Category: Uncategorized

Cry for Justice, Will it be heard?

By: Daniel Abushery Daniel, (USA). SEP. 27/2012;
“We should surrender to the fact that life isn’t fair.” Source Unknown.
Many antisocial acts classified as crimes have their origins in the norms of primitive societies. Humanity has universally condemned certain types of behavior since ancient times. Acts such like murder, rape, robbery, just to mention only the few are considered “mala in se” which means inherent wrongs. Other acts that the modern criminal law regards as offenses, such as gambling, possession of marijuana “hashish” are merely mala prohibita; because they are defined by the law, and generally not regarded as offensive to universal principles, just to mention the least.

Indefinite number of voices around the globe appealed that death penalty is cruel and an unusual punishment, and should be abolished in South Sudan, despite the fact that the brutality began with the murder of an innocent.

In my humble opinion, by doing this we are giving a free ride to the criminals to let them continued committing their heinous crimes, letting their victims battling knowingly that there will be no serious consequences to pay, just a slap on the wrist.

Are you kidding me? What is cruel and unusual about the persecution of a criminal who cold-bloodily murdered an innocent person? Have you been in someone’s shoes whose loved one has been brutally murdered and the culprit was immediately released from custody, just because, of an influential figure or someone in the government, a Guru in the society, or a family member with a lot of money used to bribe some low esteemed personnel in the police, or in Judiciary system, to obstruct the Justice?

In a country like South Sudan with some bone-headed society members, where the retaliation is widespread, therefore, the death penalty in my opinion is the answer.

My dear friend, believe me, some of criminal Justice graduates, even law school students who didn’t finished the requirement syllabuses and who did not met the requirement to be a Judge or a lawyer, leave alone passing the bar test, are now installed on the benches in our court rooms in South Sudan as Judges and prosecutors with less or no experience, but with half knowledge.

And we always blame it on: We started it from scratch; like the whole population were nomads and we all came back from bush after liberation struggle. And you can read my lips, “little knowledge is……” I am not joking.
What a shame?

The toughest sheriff in the world, Sheriff Joe Alpaio of Tents city jail in Maricopa county in my home town Phoenix, once said; “that crime doesn’t pay”, and his philosophy is, if you commit a crime, you must serve the time, period!

No free ride for criminal’s, and the only way to deter the crime is to punish the defendant.

A group of criminologists asserted that putting criminals behind bars is punishment only, but also rehabilitation. But, for death row inmates, life without possibility of parole is the solution. And some argued that is only a portion, and not all of them can be rehabilitated.

Comrades, before we called for abolishing the death penalty in South Sudan, let’s first establish a good Judiciary system and a rule of law. Let’s first have a constitution that’s well–articulated, with meaningful thought of “the suspect is innocent until proven guilty in the Court of law”.

Honestly, we need to upgrade the quality of our law enforcement and the public attorney personnel, which is the key element of implementation of the Civil and Criminal laws procedures.

In a clear cut, Jury trial, transparency and freedom of the press are essential, otherwise there will be no fair trial. This is my prospective.

The author is a criminal Justice graduate, and can be reached at nyang19@yahoo.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely of the author(s) and not of the website.)

Federalism is the only viable solution to South Sudan’s problems.

BY: Elhag Paul, RSS, SEP. 27/2012; Federalism, the democratic system of governance that is hated like a disease in South Sudan by some powerful members of the ruling party has come up like a rose flower blossoming in early spring sunshine. Indeed it is a lovely flower with sweet fragrance to most South Sudanese democrats. This fresh smell has been sprayed into the acrid atmosphere of South Sudan by non other than the person who challenged SPLM dictatorship in 1991 derailing the SPLM’s project of New Sudan and changing the course of history.

Dr Lam Akol’s call in the Sudan Tribune on 20th September 2012 “for a federal state in South Sudan to achieve ‘Unity in diversity’ and to promote peaceful coexistence between the different tribal components of the country,” is not only timely but a wise call proving the initiative to be a thoughtful act of a citizen who wants the best for the country. Any person coming up with solutions to address our failed state should be taken very seriously.

