteria for disadvantaged or marginalized area within states
6. Submit recommendations to the senate, federal parliament, federal executive, state assemblies and state executive

In conclusion, the proposed federal system intends to deliberately establish a robust and independent revenue allocation and distribution mechanism that first aims at fighting corruption and money laundering at any level of the federal government. The objective is to ensure that national resources are distributed equitably and transparently between the federal government and states and among the states.

The second objective is to curtail or obstruct the federal Government from garrisoning funds in the Federal capital instead of ensuring that states have resources for development and service delivery.

The third objective is to ensure that all federal states get equal chance for rapid and equal development. This means all South Sudanese will have access to basic services regardless of where they live or settle. The overall intention is to avoid the current constitutional loopholes that have resulted in amassing all the national resources in the hand of the central government giving no chance to the regions to access resources and foster development.

Currently the regions are totally dependent on Juba government for their existence but the federal system aims to put the states in-charge of their own affairs and promote equal development and growth.

Due to the fact that many South Sudanese have misunderstood Federalism as a system aimed at sending other South Sudanese away from Equatoria or other parts of the country though is absolutely far from it, part 6 of these series shall focus on the rights of individuals and citizens in the proposed Federal Republic of South Sudan.

The aim of serializing this system is to enable South Sudanese fully understand what is being proposed. We try here and there to compare the proposed system with the current one so as to see the advantaged and disadvantages.

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya


Seeking solution for Acceptable Administration to the people of South Sudan- A Jieng proposal

By: Concerned Jieng Community Elders, Juba, South Sudan. JUL/18/2014, SSN,
(Forwarded by D.M. Agok, JUBA);

Introduction:
People of South Sudan have not agreed on the system of governance they should adopt to rule themselves peacefully. The recent Agreement between the government and the Murle Community led by YauYau has revealed the tendencies of people of South Sudan to govern themselves through ethnic administrative set up like the choice of Murle for autonomous administrative unit away from greater Jonglei state.

This move is indicative of the rejection of the ten states inherited from the government of Khartoum as stipulated in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

It further suggests also that majority of people of South Sudan prefer ethnic administrative arrangements better than former greater regions of the provinces of Equatoria, Upper Nile and Bahr al Ghazal as a solution to tribal rivalry over the resources with the strongest dominating the ethnic minorities or minority making false claim of marginalization in the larger administration, thereby creating enmity between ethnic communities that eventually result into violence of the rivaling communities.

Given the above argument, the choice to opt for an ethnic administration, can easily be adopted from the past colonial administrative set-up of twenty-three districts, as they stood on 1st January 1956.

These districts were wholly or partially set up on ethnic arrangements, except in few cases where some minority communities were put together with larger communities for possible governing conveniences at that time which might have now negatively or positively changed with the change of communities’ attitude towards each other.

Therefore, a solution acceptable to such minority could be addressed in whatever suitable manner. In general therefore minorities must be accorded or facilitated chances of choices to remain in their current authority, form their own administrative unit when viable or choose to join another community or administrative authority they share borders with.

Federal Arrangement:
Many people of South Sudan are demanding for application of federal system as one of the solutions to govern the country peacefully. There is no problem with the federal governance except the fact that the country was marginalized by Khartoum and left without development.

Therefore, there was need for the country to consolidate itself for some reasonable period of time to use available resources for equitable development until suitable time to apply federal system where-after each administrative unit or state would have a chance to run its own affairs with available resources of that state without much difficulty.

But as things stand now, this step has to be skipped and the federal system be introduced because the demand for it is a wish of the majority.

There are many countries which are federal based. Some examples of nations with good federal systems are Germany, Canada, etc. These federal systems can be examined and improved for application that suit South Sudan.

For example in these federal systems, each Federal state depends on its resources except where government have the right of resources like customs, taxes and other specified rights spelt out in the federal constitution.

The rich states make contributions to the federal government pool fund for its budget and contribution to the poor states.

The federal government source of revenue comes from customs, VAT, etc., and other specified taxes in the constitution. These taxes are either collected directly by the federal government or by the state or Municipality on behalf of the federal government.

Other detailed power structures of federal arrangements are embodied in the federal system of governance depending on the model of choice from any federal arrangement and to be agreed upon and adopted by the people of South Sudan.

Constitutional Review for Permanent constitution preparation:
For the people of South Sudan to develop and adopt a system of federal governance, they have to go through established institutions of the Transitional constitution for governance if they believe in good governance that respects established systems.

Therefore, the current constitutional review process must be followed without resorting to short-cut initiatives to avoid future shortcomings that may result into poor definitions and wrong application of federal system in the constitution that would eventually fail good governance.

Hence, the application of a federal system must pass through a constitutional review process leading to permanent constitution.

The Three Provinces of Southern Sudan and Districts as of 1st` Jan. 1956:

Equatoria Provincial Districts:
1. Kapoeta; 2. Torit; 3. Yei River; 4. Juba; 5. Maridi; 6. Yambio; 7. Tumbura
Bahr Al Ghazal Provincial:
1. Yirol; 2. Lakes; 3. Jur River; 4. Raga; 5. Aweil; 6. Tonj; 7. Gogrial;
Upper Nile Provincial Districts:
1. Renk; 2. Malakal; 3. Nasir; 4. Pibor; 5. Akobo; 6. Bor; 7. Bentiu; 8. Pangak; 9. Kodok.

The above former twenty-three provincial districts can be developed into states to replace the current ones inherited from Khartoum.

Specific cases:
Distinct cases that may require ethnic solutions could be resolved in direct consultation with the affected community wishing to either have its own administration, be joined to another community of their choice or remain within the same community. There shall be developed standards and criteria that can qualify an ethnic community to have a state in the consideration of population, resources and security.

Proposal for federal states:
The sub-committee charged with the purpose for structure of federal states agreed that the colonial districts are the best that can be used to structure federal states as this was based on the nationalities or ethic structure which was wholly in some cases and partial on others given realities on the ground.

This arrangement would allow nationalities to develop their languages with no serious problems, easy understanding of themselves due to illiteracy, backwardness and suspicion.

In this manner much would be achieved in the long run when education changes the attitude of suspicion and backwardness thereby coming together and embracing larger communities for better understanding, achievement in development and love for greater improvement of life.

The committee then went down to discuss the terms of references: population, economy, cultural affiliation, geographical alignment, security consideration or any other dictating realities on the ground like ethnics integration settlement for instance.

