Category: Politics

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


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


How Federalism becomes connected to Rebellion?

By: Dengdit Ayok, JUBA, JUL/07/2014, SSN;

Federalism in South Sudan’s Political History:

Federalism was a historical demand by South Sudanese in the former unified Sudan. And in the light of this fact, the demand for federalism in our political arena in South Sudan nowadays is not something new at all, because our leaders demanded for it in 1950s and 1960s of the last century.

Dr Mansour Khalid, a great Sudanese intellectual, writer and historian, asserted in one of his books that the southern Sudan MPs in the Sudanese parliament in 1950s demanded for federalism.

Late Hon. Benjamin Loki who was then representing Yei, voiced out this political demand in the parliament on December 12, 1955. He suggested the formation of political parties conference in order to come up with the position of including the emergence of a federal state in the declaration of the independence of the Sudan.

The demand was rejected by the northern political parties, but they later on accepted the inclusion of the following provision into the declaration of the Sudan’s independence: “The demand by Southern Sudanese for federation shall be put into consideration”, but it was soon thrown into the dustbin of history and considered to be a political sin and treason.

Among South Sudanese politicians who demanded for federation were: Stanislaus Abdalla Baysama, Both Diu, Aggrey Jaden, William Deng Nhial and Fr. Saturnino Lohore.

The demand for federation for the second time in 1956 Round Table Conference after the first demand for it in the 1947 Juba Conference, later on resulted into the assassination of William Deng in 1968, three years after the the Round Table Conference and the assassination Fr. Saturnino Lohore at Sudanese-Ugandan borders.

The plan for his assassination was coordinated by the Sudanese Military Intelligence with Ugandan Military Intelligence.

Hitherto, federalism is a historical demand that had resurfaced in Equatoria region conferences.

Resurfacing of Federalism after self-determination

A Technical Committee was formed in 2011 after the announcement of the results of the referendum in which our people exercised the right for self-determination. The Committee was under the chairpersonship of Justice John Luk Jok and its task was to write a constitution for the new country.

The SPLM party that had been talking about ‘How the Sudan should be governed, not who should govern it’ came up with a system of governance known as ‘Decentralized democratic system’ which was accepted and adopted by its members in the committee and in the parliament two days before the declaration of the independence.

It must be clearly stated here that the issue of system of governance is not a major reason that triggered the ongoing war in the country.

The main issue that triggered the war is originally an internal party issue. It was the amendment of basic documents namely: SPLM Manifesto and its Constitution, and more specifically, the issue of open and secret vote that determines the election of the party’s chairperson who should later on become the SPLM presidential candidate in 2015 general election.

Machar opted for secret vote and Kiir opted for open vote. The two gentlemen were on their two opposite directions!

The last Equatoria Conference came at the time in which the country is facing a terrible fighting. It was at this time that the demand by the people of South Sudan in Equatoria for federalism became connected to the rebel’s agenda.

The rebels held their own conference in Nasir in February this year. Federalism was one of the recommendations of that conference as the best system of governance.

Alfred Lado Gore, the second man in the hierarchy of rebellion, who is from Equatoria region, and his boss Riek Machar adopted the internal demand for federalism by the Equatorians for the purposes of political polarization in order to win the Equatorians to their side and support their rebellion.

There were secret communications in this regard.

Machar’s call for federalism is not genuine

The call by Riek Machar for federalism is not genuine and it is not emerging from his personal thinking and conviction because Equatorians have been calling for federalism before the independence and during the two year time he has been occupying the position of Vice President after independence and he never joined them or backed their call.

Therefore his abrupt call now for federalism is a mere tactical necessity for winning the people of the region to his side to support his rebellion and convert their peaceful call for federalism into violence and the use of guns; and hence push their region into abyss and oven of war.

And indeed the rebels have succeeded in communication with the people of Equatoria, but their attempt to convert the peaceful call of the Equatorians into a hostile demand has drastically failed.

The country almost slipped into another chaotic situation of bloodshed last week, worst than that which took place in Juba, Bor, Malakal and Bentiu and other areas that had witnessed war since December, but all the efforts to do were frustrated.

The attempt was preceded by strong war propaganda in form of rumors spearheaded by pro-rebels websites such as: (Nyamalepedia, South Sudan Tribune and South Sudan News Agency).

The rebel activists took their time and carried out their war propaganda in social media by circulating rumors in order to create confusion and strike the internal cohesion through dangerous rumors, such as claiming that President Salva Kiir was planning to arrest the three governors of the region (Konga, Bakasoro and Lobong) to kill them.

The two governors (Konga and Bakasoro) played a great role in refuting these rumors. Their public appearance to speak to address the citizens was a great contribution towards maintaining relative peace and the saving the fragile situation.