Dr Akol has been the subject of vilification for nearly 2 decades by the SPLM party even when he was their registered member. The leaders of the SPLM hate him for his supposed intelligence. The public should not receive Dr Akol’s call for federalism with suspicion for the simple fact that ultimately, if South Sudan is to be rescued it has to be governed by a federal system. The current centralized system of governance in South Sudan is a recipe for disaster and it is one of the reasons why South Sudan is a failed state today.

A country with a diverse population of over sixty tribes can not just be subjected to the whims of only 18 percent of its citizens who perversely call themselves a majority. How can 18 percent of the population be a majority over 82 percent? This is one of the twisted logic that is invoked time and again to perpetuate abuse by a minority bent on domination and siphoning the resources of the country without any accountability.

To do away with this abuse and corruption, it is necessary that the system of governance in the country is changed to a federal one as called for by Dr Akol.

Federal system will bring government closer to the people and it will allow proper scrutiny of government since local federal government agents will be judged by local people who elect them and not appointees as is the case now.

Additionally, federalism will do away with the current uneven distribution of resources and power between the various social groups in the country. The importance of this point is that as people participate in their government within their own localities (federal states) cooperation between the various localities will begin to build up leading into a healthy relationship and peaceful co-existence. This is what we want in our country and not domination by one group that generates constant instability.

Federalism is not new to South Sudanese. In 1950s prior to the independence of the Sudan in 1956, South Sudanese fearing domination by the Arabs, called for a federal system. Had the government in Khartoum heeded the call then perhaps Sudan today would still have been one country at peace with itself. But the Arabs refused it because they wanted to dominate and as a result they played a game with it until the South Sudanese got fed up and moved on to separation which now has happened.

Many tribes in South Sudan feel hard done by the dominant tribe in the SPLM. This is not new. There is a pertinent history which is threatening to repeat itself. The experience of Kokora was painful but the current system is even generating more pain than that of Kokora and it is only a matter of time before things begin to boil over.

In the bush, SPLM tried to minimize this kind of pain by accepting that federalism should be the system of governance in South Sudan. Thus, it sought to placate itself by holding a convention in 1994. In that convention it was unequivocally resolved that federal system would be the system of governance in the Sudan. This was in recognition of the diversity of the South Sudan.

When the CPA was born in 2005 the constitution governing South Sudan stipulated federalism as the system of governance in South Sudan. The SPLM was comfortable with this arrangement because it still had no absolute power and also fearing division in the South. So far so good.

After the referendum and secession of South Sudan the SPLM having obtained ultimate power they threw away federalism from the constitution in favor of a centralized government. As expected this was done to allow certain groups and ethnicities to dominate the government. The outcome of this arrangement is the total mess South Sudan is in now.

Rampant corruption, massive theft, tribal appointments of incompetent people, tribal police force, tribal prison forces, tribal judiciary, tribal wars, and rebellions capped with a failed state. Hence the certification of South Sudan by international bodies as a failed state and the measured description of South Sudan government by one of its former advisors, Gerard Prunier, as a government of “idiots …..rotten to the core.”

Now a centralised system of government that produces such destruction and rubbish surely can not be good for the country and it needs to be discarded in the interest of peace and unity. Here is where Dr Akol’s call comes in timely. We either have a ‘unity in diversity’ or we will self destruct and there is no knowing what the outcome of that will be.

It will not surprise me if the demonization of Dr Akol is upped now by the footmen of SPLM simply because he has touched a sensitive button albeit a life saving one for all of us. In light of this it is vital to briefly examine Dr Akol’s performance in SPLM objectively. Before doing this I would like to state categorically that I am not a member of SPLM-DC. My interest in this is only to be fair to him as his proposal transcends party and ideological bigotry.

Prior to 1991, Dr Akol was a rising star in the SPLM. As the face of external relations of the movement he ably represented the movement to the extent that he gave credibility to SPLM’s claimed stake as an alternative government to the rulers in Khartoum. His performance in talks with the Sudan government in Norway in late 1980s shone throughout the world raising the status of SPLM internationally. The press briefs he gave were measured and effective.