The committee was able to arrive at the following results after heated debate and reasoning as thus:
List of States, Counties and Headquarters (H/Q):

E1 Imatong State:Torit +Ikotos+ Lafon+ Magwi; H/Q Torit
E2 Lomurnyang State: Kapoeta S. + Kapoeta North + Kapoeta East + Budi; H/Q Kapoeta
E3 Maridi State: Maridi + Mundri West+ Mundri East + Mvollo + Ibba; H/Q Maridi
E4 Gbudwe State: Anzara + Yambio + Ezo + Tumbura + Nagero; H/Q Yambio
E5 Jubek State: Juba +Terekeka; H/Q Juba
E6 Yei River State: Yei + Kajo-keji + Morobo + Lainya; H/Q Yei

B1 Wau State: Bagari + Jur River; H/Q Wau
B2 Aweil State: Aweil South + Aweil Center; H/Q Aweil
B3 Lol State: Aweil West + Aweil North + Raga; H/Q Raga
B4 Aweil East State: Aweil East; H/Q Wanyjok
B5 Kiir State: Twic + Abyei; H/Q MayenAbun
B6 Gogrial State: Gogrial East + Gogrial West; H/Q Kuacjok
B7 Tonj State: Tonj North + Tonj East+ Tonj South; H/Q Tonj
B8 Lakes State: Yirol East+ Yirol West+ Awerial; H/Q Yirol
B9 Rumbek State: Cueibet + Rumbek East + Rumbek North + Rumbek Center + Wulu; H/Q Rumbek

U1 Liech State: Rubokona + Guit + Leer + Mayendit + Panyijar + Koch + Mayom; H/Q Bentiu
U2 Ruweng State: Panrieng + Abiemnom; H/Q Abiemnom
U3 Eastern Nile State: Renk + Maban + Melut + Baliet + Akoka + Pigi; H/Q Malakal
U4 Western Nile State: Panyikang + Kodok + Manyo; H/Q Kodok
U5 Jonglei State: Bor+ Twic East +Duk; H/Q Bor
U6 Bieh State: Fanjak+Ayod+Akobo+ Nyirol+Uror ; H/Q Ayod
U7 Latjoor State: Nasir+ Ulang + Maiwut+ Longuchok; H/Q Nasir
U8 Boma State: Pibor+Pachalla+Buma; H/Q Pibor

All the borders of these new states shall be based on 1956 borders of the three provinces of Southern Sudan by then.

Capital City
1. Ramciel shall be the capital city of the Federal State.

2. Juba shall be the temporary seat of the Federal Government until relocation to Ramciel is determined.

3. The residents of Ramciel and Juba shall have full measure of self-government. Particulars shall be determined by law.

4. The Administrations of Ramciel and Juba shall be responsible to the Federal Government until relocation to new Capital of Ramciel is finalized.

5. Residents of Ramciel and Juba shall in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution, be represented in the National Legislative Assembly.

6. The special interests of Lakes State in Ramciel and Central Equatoria in Juba, regarding the provision of social services or the utilization of natural resources and other similar matters as well as joint Administrative matters arising from the location of Ramciel within Lakes State and Juba within Central Equatoria State, shall be respected. Particulars shall be determined by law.

*This is based on a thorough consultative study with various communities of South Sudan from September 2013 – June 2014.


There’s fundamental difference between decentralisation or devolution of powers & federalism

By: Jacob K. Lupai, JUBA, JUL/17/2014, SSN;

The debate on federalism for South Sudan has produced some mixed feelings and reactions. Some people are totally opposed to it, claiming that the system of governance in South Sudan is already federalism. They argue that the present decentralization or devolution of powers is already a federal system of government in South Sudan. For others federalism is perceived as dangerous to national unity.

Furthermore some people are very suspicious that the proponents of federalism have a hidden agenda. In their paranoia the opponents of federalism relentlessly assume that once federalism is adopted they will be thrown out of the states of proponents of federalism.

For obvious reasons the vocal proponents of federalism are people of Equatoria. The opponents of federalism reason that when people of Equatoria call for federalism it is kokora. The opponents are very fearful that once federalism is adopted they will be unceremoniously evicted from Equatoria.

The paranoia of the opponents of federalism even caused restriction of open debate. There was intimidation for any mention of a federal system of government. The opponents of federalism wanted the mouths of proponents shut. This was despite the government’s clarification on censor on federalism debate through a letter by the Minister of Information and Broadcasting to newspaper editors. However, newspapers were still being confiscated.

For example, the letter of the Minister of Information and Broadcasting dated 2nd July 2014 in part outlined that, “It is the policy of the Government to encourage the people of South Sudan to participate in debates on topics or agendas which are of National interest among others, the debate on federalism”.

Despite all this The Citizen was still confiscated on the 6th July well after the Minister’s letter. This seems to show clearly that deeper below the surface the debate on federalism was indeed hated. One can only speculate as to why there was such a poor coordination between government institutions in observing government policy.

The debate on federalism turned ugly when a soldier became undisciplined and shot dead a civilian in Maridi County in Western Equatoria State. Apparently the soldier was opposed to federalism and as with opponents of federalism, must have assumed they were the target for eviction from Equatoria.

It is a pity that both illiterate and literate opponents of federalism have no any other positive perception except the paranoia of terribly missing all that is good of land of Equatoria. They do not give themselves a minute to think of anything positive that federalism can offer. This type obstinacy is a problem because people do not stand back and be a little bit reasonable in looking at the wider picture.

Opponents of federalism live in deep rooted suspicion and will never appreciate an inch of federalism. This becomes worrying when people are being murdered in cold blood such as the murder in Maridi of an innocent civilian simply for advocating federalism. However, there will come a time when enough will be enough that the murderers will be accountable for their heinous crimes. Killing people with impunity for expressing a contrary view is not the way to build national unity when others have the license to kill while the victims have no justice.

Coming back to centralization or devolution of powers and federalism which are considered to differ fundamentally, it is appropriate to look at them separately.

Decentralization or devolution of powers

Decntralisation or devolution can simply be defined as the transfer of part of the powers of the central government to regional or state authorities and it is in response to demands for diversity. In general decentralization or devolution is a response to the problems of centralized systems. It is seen as a solution to problems like economic decline, government inability to fund services and the demands of minorities for greater say in local governance. Decentralization or devolution of powers is linked to concepts of participation in decision-making, democracy, equality and liberty from high authority.