War aggrandizement and targeting the Dinka tribe

The most dangerous part of this propaganda is that the rebel activists do not differentiate between the Dinka tribe as a community and the government of South Sudan as an official body that is running the affairs the country on behalf the people. To them, the Dinka tribe is the government and vice-versa.

The essence of their mobilization and polarization is calling on the other tribes of South Sudan and allying them against the Dinka tribe, not the government of the Republic of South Sudan and its.

Have you now seen how those who had claimed to be fighting for democracy are now calling and trying to wipe away the Dinka from existence instead of fighting to bring about the democracy they passionately claimed?

I personally appreciate what the governor of Central Equatoria state Hon. Clement Wani Kong said on Thursday, July 3, 2014 in his last press conference, when he clearly stated that: “I will not accept federalism that is brought through blood”.

This was a clear rejection of bringing about federalism through the use of an armed violence. This is what Mr. Jacob K. Lupai articulated in his last article published here on this website, and I must acclaim him for that.

War must be rejected for reasons well known to all of us. My personal opinion on federalism is clear. I don’t reject it and I don’t oppose those who are talking about it.

It is their legal right to talk about it peacefully. And I have added my voice to those who have proposed earlier that we better sit down as South Sudanese to discuss the system of governance that is fit for our country in a national constitution conference, and reach consensus around it, be it federalism or unitary or parliamentary system or any other system we deem fit.

I have also said that the current ‘Decentralized system’ doesn’t differ very much with federalism. In a nutshell, federalism is devolution of powers between the central government and the states and equitable sharing of resources in one country.

Our states now have their executive, legislative and judicial organs with fair share of national resources, and there is separation between central and state powers in the constitution.

I reached this conclusion after making a thorough comparison between the two, Decentralized and Federalism.

Conclusion
I believe in peace and peace will surely prevail. The pursuit of peace will overcome the propaganda of praising war and bloodshed and all the ongoing attempts aimed at plunging the country, particularly Equatoria, into another atrocious and horrendous war like the ongoing war in Upper Nile region, will surely die away.

I call on all my fellow South Sudanese in the country and around the globe to work for peace and stop war propaganda and sowing seeds of hatred, tribalism, disunity, discord and aggrandizement of war through social media. Peace will surely come and war propaganda will end.

O God, we praise and glorify you
For your grace on South Sudan,
Land of great abundance,
Uphold us united in peace and harmony.

Mr. Ayok lives in Juba. He is reachable at dengdit_a@yahoo.com

Federal System: Will it quell the incessant rebelling & militias in South Sudan?

By: Tong Kot Kuocnin, Lawyer, JUBA, JUL/04/2014, SSN;

As the people of south Sudan are focusing on how to resolve the crisis which has engulfed the nation and almost paralysed the country and brought peace back to its folds, there is now a noisy call for federalism as a system of governance to which the country should be governed.

One would wonder as to what should first be undertaken and what should come the second. Is it peace that should be given a chance so that our people who have left their places of residence in fear of insecurity and who are massively tenting up in all UN camps across the country or the federal system of government that should first be discussed and maybe implemented if accepted by all without coercion leaving our vulnerable children, women and elderly in such a dire need of help, with just one meal to push on or nothing at all?

Are we really up to how best this country should be governed? It is very much disheartening to hear people every day talking about federalism as the best system of governance which is supposed to be heeded leaving out scores of many other issues to put in place so that they pave way for the best system of governance, be federalism or any other best system that the country and its people decide.

This writer is not against federalism as the best system of governance to be adopted in south Sudan but the ways and procedures that are being undertaken now with regards to federalism are not healthy because it would further divide our people on regional and tribal bases hitherto stabbing at the back and setting back the little gains we have in place now.

Federal system of governance is good with the society that has overstepped tribal mindsets and regionalism. It is good with that society with which the level of modernity and education exceeded the ones we have in south Sudan.

Federal system of governance is healthy and good with the society which does see itself not with regional and tribal eyes but with the society which does see itself as one people and one country who shared some communal traits.

When the crisis enraging on in our country began, it wasn’t about how best the country should be governed and it has nothing to do with the governance of the country but was triggered by the fact that some groups of people were so inquisitive and greedy for themselves not even the country that they were worried about.

So talking about federal governance leaving untouched how to resolve the root causes of the crisis is like leaving an elephant untouched and stabbing the shadow.

I strongly stand with my most respected people, my brothers and sisters from greater Equatoria on how best this great nation should be governed and I caution them to be watchful enough that their healthy idea of governing the country shouldn’t be stolen and used by some disgruntled group of people whose hands are fully tainted with blood of our innocent children, women and elderly who have perished for not good reason to die.

I have never ever heard of an Equatorian having a militia or rebelling to kill his/her own southern brothers except very recently with Alfred Ladu Gore, who was a person I have an utmost respect for. These people are fond and obviously known of their lust for power at the expense of the people.