Unlike the current GoSS diplomats in Nairobi and Washington who embarrass us daily, Dr Akol carried himself in that portfolio with dignity lifting up the status of the movement. Even Dr Garang acknowledged his high quality performance.

However, the 1991 failed Nasir coup of which Dr Akol was a member changed all that. He became a target of demonization by the SPLM main stream and to a large extent this succeeded. The majority of South Sudanese pumped up with sustained negative propaganda by the SPLM over the years do not see Dr Akol from untainted glass. This is unfortunate because many people have been frightened, brainwashed and deprived of the chance to interact with his writings and his person without being biased.

Objective engagement with Dr Akol’s materials is illuminating and I have no doubt that history will have him as the person who changed the course of South Sudan history in the SPLM.

Although Reik Machar was the leader of that coup, it is known that without Dr Akol he would not have taken the bold step of rebelling against Dr Garang. And without 1991 Nasir coup, it would have been unthinkable for the wishes of South Sudanese for secession to come to light during that dark oppressive period of one-man rule (Dr John Garang). It is this coup with pressure from South Sudanese internally and externally that forced Dr Garang to sign up to the agenda of secession through referendum in Abuja in early 1990s and from there everything else was history.

This is a momentous contribution to the history of South Sudan that nobody can take that away from Dr Akol. This contribution no doubt threatens the position of those who want to construct Dr Garang as the ‘Father of the Nation.’ A widely misused and abused phrase in south Sudan without any credible grounds. Yes, Dr Garang fought Khartoum hard and nobody can take that away from him.

However it is important to note that he fought for a united Sudan. Dr Garang himself put pen to paper saying ‘our first bullets were fired against the separatists.’

Now how could a person who was a unionist to the core who executed separatists at will be the father of a nation he did not want to see born? People like Isaiah Abraham who tirelessly pursue the goal of glorifying Dr Garang through mendacity will later find out that their effort is gone to waste like dust or vapour.

Dr Akol as any other human being has his weaknesses. Writers like Dr Nyaba in his writings refer to him as arrogant. This maybe true but surely this is not a reason enough to banish someone.

If Dr Reik Machar, despite his destructive past and promotion of corruption in GoSS now can be reinstated in South Sudanese society, why not Dr Akol? If the former ministers of finance Arthur Akuen and Athian Mawen who mismanaged billions in the system can be reinstated and appointed into parliament why not Dr Akol? If former NCP diehards who fought the SPLM tooth and nail for two decades can be reinstated, why not Dr Akol?

There are many cases of people who have done terrible things in South Sudan and yet they have been reinstated in society and lavishly praised. But when it comes to Dr Akol, the siren is sounded as if the world is coming to an end. Let us be fair and treat people equally if we want to build a good society.

Those whose minds have been contaminated by SPLM propaganda need to rescue themselves by being objective. Individually the decision is ours whether we want to remain with the wool pulled over our eyes by SPLM or become free beings in thoughts and deeds.

Frantz Fanon (1924 -1961) argues that manipulation of the mind is not only destructive to the individual but is the very destruction of the community itself simply because the behavior of a manipulated person ensures his own demise and that of his community. When someone be they your friend or your enemy manipulates and colonizes your mind, they have full control of you and will exploit you as they like.

No offense intended but the SPLM has via crude methods managed to colonize minds of its members as well as a large section of our society. In a sense SPLM has locked into the minds of their supporters the idea that anybody opposing them is pro-Arab and therefore should not be tolerated (although the Arabs are long gone) even when the person has good ideas for the country. What SPLM does not say is that they too are in daily contact with Arabs.

Having come this far, what is needed clearly is free thinking people in the SPLM who can question things and argue objectively in favor of good ideas.

For example, on this proposal of federalism objective SPLM members should be able to say although Dr Akol raised the issue it is good for South Sudan and they should be able to support it. After all this would not be the first time that SPLM adopts Dr Akol’s proposals. In Abuja they accepted self-determination of South Sudan.