The processes by which entities move to decentralized state vary. They can be initiated from the central government in a top-down approach. Top-down decentralization may be a political gimmick while bottom-up decentralization initiated by individuals or states may be opposed as is the case with federalism we are now debating. At any rate whether it is top-down or bottom-up decentralization or devolution, it may not be constitutionally binding. Such decentralization or devolution may depend on the whims of the central government either to implement or ignore it.

Can anybody say for certain that the decentralization in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 is being implemented as expected of a decentralized system? If the decentralization in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 were being implemented as expected, there wouldn’t have been a loud demand for a federal system. The level of demand for federalism seems to correlate to the level of regression to centralized system of government in South Sudan.

Federalism

Federalism is a political concept used to describe a system of government in which sovereignty is constitutionally divided between a central governing authority and constituent political units such as the states in South Sudan. In comparing decentralization or devolution with federalism it can be observed that there is a fundamental difference.

Decentralisation is devolution of powers by the central authority to lower levels. The central authority may withdraw the devolved powers at will.

In contrast, in federalism powers are constitutionally divided. There is a covenant between the central authority and the state in the division of powers in federalism. This is the fundamental difference between decentralization or devolution and federalism.

Unlike in devolution of powers, in a federal system the central authority cannot easily withdraw powers from the state without the ruling of a competent constitutional court. So federalism is more just and fairer than decentralization or devolution because the aggrieved party has a chance to challenge any infringement on their powers through the constitutional court for justice. There is no any other fairer system than that justice must be seen to have been done.

Development under federalism

The high level demand of Equatoria for federalism is precisely to accelerate development but not to evict others as the alarmists would like to claim. It can be asserted with confidence that it is not to throw others out of Equatoria. Equatoria is an integral part of South Sudan. So it is mind boggling for people to fear the adoption of federalism as tantamount to Equatoria being a no go area for others.

What is very clear, though, is that people with hegemonic tendencies fear federalism the most because they want to cling to be rulers at any cost. However, adoption of federalism wouldn’t have been a big issue if it were seen from a developmental angle.

Right now federalism is seen from an ethnic angle and so it is perceived as targeting other people of different ethnic group. In fact the opponents of federalism are thinking they are under attack. This is of course false and baseless.

The centralized system is favored simply to maintain the status quo. The people of Equatoria would have none of this and so the demand for federalism would always be there. Federalism is seen as a means to accelerate development.

Dr John Apuruot Akec, the Vice Chancellor of Juba University, in his article Decentralisation or devolution and federalism are faces of the same coin, which appeared in the opinion column of The Citizen and quoting my article in Juba Monitor of June 12, 2014, said I miss the point about the yardstick by which the strength of a federalist system of governance is measured. Dr Akec added I should have acknowledged that for every 10 South Sudanese, 4 are Dinka and that in the 10 states of South Sudan, 7 states have Dinka population.

Another interesting point Dr Akec raised is that 85 per cent of South Sudan government revenue is currently spent in Central Equatoria State and that Central Equatoria State continues to lead the whole country in most development indicators. I may say I have no quarrel with the assertion made but to make my own observation.

I agree with Dr Akec that in the 10 states of South Sudan, 7 states have Dinka population.

However, my observation is that in some of the 7 states, for example in Jonglei, Upper Nile, Unity and in Western Bahr el Ghazal, the Dinka are a tiny minority and could hardly be a dominant force to reckon with. Nevertheless, they are the overwhelming majority only in Lakes, Warrap and Northern Bahr el Ghazal. So the Dinka are mostly concentrated in only 3 states of South Sudan. Giving an impression of Dinka dominance in 7 out of 10 states for numerical superiority should not be used to justify domination which is any way irrelevant in terms of quality.

The claim that 85 per cent of South Sudan government revenue is currently spent in Central Equatoria State for its development is disputable. Dr Akec has not specified clearly budget line items from the revenue corresponding to development activities carried out in Central Equatoria State that amounted to 85 per cent of the revenue. The bulk of the alleged 85 per cent spent in Central Equatoria State if any may actually be for salaries and. the security and law enforcement sector.

A very insignificant percentage of the alleged 85 per cent revenue may go for some minor development but not for the sake of development of Central Equatoria State as it is home to citizens from the other states. When asked whether the national government was really spending 85 per cent of its budget for the development of Central Equatoria State, the respondent said that was laughable. He said if that were the case why then should people of Equatoria demand federalism. The respondent concluded by saying it was a white lie and that high rising buildings in Juba is the result of individual efforts but not of any government budgetary intervention.

Dr Akec may need to visit the residential areas in and around Juba including the city centre, to travel on Juba-Yei main road and to establish what development projects in Central Equatoria State are being financed by the central government. This is in order for him to be realistic about claiming that 85 per cent of the government revenue is spent on development of Central Equatoria State. This is to avoid making misleading assumption.

The development in Central Equatoria State is because the people here are industrious. They make the use of Constitutional Development Fund (CDF) to build schools and health centers, and improve existing hospitals and roads for access to agricultural production areas. When others do not use the CDF and their budgets as intended it is not the problem of Central Equatoria State. The government of Central Equatoria State is also keen on development as shown by Central Equatoria State leading in most economic indicators.

National unity of South Sudan

It is always quoted that there are 64 ethnic groups in South Sudan. However, my little research seems to show that there are more than 64 ethnic groups. This suggests that more research needs to be carried out. People should also share information about ethnicity in South Sudan so that they are knowledgeable about their history.

Each and every South Sudanese yearns for unity because it is strength. When united people can move mountains but divided people are weaklings. The problem is how to promote national unity. There may be many theories. One theory is that development can bring national unity. The question is how?

Well, equitable power and wealth sharing can go a long way to promote national unity. With the diversities in South Sudan the only known system of government that will accelerate development hence promotion of national unity is a federal system.

We have seen how people are in despair when service delivery is poor and when development is accelerating at a chameleon’s speed. A federal system will accelerate development at the speed of a rabbit.

The economy of State of California is the 8th largest in the world if the states of the United States were compared with other countries. What is the secret of such a gigantic stride in development of a state within a country? The answer may not be that so simple.

However, like some states in South Sudan, California is endowed with abundant resources and besides, it does not need to depend on decisions and funds from the federal government in Washington, DC for its development strategies and plans.

California’s success story in development makes federalism very attractive as powers are constitutionally divided that the federal government has no business to interfere with California’s development plan.

For the states of South Sudan with their abundant and untapped resources, a federal system will tremendously accelerate development in the states with the added effect of promoting sustainable national unity as confidence increases with development.

South Sudanese must be informed that the struggle to maintain the status quo is a liability to national unity.