In conclusion, it is pertinent that the best thing to do is to firstly bring to an end this useless and senseless war that has caused us so much in human lives and properties. It is when we are in peace and stability that we will think wisely on how best our country should be governed and what best system should we apply that will bring convenient and acceptable systems of government.

The quest for good governance by the people of south Sudan has historically been documented quite a long time ago and it would be good if my great people across south Sudan come and sit together not on regional and tribal bases but as brothers and sisters who are one people to discuss issues of national concern and adopt a unified system of governance to which our country should be governed so that we have lasting peace for our people and our country.

We have suffered long enough and we have lost many of our people since the struggle up to now. It would be fatal enough and hence immature if we partially solve the problem that I think is commonly facing all of us.

Having federal system of governance in place currently wouldn’t curb the incessant rebellion and a culture of militarism that has been adopted as short-cut way of getting employment in south Sudan, it would further aggravate the situation.

Let’s collectively face those thugs whose thoughts are to kill innocent children and women and set ablaze and loot other people’s properties. We better collectively say no to the culture of militancy and rebellion which is incompatible and inconsistent with the established formal legal procedures of the nation.

Let’s solve the problem that is causing both the country and its people before embarking on how to governance the country whose its inhabitants are scattered and tenting up in the IDPs camps.

We may have federal system of governance in south Sudan but the culture of taking up guns and killing vulnerable people just under the pretext of dictatorial tendencies with hope of being appeased and awarded senior positions in the government will not cease.

Sudan was a federal state but it has not stopped south Sudanese from fighting with the government that was centered in Khartoum. What difference would this federalism make in south Sudan? This means that you don’t have any remorse to those who are living in those dire situations in the UN camps and they seem not to be part of your country.

Remain Blessed.

Tong Kot is a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and can be reached at: tong_kkk@ymail.com.


Equatorians and the Federation of South Sudan: Analysis

BY: Chuol C. Puoch, JUL/01/2014, SSN;

Greater Equatoria lies in the southern part of the Country and is made up of many different small ethnicities divided into the three states of Western, Central and Eastern Equatoria under the leadership of Bangasi Joseph Bakasoro in the west, Clement Wani Konga and Louis Lobong Lojore in central and Eastern Equatoria states respectively. The region is currently represented in the Central government by James Wani Igga as the Vice President of the Country with other Equatorian sons and daughters holding ministerial positions in the government of Salva Kirr Mayardit.

Position of Equatorians in the current conflict and its dangers

Often, Equatorians go after democracy, federalization and good governance which they never achieved throughout their life in the history of South Sudan. However, hearing anyone calling for democracy and federalism is in their utmost interest and they would, in one way or another, go for it.

On the other hand, it seems not only difficult, but also undo-able for them to rise up on the streets and in the bushes to bring down the government of Salva Kirr, which has humiliated them for quite so long.

In spite of the military strength of Riek Machar and Lado Gore, Equatorians are still thinking that going to the bushes to bring kirr’s government down means life risking with no benefits. That is absolutely not true!

According to how I look at it, Equatorians are digging their own grave for them to be disgracefully cleansed and maimed by Kirr Mayardit in Juba and other areas in Equatoria.

That will be a great melancholy though it’s known before it happens. Equatorians are calling for democracy and federalism in fear and suspicion of falling into the grave that they are digging.

Honestly, how do you think you would succeed yet, you understand that the only language that works at the moment and understandable to Kirr is the gun?

How would you call for federalism which is in the opposite interest of Gen. Kirr, if at all you are allying with him?

You are exactly doing the opposite inside and for that, I must patriotically urge you to rethink, based on my prediction of what is going to happen.

Absolutely I am calling you to wake up and do what we (concerned peace loving South Sudanese) expect you to do! I don’t see the reason why you should risk your life by making that suicide because telling Kirr to accept federalism while sleeping in your houses is a suicide.

Most of you have seen the Juba massacre and Nuer will absolutely do nothing to bring those lives back. It’s his (Kirr) leadership culture and you should understand that before attempting to make that unwanted suicide.

It’s worth mentioning that Kirr is on his last digit to quit counting his days in South Sudan presidency but, I would like to make it very clear that he would not leave with only and already done massacre of Nuer while there is a great opportunity for him to do more especially in Equatoria.

Be very careful on that. He may decide anytime soon to cause tension in Juba as you are as well provoking him with federalism advocacy and he can do the worst massacre ever witnessed in the history while he is on the run.

What are you waiting for? Who is going to fight for your objectives and rights? When are you going to realize that this is the right time?

Who are you going to blame at the end of the day? And lastly, but not the least, how do you think even this federalism would work when there is no commitment and sacrifice in doing something as you seem to be doing now?

To borrow John M. Mitchell’s word, “nearly every man who develops an idea works at it up to the point where it looks impossible and then gets discouraged. That’s not the place to become discouraged.”

The real hero is a man who fights even though he is scared. There is no food for a lazy man!