Thus on the issue of federalism, let objectivity for once reign. Let us concentrate on the message and not the messenger. If what is being proposed can offer a solution to our failed state and can stop the world calling us ‘idiots ….. rotten to the core,’ then what is wrong with that? After all Dr Akol is resurrecting something that once was in our constitution before SPLM vandalized it in July 2011 (Independence day).

Federalism is the only viable solution to our problems. It offers solutions to the problem of domination. It offers solutions to the problem of poor governance. It offers peaceful co-existence. It offers solutions to the politics of exclusions. It offers solutions to political instability. It offers solutions to totalitarianism and so on. Moreover this is a system that has been tested in the advanced countries: United States of America, Switzerland, Germany, Canada, and Australia.

For those who say federalism is not good for South Sudan the burden of proof remains with them. They need to tell us why it is not good by arguing and making a credible case for such a position. They need to bear in mind that centralized power as now in Juba dominated by one group has failed and caused the current instability. If left unaddressed it may lead into disintegration of the country.

In summing up, now that Dr Akol’s call for federalism in South Sudan has coincided with the review of the constitution, the members of the constitutional review and the members of the parliament should pay a particular attention to this.

[Truth hurts but it is also liberating]

Elhag Paul, RSS, elhagpaul@aol.com
(Disclaimer: The views expressed above are those of the author(s) solely and not of the website)

SPLM is Too Big to want to rig Elections

By: Buot Manyiel Buot, JUBA.
SEP. 26/2012, SSN; The Republic of South Sudan was ordained into the community of nations on 9/7/2011 after successful conduct of the referendum as sanctioned by Comprehensive Peace Agreement-CPA, and just like other budding
democratic Nations, it relishes multi-party democracy, through its constitution, based on the ideal of political pluralism in which all individuals are freely allowed to evince their views on issues connected to democracy, including good governance and political intercourse.

All legitimate political forces in this Republic, including Sudan People’s Liberation Movement- Democratic Change or DC become recipients of that universal political right.

Although the last elections are way back, almost three years ago, and that revisiting their impact is legally time-barred, I feel it worthwhile to assess them in summary. To begin with, DC was subsequently formed in Khartoum during the last quarter of 2009, an unmistakable culmination of the Kanena conference by adversaries of South Sudan and dissident politician in the person of Lam Akol, who contested a precarious sponsored quest for presidency in the elections of 2010 against the incumbent president of South Sudan Gen. Kiir, and he (Lam) was indubitably voted down prima facie.

His party –DC was doomed to failure in all constituency seats throughout the then Southern Sudan with the exception of hometown of Upper Nile, where they got some handful of parliamentary dockets. His misguided search for State palace
and the entire scheme of DC was/is no more than a foreign project, designed externally to perpetuate imperial political hegemony. At least that was the view of political analysts and social commentators, and even in the mind of an average citizen.

During the elections, DC presented to the electorates certain claimed political programs contained in the so-called DC Document which were meant to rule South Sudan if and when it wins elections, but the fact was/is such ideals only befit men who are domiciled in the utopian perfect society in an imaginary Island. In fact, such ideas are applicable to utopian world but not the Republic of South Sudan or any civilized nation.

In this progressive world, some peculiar truths appear like fictional drama and are too good to believe, and this fact renders DC’s political comedy in its document to be too good to believe, notwithstanding to the contrary. Moreover, some ideas in the same Documents are no more than petty political invectives reserved only for somebody fanatical about power. In certain issues with regards to ideology raised by DC, SPLM has got express and ready answers.

Generally, some other reasonable matters regarding governance propagated by DC were almost literal replica of the SPLM political programs inherent in its manifesto. Electorates didn’t buy anything.

SPLM was/is too big and popular to want to rig elections. DC ruffled feathers crying fault for alleged election fraud, but the cry was no more than misguided quest for power.

But the million dollar question begs itself that what were these political hopes in which DC was disappointed? What were these wishes in which it was frustrated? And what was that faith that was abused? Nothing.

Observing critically at DC political programs, there is but none new agenda or ideology that the SPLM failed to conduct experiment whether in the past or present. During the elections and its aftermath, all DC
did was to present a showcase in which it portrays itself as an angel of benevolence and provident of salvation, but the ostensible hope of rescue from distant horizon fell into deaf ears and blind eyes of the electorates.