Conclusion

The One Nation, One People sloganeering is misleading and a mockery. How on earth can one people have no mercy on each other? How can people hate each other and slaughter each other and yet call themselves one people? The correct slogan should have been One Nation, One Destiny.

It is the oneness in destiny that can pull people together. This precisely explains how people of South Sudan with their different ethnic groups had fought jointly against Arab domination and marginalization because their destiny was one. Being of one destiny and regardless of whether one was a Zande or a Murle, Southerners had fought and died together in trenches defending their destiny.

It must be understood, though, that it is not only domination and marginalization that may pull people together as of one destiny. Challenges of development and nation building for a better future for all should also pull people together for strength in order to eradicate poverty. It is poverty that may be tearing people apart.

In conclusion, federalism is the most appropriate and peaceful means of accelerating development for a higher standard of living while a centralized system serves nothing but only hegemonic tendencies of others to terrorise, oppress and rule.
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author.


The Dream From A Realist Perspective: United Nations/UNmiss in South Sudan Dark Side of the Story

BY: DENG LUETH YUANG, B.A., M.A. CALGARY, CANADA, JUL/16/2014, SSN;

One thing is clear in my crystal ball. It is that NOW OFFICIALLY I am aware South Sudan is at war with itself – seven months of civil war and mass suffering and displacement. Pres. Kiir is renewing his fight by buying billions of dollars worth of Chinese weapons and Mr. ‘Dhur-gon’, Dr. Riek Machar is waging a diplomatic war on Kiir’s regime and his Dinka tribe as the real cause of the war.

To Riek supporters and himself, not all Dinkas are mismanaging the country and killing Nuers! Take that to the bank and you can catch it today! We few Dinkas alive to the realities of South Sudan’s politics know and understand what transpire in you tribo-politicians.

Your actions have turned us against each other. Xenophobia based on individual tribes, names of authors and states of origin. That is why in June 2014, I wrote an article titled Not Yet Federalism for South Sudan highlighting fallacies of the so-called quest for federal democracy in South Sudan. Surf that on the internet to inform yourself about it.

We are killing our brothers and sisters; our mothers and fathers; our neighbours and peacekeepers with no sympathy at all.

Our country is thrown back to the dogs of yester-years, baying for the blood of the innocents to feast on. ‘We’ are their targeted prey to kill. The South Sudan we call home is being chased after to be caught, slaughtered and shared up by the prides of the Jungle. Their sharing formula of ‘catch and divide up the carcass’ has been practised by many before but no tangible results so far.

What are we the ‘innocent bunch of noisemakers’ going to share among ourselves? Our sh*t noises and bodies of our beloved ones? But wait, there are also mini dogs barking away from the shores of White Nile and Lake Victoria.

Oh, I forget! Others are on the other side of the Atlantic peering into the deep dark blue waters of its ocean across West Africa, and some are just north of the Mediterranean. The carcass would not be enough for all of us. It is rivalrous but non-excludable after all.

Quite recently, I have been following South Sudan news with disdain. Hilde Johnson, the UN miss head in South Sudan has just gone. She gracefully exited the door to gate of human rights watch tower. But I think her term was up anyway. Let me revisit the new UN mandate to protect civilians using “all necessary means possible”. It is going to be a daunting task to implement it in such a tribo-politically charged environment.

Moreover, I am optimistic – it will instill fear into current and future generation of ‘south Sudan war enthusiasts, war economists and war influencers’. So UNMISS M/s Johnson’s best bet out was to just call it a day.

My Emphasis
Besides, I have not yet heard about the new head whether s/he is ably,and fully qualified in international diplomacy and peace building/making; hail from the neighbouring states of Eastern Africa, Central/South America, Middle East, Asia, or the West – Europe and North America as it is always the case. But above all, if the bottomline is keeping peace and promoting development through peace, then who are the contributing nations to these old and future peacekeepers coming to South Sudan?

Did I hear Ugandans, Kenyans, Ethiopians, Rwandans, Russians, Americans, Chinese or Indians? This is the greatest question to ask. In the meantime, rule out non-eastern Africans, and Ugandans who are partisan in this war. Let the focus stays with the Eastern Africans. I wish they were from Tanzania, Rwanda, and Burundi and not from Kenya, Ethiopia, Somalia, or Eritrea, and you name it. Discern the logic of that by your own brethren!

But why are there no active, visible ‘foot’ Western peacekeepers who hail from non-tribalized, professional, and democratized environments?

The Iron-lady is gone, what’s next for South Sudan and her people?

To pro-government supporters, her presence in South Sudan was painful, unthinkable and problematic. Her UNmiss administration was almost like the sovereign government of a country. It has never had so much influence which wracle nerves in any one country except S. Sudan. Whenever our Good Madam spoke, the government falls into a reckless situation to explain the exact scenario – think of Kiir’s utterance of UN parallel government; UN Cargo mislabeling; Bor UN Compound Nuers Massacre; Dr. Riek airlift by UN to safe haven in Jonglei State, alleged coup and so forth!

In such a way, this is like a great experiment for the United Nations—it often seems like a way to build up people’s Curriculum Vitae (CVs) rather than a way to do something positive for the affected. I don’t know what UN workers are up to, but one thing is clear – civilian protection and human rights at the expense of ‘certain hideous individual actions’.

Who is going to replace her?

The best fit should be a strategical thinker, problem solver, uniter and caring person, not the war zealot who trumpets the drums of war and cause confusion among locals. . There should be no ‘test-tube like diplomats’ for the United Nations by bringing in a person who wants to explore adventure or a researcher searching for information on human rights and democracy, rather than a very qualified one who can do something positive for the people of South Sudan.

When I always look at how the UN operate, especially when it comes to third world countries, things just fall apart. There is irony. Why do you send in soldiers from countries with no proper democracy to keep peace in countries at war? Why do you send soldiers from tribalized countries like Kenya, Rwanda or Ethiopia?

Why do you send in soldiers still suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) 1994 Rwanda genocide to come and keep peace in a land facing same genocide? Are they not going to be just other bunches of bystanders looking aimlessly?

Why are you sending in soldiers from countries with abject poverty who themselves are suffering from so many chronic issues, leave alone their questionable professionalism as some of these are just school drops out, delinquents, ill-educated, joined the army because of mass conscriptions, others joined because of poverty and hunger, and to revenge past historical injustices?