Way forward for Equatorians in the current conflict

First and foremost, I would like to bring it to the attention of some individuals, and not tribes or groups, who think that Equatorians are merely voiceless and harmless population where anyone should decide upon them insolently according to his/her wills. That is completely rubbish and immature thinking.

Equatorians are people of patience and endurance; they are people of peace, love and coexistence and more importantly, they are people of unity and determination.

You may give them more than seven pinches before they give you the first warning of not to do it again. You may take their houses in their land, but still they can host you as a friend and brother.

You may even tend to remove them from their ancestral land and still, they can call you not an enemy but a friend who may only need dialogue. However, some tribes and groups of people have taken their behavior contrarily.

In fact, it is life risking coming up in Juba saying that I support federalism but Clement Wani Konga did it, Joseph Bangasi Bakasoro and Louis Lobong Lojere of western and eastern Equatoria states did it respectively.

However, the question remains unanswered, and the way forward seems to have not yet been instructed by these governors in their comments on federalism.

Equatorians, men and women, are at the juncture with their hands on the waists wondering who to follow and where to go: There is the then South Sudan of humiliation and unfairness, inequality and domination as the way we came from on one hand, and there is a way to peace, democracy and federalism followed by Riek Machar and the other brutal, bloody, Kirrorized and ethnicized way under Gen Kirr in the other hand.

It is up to their (Equatorian) leaders to define a very quick way for Equatorians and accept all the hardship that are possibly on the way they may take.

What is likely to happen?

“Depression is a prison where you are both the suffering prisoner and the cruel jailer” ~ Jacqeas Prevert. That is exactly what is going to happen in Equatoria.

I am afraid Gen. Kirr will soon or later use his decrees on these three governors and replace them with other outstanding sons and daughters within the Equatorians community, just to set brother against brother and family against family. The divide and rule:

Then assassination and depression, complete destabilization of Equatoria region just like Upper Nile region.

Is that what Equatorians are waiting for? Will it, in any case, change the land and the people of Equatoria to any tangible situation? Equatorians will only go back to camps in Uganda, DRC and Kenya for some more years. Equatoria land will only come under destruction given the fact that it’s currently taking the lead in development.

From there, after coming to realize that mistake is made, it will have already made some permanent scars which should have been prevented by now. It will need more efforts for resistance to come to effect because Equatorians will be divided after food and truth.

I think this is the right time for Equatorians to come up and take the lead in achieving the South Sudan we struggled for since 1955 and not this South Sudan of hatred and communal domination and humiliation.

Therefore, the only window of opportunity is for Equatorians to act promptly; they should say enough is enough and force Salva Kirr to either accept peace and step down or face the brave young men of Equatoria led by the three governors.

That is the “ONLY” way before the unwanted maiming operation is laid in Equatoria region. Take care!

Chuol C. Puoch, the writer, is reachable via email: chuolchotson@gmail.com or on twitter @Chuolchot


Peaceful coexistence: How the Equatorians got it right!

BY: Dr Peter Kopling MD, South Sudan, JUN/29/2014, SSN;

The formulas to peaceful coexistence among all tribes in South Sudan already exist. The formulas for bloodshed and destructive coexistence between the tribes in South Sudan do also exist, it comes down to understanding these two paths and deciding what is it that our country needs most and which choice will get us there.

The responses to these two choices are already in plain view and we only need to look no farther than within our communities and we shall discover it has been there all along!

The bitter truth must be told, South Sudan has two regions, one that is stable and stabilizing and the other unstable and destructive. All we need to do is decide what we want, do we want peace, if this be the case then all we need to study are the stable and peaceful regions to see how they do it, how they live with each other, how they treat each other’s lands, neighboring tribes and their belongings to include lands.

If we want a conflicting South Sudan then all we need to do is study the way of life, perception of life and mindset of the unstable region of our nation. How they treat each other, and how they treat all that is important to them and their neighboring tribes.

There can never be peace if we do not take time to understand what is important for others and instead impose our cultural ways on others in their respective ancestral lands.

Colonialism tried this and failed! We are many nations under one, the fact that must not be ignored and the more reason it must be understood and approached delicately not with arrogance.

Without any doubt the Equatorian region emerged as the stable and peaceful part of South Sudan, while the Jiengs land, the destructive part of the Country.

Predating December 2013, the Jiengs land had numerous insurgencies already against the infant government.

So we need to study the prevailing mentalities in the Jiengs land and avoid this if we are to survive as a nation and we must prevent them from exporting these raw materials of death to other parts of South Sudan.

The honest truth is even if the Jiengs region were to announce today their desire to split and form a different country or join the Jalabas, believe you me, the rest of South Sudan will breath a shay and will not beg them to remain as part of the united South Sudan and the Jiengs nation will only end up tearing each other down as long as they maintain their current predatory mentality of glorifying bloodshed and vilifying peacefulness.