Honestly, and without any remorse for this statement, there was no way DC could have won the elections under any circumstances. We know and DC knows. The “Party” SPLM has fought the war of liberation to free the peoples of South Sudan from social chauvinism and political subjugation by Arab fundamentalists. The party has had the capacity to
transform the political face of this country, deformed by Arab imperialism. It therefore develops certain visions of a better society in which human beings can achieve genuine emancipation and fulfillment of self-worth as free members of global community.

When the Party waged revolutionary war, it carried with it the aspiration of the entire nation, showing the world over that it is capable to achieve the unimaginable- that hard political expedition for Statehood to its realistic conclusion. Despite political backlash from various quarters, SPLM legacy will endure to be told to generations coming as long as history books exist on earth.

Now the ultimate objective is to model South Sudan to suit the specifications of the civilized nations. To those who wish to compensate SPLM, all you are asked to do is to honor the monumental feat, modesty, and valor of the Party and rally your support for it to achieve full potential of our aspirations. During the war, you expressed forbearance coupled with noble duties of patriotism, obedience, loyalty, comradeship and fidelity.

After DC lost elections, having been defeated with landslide and angered by such results, it embarked on a perilous campaign calculated to corrupt, interrupt, sabotage or delay the conduct of the referendum. Those calculated subversive maneuvers are expressly discernable from the utterances of its upper political echelon.

Dr. Lam Akol, the Director for DC, on Sunday 5 September 2010, published a notoriously lengthy article titled, ‘South Sudan Referendum’: First things first. (www.sudantribune.com and www.Southsudannation.com respectively). Lam with his political agility in the said article spoke his mind, adorning almost every phrase with political/academic jargon, but others are wiser that him and knew his mind.

As a matter of fact, his mental element on the Referendum was characterized by a mixture of indifference and double-dealing, usually acting in bad faith by pretending to entertain one set of intentions while acting under the influence of another ultra-motive. Every calculated move by Lam is unmistakably a relentless pursuit of power.

Although DC statements by its leader are not entirely frank or devoid of deceit and hypocritical motives, but the statements, however, portrayed the peculiar picture we shall probably ever have known of the mind of the Leader of DC.
For those who harbor political curiosity and wish to know the content of the article that I have alluded to above, you can follow the link as shown and read out the article for your satisfaction, but I quote some phrases here for our deliberation: Dr. Lam had this to say….”there would be no way for a free, fair and transparent referendum. Therefore it would be in the interest of the advocates of unity and separation alike to unify their ranks and join efforts to impose the favorable climate for the dissemination of their ideas about unity or separation so that they reach the Southern citizen, the voter in this referendum. It is also in the interest of both camps to ensure a free, fair and transparent referendum in order to make its result acceptable to all, hence, obtain recognition of the international community” Unquote.

This statement is an unwarranted expression of indignation about referendum, a typical case of apathy and political duplicity for a leader of a political party to harbor such ideas about referendum- the potential destiny for the peoples whom he purports to represent.To analyze it, one discerns that he told what Jalaba in Khartoum desired to hear.

First and foremost, parties to the CPA, which is the vanguard of referendum didn’t need to engage in any activities outside stipulations of the Referendum Act. It was of no need to unify the ranks of the advocates of Unity or
Separation to impose their interests. The regulating authority, i.e. the Referendum Act has to be adhered to strictly, and that was the position of the SPLM. And today we have the country with International
Recognition- thank God.

Here is also another quote posted under Lam’s Article by James Okuk, a quasi-ambassador for DC who sacrificed virtue
over egotism, he had this to say….”The crucial question I would ask Dr Lam Akol here is: What would be a guarantee that the environment may be made conducive by the CPA’s partners to conduct a fair, free and transparent referendum for Southerners as desired since the last five years and more months have offered some proves that those partners are
not interested in joint and full implementation of the CPA?