Which peace are they going to keep if they don’t even know the peace or the law of protecting civilians? There will be always two world apart in the United Nations – Big 5 Permanent Members with their stooges, and the rest are weaklings who will be experimented upon for any policy designed in the West to suit their likings.

Repercussions

Methinks South Sudan is undergoing renaissance. Although often times, human rights, national development and humanitarian assistance are always top priority for the UN, we do not all know what the different motivations of UN personnel are. Perhaps we are facing another Haiti in the making where the Nepalese peacekeepers brought cholera to the poor citizens. When they shouted and cried, no one listened. Even the UN in New York was in state of self-denial but everyone knew it was imported.

Perhaps we are going the Congo DR way where two decades of failed peacekeeping mission made them ran out of patience and ideas after witnessing numerous deaths of civilians caught between the cross fire of local and regional militias, and the weak Congo DR army. However, South Sudan does not need ‘the minerals warlords of Katanga, North Kivu and Goma and the transnational rebels from Uganda and Rwanda’.

Perhaps we are going the Ivory Coast way where president History Professor Mr. Laurent Gbago was over-ran humiliatingly with the help of the UN forces. Or perhaps South Sudan will be under the trusteeship of the UN like the East Timor where it ruled the country for close to two decades till recently in December 2012 when it relinquished ‘autonomous power’ to the locals hitherto.

According to Fund for Peace (FFP FSI June 2014), South Sudan is No. 1 in the most fragile state ranking, and hence, we are already now in the Central Africa Republic way where ethnic and religious schism have galloped and partitioned the whole country into Christian West, and Muslim East. We are staring agonizingly at South Sudan’s ‘somalization’ when these power hungry and thirsty goons dressed themselves in names of political ideologies mooted in the Western World laboratories for centuries.

And finally perhaps we will go the Serbia-Kosovo way where S.Sudan will be split into Nuer, Equatoria and Dinka Nations IF this trend of tribal rebellion, power seekers ‘hyenas’ do not stop, and current debate on tribally aligned federalism goes through!

The solutions

For UN to be accorded with due respect and credence, it must not belittle ‘the inferiors.’ I mean nations it deems junior or subordinate partners in the United Nations. Treat them as equals. Lead by example rather by weakening the already fragile situations. Solve problems long-term by stepping into the deep waters with both legs, not one. End South Sudan problems now, not dragging it on even if at a painful cost to any tribe.

South Sudan needs an effective learning paradigm from great democracies with tolerance, role model, understanding and civilization like India, South Africa, Brazil, the US, Tanzania, the UK, Germany and Ghana among others. UN activities must be undertaken as a self-service sacrifice, and not a profession to earn a living.

To UN Security Council, UN Secretary General Mr. Ban ki Moon and U.N. peacekeeping Chief Hervé Ladsous, please be truthful in your occasional peacekeeping authorizations. Otherwise one day, one time, the UN peacekeeping missions will be another lucrative business for getting more funding and offering provisions for the troops from the third world countries and your top Western CVs builders.

Deng Lueth Yuang, B.A. (Econs); M.A. (Bnkg/Fin) contributed to this piece from Calgary, Alberta, Canada. He comments only on topical South Sudanese issues and is the Founder and Chair of CEFA, a public think tank on economics and financial issues. For more comments, send in to delyuang@gmail.com.

Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let us serialize it (Part 4)

BY: SINDANI SEBIT, NAIROBI, JUL/15/2014, SSN;

The Part 4 of these series focuses essentially on the proposed judicial system in a Federal Republic of South Sudan. It outlines the basic aim of the judicial system, its composition and independence, the structures at the Federal and Federal State levels of the country; and the role of the Judicial Services Commission promoting the independence of the judiciary, facilitating the accountability and transparency of the entire judicial system.

The independence of the judicial system is crucial and paramount if the country is to uphold and protect the rights and fundamental freedoms of its citizens, ensure accountability, justice, equality and equity for all people regardless of colour, creed, tribe, ethnicity, religion and sex.

Therefore the aim of the judicial system is therefore to ensure that nobody is above the law and everybody is accountable for his/her actions according to the Federal Constitution and also to promote fair judgment, equal treatment before the law and protect all rights of the citizens regardless of their standing in the society.

The purpose of this article is therefore to provide the people of South Sudan with the basic knowledge of the kind of judicial system that will protect them under a federal system of governance as opposed to the current subjected judicial system in South Sudan. It is hoped that constructive feedback and suggestions will be generated.
Judiciary

Fair judicial system is important for any citizen of a country to enjoy his/her liberties and rights. Judicial system that is independent and based on transparency and accountability guarantees equality and equity, it promotes harmony, unity and togetherness because nobody will be considered to be above the low. It creates and ensures confidence among the citizenry because of the grounded belief that they are protected, their property is protected and that none of them will be subjugated, oppressed and denied his/her right to live, enjoy, marry, acquire and own property.

Therefore, the authority of the Judiciary in a Federal Republic of South Sudan shall emanate from the people and shall be vested in and exercised by courts and tribunals as stipulated by the Federal Constitution.

The courts and tribunals should be grounded by the fact that justice shall be done to all regardless of status of a person concern and justice shall not be delayed. Courts shall endeavour to promote alternative forms of dispute resolution such as reconciliation, mediation, arbitration and traditional dispute resolution mechanisms and shall ensure that justice shall be administered without regard to procedural technicalities and that purpose and principles of the constitution are protected and promoted.

On the other hand, the courts shall ensure traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not be used to contravene any bill of rights, promote acts that are contrary to justice or morality and not result in outcomes that are repugnant to justice and morality and that the traditional dispute resolution mechanisms shall not be inconsistent to the constitution or written law of the country.

Independency of Judiciary

The Judiciary in Federal Republic of South Sudan will not be subjected to any authority other than the constitution and law of the Republic. It cannot be subject to control or direction of any person or authority and the office of the Judge of the Federal Superior court shall not be abolished as long as there is subordinate office holder. All judge salaries and benefits shall be charged to a consolidated fund and members of Judiciary shall not be subjected to any action or suit resulting from anything done or omitted in good faith in the lawful performance of a judicial function. This is meant to guarantee the independence of the judiciary. It means that the judiciary shall be independent of the executive and parliament. It will have its budget and tenure of office.

Composition of Judiciary

The judiciary proposed here will include judges of Federal Supreme Court, Federal Court of Appeal, Federal State High Court Judges, Magistrates, Other judicial officers and Staff of the judiciary. The offices of the judiciary shall comprise the Chief justice as the Head of the judiciary, the Deputy Chief justice as Deputy Head to the judiciary, Chief registrar as Chief Administrator of and accounting officer to the judiciary and the Judicial Service Commission. The role and functions of the Judicial Service Commission will be outlined later in this article.