It must be pointed out the Equatorian region has numerous tribes of totally different cultures and mentalities although the Jiengs mischievously and derogatorily tend to refer to the Equatorians as if they are a single tribe!

But what they do not realize is they are acknowledging the fact that Equatorians have achieved brotherhood among the different tribes despite of their diversity, which must serve as a role model for South Sudan, if there is still any hope for us to exist as a nation!

What is commonly shared by majority of these Equatorian tribes however is that Godliness and goodness which is praised rather than savagery of bloodshed, disregards to the sacredness of human life misnomer by the Jiengs as bravery.

Equatorian tribes know their ancestral boundaries and they respect these boundaries while the Jiengs have nomadic mindsets! It seems they can go away from their ancestral land and never even miss them, and even bury their national hero away from home with cynical implications!

The Equatorian tribes respect the cultures of one another but more so each tribe loves their ancestral land as they love themselves! One’s very existence for Equatorian tribes are indistinguishable with one’s ancestral lands!

The land is where your father and forefathers are buried, time immemorial! It is what gives meaning to your existence and to life, it is what gives you food, it is also what gives you fishing and hunting’s rights, thus the land is sacred in Equatorian tribes, wars were fought in the past to protect and preserve them not cows, it is on this basis Equatorian initiated the war of independence to preserve this ownership and rights.

Just as the Jiengs protect their cows at all costs, they compose songs to their cows because this is their lifeline, their attachment to their lands does not carry the same significance as to Equatorian just as Equatorian attachments to cows is not the same as among the Jiengs who look at the land as a place for their cows to graze.

Equatorians look at their land as a place that gives them life but also that holds the meaning of their very existence and the ancestral souls and their bones are laid at rest in these lands. Thus it is very customary in most Equatorian tribes; they will go at great costs and heavy expenses to return the remains of their sons and daughters to be buried in their ancestral land among their ancestors for their souls to rest in peace otherwise will keep wandering around until rituals are performed to bring them to their ancestral home and into the family! This return of the dead sons and daughters of the land is from as far as the Americas!

Thus the significance of land for Equatorian has no equivalent in the Jiengs culture. Our Lands are more than the cows to Jiengs! To ignore and belittle the protectiveness of Equatorian with their ancestral land is to belittle their very existence in South Sudan thus to breed disunity!

Unity is indeed the natural result of respect of these things; supreme of them is land, for which we fought the Jalaba for 50 years! This is why we fell off with the Jalabas, how different if not worst are the Jiengs compare to the Jalabas in disregarding ancestral and tribal rights to lands, thus falling off will be a natural consequence unless we are saved by mutual respect AKA Federalism?

Now with these thousands of years of practice of land protections how do the Equatorian relate to each other’s tribe, and land without much of the violence found in the Dinka lands?

You will not find a group of Muru’s or Kuku going to Acholi land and lay claim of an area in Acholi heartland as their own land in disregard to the Acholis, for in the first place why will the Murus do this since they love their ancestral land and are tied spiritually to their lands and people? You will not see any group of Equatorian moving to other territory, forming their own chiefdom and tribal system in other people’s tribal land!

So is there or there is no Kokora between Equatorian tribes although they are many tribes not the same ones? The answer is NO! Migration happens freely and often but on an individual or family basis! Never a whole village uprooting themselves to go occupy the tribal lands of others in the name of whatever is promised to them by whoever! In the first place they will oppose such propositions, which they know outright breeds fights, deaths, and disrupts peace!

When an individual or Muru family decides to move to Acholi land, once they get there, they are always welcomed warmly as guests; they then live by the local norms and customs, as do the owners of the land!

They respect the locals and do not insult them as cowards or call them names such as Nyamnyam or we fought the Jalabas here so now we earned the right to be here. For you cannot visit your brother’s house, while he is hosting you, and start to insult his wife, abuse his children and expect to not be kicked out of your brother’s house simply because he is your brother!

Having fought for independence can not be used to dislodge others from their ancestral land otherwise it was not a war of independence but rather a war of Dinka expansionism and colonization, Otherwise it was not a war against the Jalaba but rather against the Equatorian for their lands.

Being in a relative’s house comes with first recognizing it is not your house but that of your brother, and you also have yours and you are a visitor which comes with responsibility of being beneficial to your host and not being a parasite or affecting your host negatively neither altering his way of life!

Indeed once an Equatorian moves to on other’s tribal territory, he learns the local language, he eats the local food, he practice the local tradition and become essentially one of the local tribe in another words becomes assimilated not disruptive and boastful! If he does not have appreciations of the new tribe he moves to, he simply stays back in his ancestral land and among his people not impose himself on the other tribe, making others miserable just as he is.

This is how peace is maintained among the tribes in Equatoria! No one tribe forcefully settle or grab someone else ancestral land equivalent of cattle rustling in the Jiengs land. This Jiengs government engineers the recent land strife we witnessed between the sisterly tribes of the Acholis and the Ma’dis!