Also the critical question I may ask those who will not agree with Dr Akol’s position is this: What will be the use of unrecognized referendum full of quarrels and possibility of third war between Khartoum and Juba? Conclusion of another peace agreement with NCP and Northerners? I am looking forward to get some convincing answers here, otherwise I may consider viable, my position that advices for the postponement of the referendum until 9th January 2012 and then go for war of unilateral declaration of independence of South Sudan after that if nothing good comes out in regards to fair, free and transparent referendum with recognizable end-result.

This position is a middle-way compromise to allow the unionists to enjoy the status quo for a further one year only
of the CPA extended life-span but at the end of that year to also allow the separatists to start enjoying the dignity of the independence of South Sudan”. Unquote.

Read and reread such utterances, subject them to analysis and you will find atypical case of conspiracy on the part of DC stalwarts. Little did Okuk know that Dr. Lam was not a seer or custodian of the Referendum for him to know the conducive environment that guaranteed transparent conduct of the referendum, so the question directed to Lam was immaterial and rebuttable.

Little did Okuk know also that there were both internal and external dynamic which guaranteed to warrant the successful, transparent and timely conduct of the referendum, after all, the price and cost of non-implementation of the referendum clause was designed in such a way as to make it very expensive and a cost too much to pay. During the referendum, there was no need at all for a middle-way compromise for Unionists to enjoy the status quo as suggested by Okuk. Such a position would have been a direct contravention of the Referendum Act.

Nonetheless, it was then implemented as required by law, its results being recognized without quarrels or third war between Khartoum and Juba.Now we’ve a republic with international recognition, Thank God.Dr. Lam at the time prophesied that an independent South Sudan will replicate ungovernable Somalia, while Okuk advised for the postponement of the conduct of the referendum until 9th January 2012. Fortunately, the practical political realities
now are completely different from Lam’s prophecies, to his dismay and that of Okuk.

It was sad day for all of us and none is sadder than the betrayed homeland, given the fact that everything we’ve worked for, everything that we believe in during our struggle was just almost crashed into ruins by such emotional prophecies about the referendum. But we emerged triumphant notwithstanding, and now there is only and only one thing left for SPLM to do: i.e. to devote whatever strength and power at its disposal to forwarding the victory of the cause for which we have sacrificed so much too much. Indeed, 2.5 million died – killed for a dignified and honorable cause.

While DC may have failed to achieve certain motives about the referendum, it opened up another front to destabilize the nation and divert public attention, i.e. it embarked on a hazardous political adventurism to demonize and vilify SPLM almost in everything about public policy, almost everything- from democracy to good governance, foreign policy to press freedom, answerability to accountability, rule of law to administration of Justice, infrastructure to economy, education to health, and security to defense, just to mention but a few.

DC is attacking SPLM political records per incuriam, by disregarding tangible scores of the SPLM and assigns itself a behavior sort of quasi-veto over political strategy of the SPLM. Almost on every other issue, DC has a reason to assign blame and vilify SPLM conduct. But I wonder if ever DC will achieve any political breakthrough by politics of
blackmail and treachery. I supposed this path of political confrontation is a limbo too useless for DC, for this nation and indeed for the whole humanity which is set to achieve genuine aspiration.

I am also afraid that if such state of affairs continues unabated, DC risks fading into absolute political oblivion, unless it changes political behavior. I also suspect that this path of perpetual political conflict is a decision taken out of sheer wantonness without regards to conventional wisdom and political maturity. DC must mature.

Conversely, DC’s propaganda and vilification against SPLM are administered with such furious generosity and with such diabolic gusto that even the most ignorant members within our social fraternity would have a reason to infer that SPLM is being confronted not so much as to inculcate political responsibility and accountability, but rather to cow
it into blind submissiveness so as to forgo its programs and probably ideology, and this explains the bitter irony with which DC always depicts SPLM’s image, otherwise such sustained political blackmailing and unfounded propaganda are utterly foreign to our political anthropology, at variance to the most fundamental and secret principles of our
character, and totally at discrepancy with our traditional passion for loyalty, patriotism, respect and equality.

DC must mature. Political experiments indicated that any leaders who sacrifice virtues on the altar of inexpediency or relegate patriotism and loyalty into insignificance in relation to theory and practice of politics are doomed
to failure. DC must mature.