Structure of the Courts

The courts in the federal Republic of South Sudan shall be structured as follows: 1) Superior courts. The superior courts include the Federal Supreme Court, Federal court of Appeal and state high courts. 2) Subordinate courts that include the magistrate courts and court martial courts. The courts will be distributed according to the two levels of administration. Therefore at the Federal level, the following courts shall be established:

1. Federal Supreme Court
2. Federal Court of Appeal
3. Any other court prescribed by the Federal constitution such as commerce and trade laws, employment and labour laws at Federal level.
Meanwhile the following courts shall be established at State level of governance:
1. High Court
2. Magistrate court
3. Martial courts
4. Any other courts that are prescribed by state constitution such as commercial courts, employment and labour laws, environmental and land laws, etc

Federal Supreme Court

The Federal Supreme Court shall be the highest Federal court in the country and shall be headed by the Chief Justice deputized by the Deputy Chief Justice. Its composition will include 5 judges as will be determined by the Federal Constitution. This court is charged with appellate jurisdiction to hear and determine appeals from:

1. Court of appeal
2. Any other court or any matter of public importance or interest

Federal Court of Appeal
This is the second highest court in the country and shall comprise of 18 judges as prescribed by the Federal Constitution. The constitution shall ensure that one judge is appointed to the court from each of the proposed 18 Federal states. If the number of Federal States is more or less than 18, the number of judges should also be varied to ensure that each state is represented by one judge in this court. This is to create equal representation and guarantee fair administration of justice in the country.
The court shall be headed by the President of Federal Court of Appeal elected by its members in their first sitting. The principal role of this court is to hear and determine cases from:
1. Referred from State High courts
2. Questions arising from interpretation of Federal constitution including electoral cases
3. Cases arising from interstate conflicts
4. Any other court or tribunal prescribed by act of Federal parliament

State Courts

The state courts include the high courts, magistrate courts, chiefs’ courts and any other form of traditional courts.

High Court

This court consists of number of judges as prescribed by the state constitution. It shall be headed by Principal Judge elected by its members in its first sitting. Its fundamental functions shall be to hear and determine:
1. Unlimited jurisdictions in criminal or civil matters
2. Issues related to the bill of rights and fundamental freedoms
3. Appeals from decisions from tribunals and magistrate courts
4. Questions arising from interpretation of state constitution
5. Whether any law is consistent with or in contravention of the state constitution

Magistrate Courts

The state parliament shall enact legislation conferring jurisdiction, functions and powers on these courts

Appointment of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justices and all judges

The posts of Chief justice, his/her Deputy and Judges of the State High Courts are constitutional posts and therefore subject to approval by the Federal Parliament in case of the Chief Justice and his Deputy and Federal State parliament in case of Judges of the State High courts. Thus the Chief Justice and his/her Deputy shall be recommended to the President/Prime Minister by the Judicial Service Commission, approved by the Federal Parliament and then appointed by the President/Prime Minister.

No person shall be appointed by the president to these posts without the recommendation of the Judicial Service Commission and approval of the Federal Parliament. Any person appointed without following this due process shall be deemed to have been appointed unconstitutionally and therefore shall not be permitted to assume these offices.

Similarly the same procedure shall be followed in the appointment of Judges of the Federal State High Courts with the exception that the candidates will be recommended to the State Governor by the State Branch of the Judicial Service Commission and will be approved by the State Parliament before appointment by the State Governors. In this case the Federal President/Prime Minister has no powers to appoint any Federal State High Court Judge. Any attempt to do so shall be deemed unconstitutional and such appointee shall not be permitted to assume the office of judge in that state. This is to protect against corruption, nepotism, favouritism, equality and equal opportunity.

Therefore any person who intends to be appointed to any position in the judiciary shall present an application to the Judicial Service Commission either at federal or state levels depending on the position and the Judicial Service Commission shall ensure competitiveness and transparency in processing the application in accordance to the rules and regulations of employment as stipulated in the Judicial Service Commission act.

Qualification of the judges

In case of Chief Justice, Deputy Chief Justice and Judges of Federal Supreme Court, the candidate must have a degree from recognized university, has high moral character, integrity and impartiality and has experience of at least 10-15 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field. This is to ensure competency, integrity and respect.

For Judges of Federal court of appeal, the candidate should have at least a degree from recognized university, experience of at least 7-10 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field while for Judges of High court, the candidate should have at least a degree from recognized university and has experience of at least 7-10 years as member of superior court judge or distinguished academia, judicial officer or such experience in other relevant legal field.

Tenure of office of the Chief Justice and other Judges

In order to ensure that the Chief Justice and other Judges have confidence in their work and not to be intimidated by the powers that be, these judicial officers shall have tenure of offices which shall be prescribed by law according to retirement age or maximum tenure period of 10 years.

Removal judicial officers from Office
Judicial Officers may be removed from the office only on the grounds of:
1. Inability to perform the functions due to mental or physical injury
2. Breach of a code of conduct
3. Bankruptcy
4. Incompetence
5. Gross misconduct
The process of removal of judge shall be initiated by the Judicial Service Commission in accordance with rules and procedures prescribed in the act of Judicial Services Commission. This is intended to protect the judicial officers from undue interference by the executive and to ensure they perform their work independently without any pressure from anybody.

Judicial Service Commission (JSC)

This body shall be established so as to ensure the independence of judiciary system. The functions of JSC shall be to:
1. Promote and facilitate the independence and accountability of the judiciary
2. Ensure efficient, effective and transparent administration of justices
3. Recommend to the President/Prime minister persons to be appointed as judges
4. Review and make recommendations on the condition of service for:
• Judges and judicial officers
• Staff of the judiciary
5. Investigate and remove or dismiss registrars, magistrates and other judicial officers and staff
6. Ensure there is continuous education for judges and judicial officers
7. Advise the Federal and state governments on improvement of efficiency of the administration of justice

The JSC shall be guided in its work by competitive and transparent process of appointment of judiciary, equality, fairness, justice and promotion of gender equity. The JSC shall be composed of the following officers:
1. Chief Justice as the chairperson of the JSC
2. One federal supreme court judge elected by supreme court judges
3. One Federal court of appeal judge elected by the judges of federal court of appeal
4. One high court judge and one magistrate, elected by members of association of judges and magistrates
5. Attorney general
6. Two advocates elected by the professional association
7. One representative nominated by the public service commission
8. Chief registrar of the judiciary; as secretary to the JSC
9. Three public representative appointed by the prime minister subject to approval by the Federal Parliament
10 Out of the 13 members at 30% must women

The varied composition here is aimed at creating fair representation, pulling together varied opinions, democratic participation and ensuring accountability and transparency. Tenure of the members JSC should be 5 years except for the Attorney General and Chief of Staff.