The irony is, those who have no culture of peace try to preach peace to those who are peaceful! Those who have no notion, leave alone, the experience of peaceful intertribal coexistence try to forge what they called building a national identity, which is a red herring for ethnic cleansing given they have neither respect nor appreciation for other tribes thus leading to the Dinkanization project now ongoing to uproot other tribes from their ancestral land! Their war against the Nuer is part and partial of this.

They have no understanding other than that of nomadic life style leading them to preach if we are one nation then all ancestral boundaries are to be erased to allow them to practice their nomadic lifestyle at the expenses of others, from North to South and from east to west that are none Nomadic! This nomadic mindset and the revenge on Equatorian for Kokora are what drives then,even embedded in the Jieng written transitional constitutions.

It is thus only the Jiengs that trespasses all over South Sudan in disregards to other peoples backyard and they have no understanding why this is causing aches for their fellow countrymen, the Equatorian in particular, for this trespassing is in Keeping with Nomadic lifestyle which is never to be nationalized unless to our own perils for all we need to see is what it has done to the Dinkaland from which they are fleeing!!!

In the Jiengs lands, the cow reign supreme, and whoever can, will steal what he does not have in the process, shedding human blood! Thus it is a culture of thieves and bloodshed utterly incompatible with the prevailing Equatorian cultures! Indeed if there is any hope for the Jiengs, they must become like Equatorian, Hold human lives above cows life and the love for ancestral lands supreme above the love for cows. How can you love others if you do not love yourselves more than your love for animals?

In essence the federalism we are debating about is already practiced in Equatoria, each individual loving his family, tribes, their ancestral land, protecting it and building it, but also very much respecting that which belongs to other tribes, for if you caused them to lose theirs, someone else will cause you to lose yours.

Each individual, not an entire clan, tribe or bulk of people, is free to move to any part of eqautorian region and remain what sh/e is or take the identity and culture of the tribe that hosts him/her, no one forces, insights, neither prevents him/her to make this choice and sh/e in turn do not try to change the ways of, annihilate or obliterate other tribes.

The hope and formulae for South Sudanese unity is already being practice in Equatoria! It has been here all this time and no one seems to recognize it.

This is the model for South Sudan and federalism thus makes sense to Equatorian because it is already what they practice and what has given them peaceful coexistence, how they relate to each other on the basis of recognizing each other’s tribes and tribal lands, what is important to them and respecting each other in all aspects!

Federalism gives power to the individuals, people and regions! The government respects the people rather than the other way round; Master- slave relations.

Those who are opposed to this are those who want the people to worship the government and those who want to use the power of the government to impose on others and have no respects for other peoples’ cultures, way of life, aspirations and their lands.

The true brotherhood we all want is based on the model found in Equatoria and the intertribal relationships that exists in Equatoria for centuries. This is the case then no one has to fear Kokora happening due to federalism, there is no Kokora among Equatorian tribes, what makes it so? If loving your ancestral land and letting others do the same is Kokora then, so be it! If dislodging others from their ancestral land is what it takes to form a nation to the benefit of one tribe then is it any wonders that such is now heading straight to hell in our very eyes?

For in mutual respect is peace, not in master slave relation and others relinquishing their natural possessions and rights. Mutual respect has worked in Equatoria and they coexist peacefully!

One fact is clear, if there is federalism or not, the respect for land must reign supreme and the schemes for land thieving and dominance must come to an end, as long as this does not happen there shall be no peace in South Sudan, There shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

If we truly want a land of the free, prosperity and justice for all then the tool to achieve this is federalism and encouraging the life styles of the Equatorian tribes.

Think of this as the relationship between you and your brother who is married and has his own house and cows, just as you! You respect his wife, children and property and he in turn respect yours. When he takes care of his house, it is not in opposition to you! Simply, you need to do the same for yours, for brotherhood does not negate your responsibility to your personal house. Just because you are brothers does not mean you need to merge houses and not having individual homes in pretense of fear of Kokora.

Mutual respect is how you keep brotherhood not by taking his wives forcefully or milking his cows forcefully in the name of brotherhood!

Federalism thus gives all South Sudanese, not just some, that power to protect one’s own house and decide what is for breakfast rather being dictated by the self proclaimed big brother, in the current system, regardless of who, will always be the oppressor!

South Sudan is ready for peace, which equals federalism; to say south Sudan is not ready for federalism is to say those who are having the lion share of the goodies are not ready to let it go and grant South Sudanese; Equality, justice, Liberty, prosperity for all and thus peace!

Without federalism in South Sudan, there shall only be oppressors and the oppressed!

Dr. Peter Kopling.


Dystrocracy or Stratocracy: The Return of the 19th Century to South Sudan!