Lastly on a separate note, I’ve a message to opinion writers with regards to succession politics dominating our political discourse these past weeks. Succession politics, at least must be avoided now, because writers who seem to favor certain individual for next presidency propagate unhealthy opinions, some of which are reminiscent to the
horrifying events of 1991.

We detest the resultant aftermath of 1991 and do not need a repeat. Succession politics must be evaded for now or
else, the prophets of doom will swallow their ill-motives if the nation returns to business as usual even after 2015. History and political experience of the past convinced most of our citizens that many leaders of this nation tried to ascend to power by illegitimate means only to fail miserably.

Also experience taught us that politicians who took refuge under the guise of politeness and deceit, cant and flattery, cunning and duplicity were never forgiven by history, at least politically. To those opinion writers, I wish to forewarn you that invoking tribal sentiments and exploiting trivial invectives of regional connotation can’t ascend any president to power in our context.

Such leaders may have been highly educated, fought for aspiration of their believe and sacrificed their blood, but that doesn’t mean automatic destiny to presidency. It is only through harmonious political consensual intercourse that we can sail amicably.

Reach the author via: buotmbuot@yahoo.co.uk
(The views expressed above are those of the author and don’t reflect the views of the website)

Serious Concerns about the South Sudan Transitional Constitution

BY: Isaiah Abraham, JUBA, SEP. 22/2012; The debate on the national constitution has come back. The discussion is on a small scale, however as people seem to have not, much interest about the constitution debate matters while there pressing daily issues threatening their basic lives. There are real issues facing an ordinary person on our streets in our ten states, especially the liquidity problem. We must not shy to sing them here always.

Many people go these days with their pockets empty, and the future looks so bleak on that matter. The market has grown wild and people have no idea when will their economic woes end. Juba residents in particular have come to terms with trouble after another; no running water, no electricity, no medicine on the selves, not enough cash to buy high rising food commodities, no security in the suburbs of the city, no land/housing, no fuel, not enough public transport, and above all no peace of mind.

Let’s turn to what I think is an important exercise everyone should participate fully in- the constitution of the country. Here we go: South Sudan leadership has formed a Committee to review the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan. This constitution was adapted on July 9, 2011 when the country became an independence entity. The text was a flip flop of the Interim Constitution of the Government of Southern Sudan, when the country was still one. Some patches were made with little changes from the original document.

There are fears that nothing will really be changed so long as the politicians are comfortable with the current structure of the text. But quick-fix constitution crumbles before everyone enjoys it, and hence necessary to give ourselves time and go through the constitution, chapter by chapter, clause by clause and item by item. It is a matter of life and death.

Someone must incorporate what people really want, not what a small group of people want or section of a region. Once the views are collected and the constitution is ready for operation, it has to go through a referendum first.

The process leading to the new constitution should have been started way back for the constitution to be finally out in January 2013. The body formed to review the constitution however has complained bitterly that it didn’t have money to start working. It looks like the issue of money has been addressed, what are these people waiting for?

In their two previous meetings we are told that the Committee was still on procedures, regulation and familiarization, how about now when the money is already out? We want the good professor to answer our people and not to expect anyone to give his group any lease of life.

Now that the real work is about to start or has just started, what are some of the envisaged problems we must do without in the Transitional Constitution of this country? Well, this writer will go straight and not to waste your precious time. I have some concerns/clauses or provisions I want them either amended, expunged or partially adapted in the next constitution. I’m not going to talk about bills of rights, they are fine.

One is this baggage body called State Lower House or whatever the name that is, formed somewhere last year. I see this House as unnecessary since there is the Upper One (National Legislative Assembly). There is no need for this country to have replica of another body when we have already representatives of the people to the Upper House. We have State Houses and other County Authorities moreover, what specific role are we expecting from this body again, something the other bodies aforesaid above couldn’t do?

If to demarcate and settle disputes between states, counties that is purely the job of the Upper House and the Executive or Judiciary, what other value could this House offer our people? This is a waste of resources and must be dropped from the new text. I’m happy Senegal has just scrapped it altogether through a vote in the National Assembly represented by both houses.