In conclusion, the aim of setting up such elaborate judicial system is to bring justice and equality to the country. It is to protect the civil rights and freedoms through independent judicial system and ensure equal participation in the decision process of administration of justice. In addition, the system must be judged to be transparent, accountable and responsive to the people.

Furthermore, this is a deliberate attempt to remove corruption, nepotism, favouritism and preference that can work against the desire to have just system in South Sudan. Finally it is a deliberate course to ensure that the judicial system cannot not be subjugated, interfered with and made to be an instrument of oppression, subjugation and denial of fundamental freedoms and rights.

Article 5 of these series will focus mainly on the sources of financial resources for both the Federal Government and Federal states and how the federal resources can be distributed between the federal government and states. It will further illustrate how state resources can be distributed within the states. It will also outline the role of the body that will be responsible for financial resources distribution at the three levels of government.

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


The Brainlessness in South Sudan: The Ungrateful & the Notorious Gangs

By: Gabriel M. Tor, JUBA, JUL/14/2014, SSN;

Though, I am saddened like never before in our fragile lives and story, I am mourning but not mourning the dead, whom I sincerely respect, the fallen poor comrades in uniform and civilian clothes, but inside my heart, am mourning our brainlessness’ disaster of the South Sudanese and the leadership in Juba and across the Diasporas and the actual lack of true patriotism to the nation among South Sudanese people.

Just to borrow, Marol Deng’s prophetic vision in 2010, during George Athor Deng Dut’s insurgency, Mr. Deng said, “I am not mourning about the dead, but the brains we have.”

People were sending their condolences to the fallen comrades and their families, due to a violent fiery confrontation between Kiir’s SPLA and Dut’s defected SPLA armed forces from South Sudan army, who were agitated by Kiir’s government!!

There will be no fear of all the bad things we do to ourselves or the disasters we encountered if we have the change of hearts and honesty in us, to be able to pass the right judgment regarding any situation at hand, which we gravely lack at the present time, including the young ones and scholars of the nation, who are seen as hope of the nation’s future. So bad for S.S. survival.

Blaming Salva Kiir and his GOSS is not a justification of rebellion nor is it a support to Riek Machar’s rebel camp, but a better narration of where things had gone wrong in the Country in the first place.

Asking Kiir to step down is not an authorization to put Riek in power, but a dose of peace and calm to both government and oppositions.

Both men are an open grave for the nation: Kiir beating his chest for a Country he can’t defend – that’s a military failure, while decreeing a coup he can’t pass through politically and domestically. This is a political failure.

You (Kiir) have people in your government who rolled their eyes inside out, throwing hate speeches around, like a kid’s ball; with reckless hatred and divide drive. This shows political and social failure in the Country.

Dr. Machar also failed to be an alternative to Kiir, because his armed forces fight on a tribal base, killing vulnerable civilians and foreigners living in the Country where they occupy, looting properties from individual businesses as well as of the nation and non-governmental organizations, and destroying the nation’s developmental infrastructures . This is far from a fake promised democracy.

Disrespecting our men and women in military service:

The widows and orphans of South Sudanese fallen comrades in military uniforms have been abandoned and are living a life that shows they have been thrown to wolves, after huge sacrifices which their fellow kith and kin in the role of honor had given their lives for without reservation, because they believe, their loved ones whom the left behind could be honored and taken care of as they did for their country South Sudan – dying as martyrs so the nation could be free and dignified.

What I heard and saw in 2014, with South Sudanese orphans and widows living in Kenya, Uganda and S. Sudan are humiliating for the families who are the victims of our freedom liberation struggle.

These folks should be paid a big respect by shouldering the care of those left behind with no one to care for. I found families, who once lived in big cities or towns in East Africa because their loved ones: Their partners, fathers, brothers, mothers, and sisters, sons and daughters were still on active duty defending the nation, but whereas they were gone, the salaries were cut without remorse by Kiir’s government and this forced kids of the fallen comrades out of towns, where they were going to school, because no one could pay for their rent and school fees.

Do you know where next, do these kids of our heroes and heroines live?
The kids are forced to live under unspeakable condition in the cattle, displaced, and refugee camps in the East African region or in remote villages in the Country; where they live without school or good roof under the sun and the trenches of sandstorm and muddy floors, where mosquitoes and cholera are in rampant epidemic.

So, where in the world would a government that calls itself functional, desert the kids of our fallen comrades in arms – to just notice the reason that the bread providers have gone and no longer provide for their loved ones.

Would GOSS not organize and continue the support to our widows and orphans, whom their husbands and fathers never returned home, or were wounded on the line of duty for the sake of their country they loved and defended very much with their own lives?

Propaganda of baby nation – How Old Is South Sudan?
South Sudan is not as old as you are or have been singing all along. S. Sudan is not 3 years old Country but 9 years old Country that you got lost in it wealth’s consumption and theft, then you forgot to count.

Start counting from 2005, the interim period, because here S.S. people had gained a complete power of ruling themselves as a nation as well as earning billions of dollars from the Country’s oil wells. The 2011 was just an official breaking away from the North.

Ungrateful and Notorious Gangs
I had a chance in February, 2014, to travel a route I trekked over 20 years ago as a child. I took the bus from Lokichogio, Kenya, through Nadapal, a Kenyan/South Sudanese border town, riding through Narus, Kor Napodpod and Loyoro to Kapoeta town. The first journey ended in Kapoeta on one of the nights.

On my next day’s journey, I took another bus trip through Torit to Juba. All these buses trips, I was blamed for risking my life by friends and relatives, because of the notorious gangs in those bushes.

On my way to Juba, I was riding with my fellow Country comrades in full uniforms, who were also travelling on that same bus and the conversation began between those in civilian clothes and those in military uniforms.

“Being in the South Sudanese military isn’t not worth it: 1, the pay cannot make you raise a kid or help you help yourself stand on your two feet. 2, the payment takes between 3 to 6 months without being paid, while you have a nation to defend, a family to feed and yourself to look after” said one civilian passenger.