BY: Deng Mangok Ayuel, UNITY STATE, JUN/27/2014, SSN;

A friend once told me that the wealthy elites in our country didn’t want to “roll back” the new political deal when self-indulgence tempered with patriotism, nationalism but wanted to roll back the entire 19th century political weights and heights when things gone astray politically.

His point was that military or dictatorship worked well in 19th century in Africa. I didn’t fully appreciate his antidote until our country turned into a military camp after a failed coup attempt in December, 2013. Finally I jokingly told him that his political magic should be sold to those who wanted to take power by force in the baby nation, South Sudan.

The political turmoil which caused rebellion in 2013 was instigated by paradoxical reactions, political rivalry within the SPLM and wary feelings among politicians within the same political machine, political grouping, and prophetic hope for leadership by individuals.

And the same chaos which led to a failed coup attempt in Juba inevitably followed too, after Dr Machar, Mr Amum and the likes were fired by President Kiir from his government or the SPLM national convention itself made the day. Thereafter, Dr Machar, Peter Gadet and Marial Chinuong should be blamed for all the killings of innocent lives in the new nation.

Is Coup d’état a political fashion in Africa?
With the dawn of independent in the late 50′s and early 60′s, elation and new hopes swept through Africa after nations attained self-governments. There were new dreams and expectations as the colonial masters packed their luggage and handed over the instruments of power to Africans. It was the end of a longer struggle for freedom, in which so many people had suffered. It was the end of slavery, human dilapidation and exploitation.

However, these dreams were soon shattered as governments had shortly fell victim to the coup d’état across the continent. The new military rulers accused the civilian government of everything from corruption and incompetence to mismanagement of the national economy and resources. Experience has shown that the military are no better than civilians when it comes to governance in Africa, although they claimed to be good angels.

Subsequently, African contemporary political and socio-economic problems, military coup d’état had inclined the continent into even further suffering and commotion. This had been previously the case in Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Togo, Congo, Mali and several other African states, apart from South Sudan whose coup attempt failed last year.

The future propensity is that coup in Africa will remain a common trend so long political and economic instability exists. Analytically, the political intention for mechanized failed coup attempt in South Sudan by politicians was to:
• Have a leader {Kiir} overthrown for new system of government to reign.
• Have Dr Gerang’s boys political dreams fulfilled.
• Have Dr Machar aspiration for presidency easily materialized.
• Have President Kiir and his groups fished out of politics forever.
• Fight corruption, strengthen diplomacy, transform SPLM and revive shattered economic according to them.
• Strengthen South Sudanism worldwide.

As South Sudan is currently paining or bleeding – innocent lives are still being taken, trust already lost, movement of citizens across the states in the country is avoided – things are not really moving as needed by the citizens, nevertheless, leaders must bring back our country. There is a need for leaders to continue negotiation, table their political differences in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in order to end the blood-shed in the new nation. Peace is really needed.

Why force leaders to stratocracy?

I thought about writing this piece after hearing President Kiir addressing the August House in Juba concerning the upcoming interim government with rebel of Dr Machar. And in his words, President Kiir clearly stated that “any interim government in South Sudan without me as president is a red line …?” The president is willingly anticipated to make the war comes to an end should he be given a chance to form and lead the interim government.

Is it easy to exclude an elected leader from interim government in South Sudan? I wanted to remind you that president Kiir is the Commander-in-Chief of the SPLA. He will not easily accept to be overthrown – he should head the interim government if South Sudanese and IGAD mediators wanted peace to reign.

We all say “my country”, but we don’t mean that we own it, like we own our computers, books and houses. And if others think that South Sudan is their property – that they should destroy it as they sought – it’s obviously worth saying that those who fight fire with fire end up with ashes. Nobody need war in South Sudan expect politicians – but are their kids in frontline fighting their common and political enemies?

However, interim government without president Kiir is impossible. We should be abstemious. Dr Machar rebelled and fought in order to get power after sacked as vice president. Mr Amum and his group are also dreaming of doing anything – they think they are politically clean after a mess; yearning for a chance to knock one of them and the rest shall milk the same government in Juba.

As democracy looked ugly after Dr Machar and Amum were sacked, what type of government {system} is appropriate for those who do easily fire up arms when sacked from the system of government? All of us are men but we should be law abiding people. The world has no owner. Hitler has gone …! Mr Charles Taylor is now imprisoned for 50 years.

Nobody is above the law! Anyone who dreams for presidency should wait for election, lest the current leadership may turn to stratocracy because when constitution is not respected, all of us become vulnerable to our doings, literally thinking to be everybody everywhere.
Saddam Hussein could have said it, and really felt that it was factually his. It does not matter if your title is King or Emperor, President or whatever. What matters is the law. You should respect the law. That is it!

Perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised that democracy works well in some countries in Africa. But are we fashioning to dystrocracy or stratocracy system of government in South Sudan?