One of the guys in uniform responded, “We don’t do it for money but for the love of our country”. All these were made in response to those who have sought employment in personal businesses, private companies or non-governmental organizations working in the country.

According to Apostle Paul, no one is denied the milk from the cows that one takes care of. So why is South Sudan starving their people?

When those with squandered billions of dollars are never asked or even ordered to return the money stolen for the past 9 years for a 9 years old nation. And the theft of money and other national wealth is a daily service to those in Kiir’s government of self-service.

What future are we trying to build for the country South Sudan and individual builders?

When I hear S. Sudanese delegates from both sides, taking a break from peace talks in Addis Ababa to go finish their crates of beers, because of lame blames, that so is so and such; to kill time and people back home is so shameful and brainless – a disgraceful demeanor in our people leadership.

It’s not about what they have said or done? It’s all about what did we do to ourselves, our lives and our interrupted progress in life, it’s about what can you do to your poor Country, where leaders are killing, dividing and starving their own people to death.

It’s about leaders who steal, refused an office appointment to someone who disagrees with them in opinion, or corrupt the national wealth and constitution for their own ego and folly. You don’t have to compare yourself with someone to be victorious or a winner!! You have to stand alone, firm and clean for the love of people, but not lust of money and office.

Unreadable South Sudanese Brain or Events
When Telar Ring was accused of academic fraud on how he gets his degree and other corruption ingredients in public service, after close examination by the Country’s representatives in charge of evaluation regarding president Salva Kiir’s nomination of Mr. Ring, in 2013 as the Country’s chief justice, Ring was denied to be the Country’s chief justice by the parliament, due to his tainted nature of leadership.

Kiir came around and picked the same Ring for presidential legal advisor and Kiir threatened to send the country’s lawyers homeless, should they reject Ring as Kiir’s presidential legal advisor nominee.

Looking at how the values and integrity of South Sudan is going down the drain, the advisors would be greatly blamed for driving the nation headless. Quality advice is seen in how people are being led. Ring is a bad mirror for South Sudan leadership and South Sudan scholars with grain of wisdom know this very well. So there is need to mourn for the brains in S. Sudanese leadership.

You heard his Grace, Daniel Deng Bul, who is part of Peace talks in Addis Ababa being called rebel, because he disagreed with S.S. government’s version of what caused the war and how to solve it, while real rebels like David Yau Yau are called brothers among other praises and given a heroic welcome during his return to Juba in 2014, after almost half decade of his armed forces’ killing innocent civilians and members of the Country’s security forces, raping women and abducting South Sudanese children in Jonglei State.

So, what is South Sudanese’ definition of “a rebel?” and to millions of South Sudanese’ citizens’ disappointment, S. S. government did not appreciate nor spare George Athor Deng Dut’s life, a man whom his achievements are far greater than that of Riek and Kiir combined during the decades of civil war, due to his bravery that saved millions of South Sudanese lives during the 21 plus years of North-South Sudan’s war.

Dut, after his disagreement in 2010 election in Jonglei State gubernatorial election and Kiir’s involvement and favoritism at the State level on who is to lead a particular State.

There is need to “mourn the brains we have”.
Juba’s flame in December 2013 was not a surprise to many, though it came so soon, because Kiir’s government is a trouble inviter.

Many South Sudanese locals and religious staff had the vision of Juba being on fire. Visions from South Sudanese citizens show Juba burning and those who carry those visions and dreams started telling their stories and initiating an approach to the top government officials but they were branded named as prophets of doom or ignored all together.

But when a Nigerian Joshua tell his YouTube version of what was awaiting unknown Country in East Africa, that was not Kenya nor Uganda, S. Sudan VP and Kiir’s wife rushed to Nigeria to hear Joshua re-telling his vision, while we ignored our prophets at home who have the same or better prophetic vision of what had engulfed S.S.

So, there is need to “mourn the brains we have” because these brains will still do more damage to ourselves and the Country. Juba authorities talked to Joshua after Dec. 2013 incident, whereas they ignored advices and visions told to them before Juba’s Dec. 2013 violence.

Almost everything South Sudan government and its supporters are doing are so unappreciative, insulting and disgraceful to the sons and daughters of our martyrs, whom their fathers and mothers died protecting the rights and integrity of S.S. and also to friends across our borders and around the world and UN who took charge of our feedings and security over the decades.

We could think and do better than this ya Junubeen. We must change, or not hope for change to come.
By Gabriel M. Tor
Disclaimer: views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author. Agok Takpiny is a concerned South Sudanese in Melbourne Australia. He can be reached on agoktakpiny@ymail.com


Be Forward Japan Ad - South Sudan Nation

Three years in, is South Sudan oil driving its crisis?

FROM Global Witness, contact: EMMA VICKERS, JUL/09/2014, SSN;

On the third anniversary of its independence, South Sudan looks like it is sliding into a dangerous cycle of oil-backed debt. The new budget, announced last week, signaled that another 3 billion SSP ($1 billion) would have to be borrowed from oil companies next year.

This is a huge sum and is almost equivalent to the amount donors are spending to alleviate the humanitarian catastrophe that is unfolding. Worryingly, most of this money will go straight back to the same oil companies, to pay off last year’s debts.

More alarmingly still, the South Sudanese public have no idea on what terms this $1 billion is being borrowed. It’s all been agreed behind closed doors. Citizens must be told the terms that their government have struck with the oil companies so they can be sure their government is negotiating the best deals in the high risk world of oil-backed borrowing.

The government and the rebels failure to negotiate a way out of the conflict is pushing up state spending on the armed forces, while development projects go unfunded. Around 35% of the budget will be used to pay for the security sector. At the same time, Ban Ki-Moon has warned that if the conflict continues, half of South Sudan’s population will be homeless, starving or dead by the end of the year. After the debts are paid-off and the soldiers paid, little remains for spending that will directly benefit ordinary citizens. Only 12% of the budget will be invested into healthcare, infrastructure and education combined.

We have seen these types of debt cycles before. If the government is to avoid bankruptcy, it must take steps to get its house in order and make any future loan deals transparent. If it is serious about investing in the South Sudanese people, it also needs to get serious about the peace talks too. And if these talks are to produce a stable South Sudan, oil has to be at the top of the agenda.

For further comment please contact Emma Vickers, South Sudan Campaigner, on +44 (0)7715 076 548, evickers@globalwitness.org;

or Sarah Morrison, Senior Communications Advisor, on +44 (0) 207 492 5840, smorrison@globalwitness.org.