Dystrocracy
Dystrocracy is a regime which is so defective governmentally and rebellious to the extent that it might began murdering the whole nation – that it can’t also supply most of its people with food, comfortable shelter, basic needs, and no proper rule of law. Few nations in the world are purely dystrocratic. These facts are not disputed and there is no point in pouring out more statistics about dystrocratic countries.

Every country is composed of ordinary citizens and the swampy classes of politicians, militants, professionals, to run the government and private institutions. Any government institution has a distinctive posture; thus the leadership may be passive, the energetic, professional ones can do anything to make things get going.

In South Sudan, the perspective, perception and political styles are very different. Political, military related issues are done impatiently, rudely and unprofessionally, that make things go beyond our limit as the wrongdoers. If South Sudanese politicians who are opposing the current government claim that they are better than the ones reigning – then is a big “NO,” because South Sudanese political G7 and G4 were in the same government for years. The likes of Alor, Amum, Majak, Yel will not tempered to say Kiir’s government has been doing less than expected because they didn’t resign and waited for the government they deserve.

Prof. Nyamlel Wako, in 2012, said the government is rotten to the core, while working as a deputy minister for the same government but fired after days. Do we need to act against the government we work for?

Our political spirit as patriots, freedom of expression is weak. We should correct ourselves – or South Sudanese refuse correction! We should tell the truth. Coincidently, Prof. Adwok Nyaba, in the aftermath of failed coup attempt, woke up on the 16th of December, 2013, and wrote an article as title reads, ‘Sorry Sir: There was no Coup’, before he was detained as one of coup plotters. However, Dr Nyaba was, again the first person to be released but remained in Juba, even when all the political detainees were released and left for Nairobi.

Finally, he was frustrated and resigned from the SPLM. Maybe his writing made his day out of the SPLM – a party he engineered founding – until he lost his leg in the civil war in Sudan. Was Dr Nyaba’s resignation officially received by the Acting SG for the SPLM?

In his letter of resignation, Dr Adwok has this to say, “I am writing this letter to you as Chairman of the SPLM and as somebody, I have known since 1986”. First, I want to discuss my concerns in respect of the current political situation surrounding the SPLM as the ruling party, and our republic of South Sudan.

As a revolutionary, up to this point in time, I consider myself part of the SPLM and therefore equally responsible by commission or omission for some of the SPLM shortcomings, which have landed into this awkward situation. In this connection, therefore, and without any reservation, chauvinism or shame I offer to self-criticize myself, I resigned.”

Is deserting SPLM a solution to political chaos in South Sudan? Dr Nyaba had been frustrated or tired of doing anything which made no impact politically and socially.

Stratocracy
A stratocracy is a form of government headed by military chiefs. It’s not the same as military dictatorship or military junta where the military’s political power is not enforced or even supported by other laws. Rather, stratocracy is a form of military government in which the state and the military are traditionally or constitutionally the same entity and government positions are always occupied by commissioned officers and military leaders.

Citizens with mandatory and/or voluntary military service, or who have been honorably discharged, have the right to elect and/or govern. The military’s political power is supported by law, the constitution, and the society.

A stratocracy therefore is more often a meritocracy and does not have to be autocratic by nature in order to preserve its right to rule.

Besides, the destiny of South Sudan up to now is in the hands of SPLM/A, its leadership and the members which started as a guerrilla movement. In 2004, at Rumbek freedom square, when CPA was almost fruiting, our late hero Dr Garang addressed the crowd of people and his message goes as quoted, “I and those who joined me in the bush and fought for more than twenty years, have brought to you CPA in a golden plate. Our mission is accomplished.

It is now your turn, especially those who did not have a chance to experience bush-life. When time comes to vote at referendum, it is your golden choice to determine your fate. Would you like to vote to be second class citizens in your own country? It is absolutely your choice.”

And after independent, the SPLM as a ruling party should take care of our country as Dr Garang told us to choose for who we wanted to become in the world. Hence the party dispute has been at the heart of the current crisis and its resolution is crucial to address national governance issues that will ultimately change the country and the people of South Sudan for affluence.

What will also force others to rule the country at their own will is federalism which is not wanted at this crucial time, and all the demand from rebels that can’t easily be fulfilled by the leadership …! The choice is yours.

It’s unpatriotic for politicians to put their political jobs a priority than security, basic needs for citizens who are sufferings in the country. Let’s move our country wisely, lest we shall make others as Mugabes, Musevenis and the late Amin of our new nation.

Deng Mangok Ayuel is a columnist, blogger and humanitarian worker. He currently lives in Unity State and can be reached via mangokson@gmail.com

Saving South Sudan from Further Implosion and Disintegration

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pros of Museveni’s Intervention

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Parliamentary system

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

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

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

Functions of the Federal government

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

Legislature

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

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

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

General Guidelines (Important summary but not exclusive)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Sindani Sebit
Nairobi; Kenya