If to accommodate is the problem of the president then that time was yesterday; we are writing a permanent constitution for the country Mr. President. The number of the National Assembly must not be deluded by people whose political parties or support are nowhere.

Second, I see the president struggling to downsize his government. This must be spelt out clearly here. The government should have specific number of ministers with no assistant ministers or advisors. Assistant Ministers and Advisors are to go; they are doing literally nothing there. Their annual budget would be used by Mr. Gier Chuang to tarmac road going to Rumbek then Bentiu.

This too must be reflected in the formation of the National other bodies. Commissions are to be narrowed; Anti-Corruption must go first among those that are to be merged. This is critical if the government is serious about reform/downsizing and to save money for services. The constitution should be the ground to effect changes so the president to have an anchor. January 2013 isn’t far for a permanent constitution to take effect. So downsizing is a necessary evil that must be done.

Third, the government must introduce a Secretary to the Cabinet, somebody who could be free to run the affairs free of distractions. The current minister in the Office of the President should not be the Secretary to the Cabinet, because his schedules are overshadowed by the president’s. He has no much time to prepare reports for matters to be discuss by the ministers. In fact, the president needs no minister there, but an administrator and Mr. Mayen Wol is the right man there to do the chores for the Head of State. The constitution has to incorporate such an idea and do away with two ministers in the Office of the President.

Security can’t be a ministry; where on earth is that? How about the Attorney General, do we need that post? The answer is an affirmative! This position will help the country on numerous cases against the state as well as do prosecution on financial criminals. Issues of corruption could come here.

Forth, there has to be provision about disqualification of members of parliament. Even if elected by the people, there has to be a clause or two in which those with allegiance, obedience or adherence to foreign states are to be dismissed by the House and new election called in their respective constituencies. We have people around here who fall on that category; this clause will act as a deterrent against these people. There are those who are insolvent, those who are adjudged paranoid or senile but are still pretending to be members of parliament, they too are to be disqualified through an act in the new constitution.

Fifth, the new constitution must include a clause about the First President of the Republic. It might read like this: “the first president shall be the person who was immediately declared the Head of State on July 9, 2011”, or “a person who assumes office and declared president on July 9, 2012”. Matters of the law aren’t assumed, they must appear in white and black. President Kiir deserves this piece in the constitution. Same could be said about the ‘father of the nation’ thing. It has to be written so to avoid confusion of who should be who.

Sixth, the constitution must be specific about some requirements to fill up national jobs. Take for example the Electoral Commission Body, the head of this body requirements will have to come out clear from the constitution. The person must be a lawyer, and the list goes on. Members of that Commission also shall have similar backgrounds to avoid appointing wrong/right people on the /wrong/right places. The Chairman of the Electoral Commission am told is an engineer, and wonder who nominated him there in the first place.

Tenure of that body must be clearly provided in the constitution. I suggest that their life span should be that of the House/Parliament. Once the Assembly time is up, the same could be true to the Electoral Commission. This practice must be applied to all other constitutional posts. The span of the House should be for all. But the point is that a person must fit his/her occupation otherwise there is no point going to college to specialize.

Seventh, there has to be provision on the ‘vote of no confidence’ against the government. Parliament will have to initiate this process to allow the president to re-institute another body that will run the government until the period for election comes. We should have done this legal right against the Republic of South Sudan (RSS) if there is anything concrete in the constitution to bank on. RSS has failed our people in a very big way, and hence important to keep our check close and open for anyone who will bend to abuse the people of this country.

Eight, there has to be Judiciary Commission which shall vet or recommend to the president the appointment of the High Court Judges. In our Transitional Constitution the Judiciary matters aren’t conveniently flattened up for reasons best known to the writers of that constitution. But in this current text, terms are to be spelt out more clearly so to get rid of ambiguity. Deadwoods, people who are ticking 80 years or so, but are still clinging to their benches are to give way to fresh blood.

On the case of the Court of Appeal, the drafters of the constitution must leave no stone unturned. The new constitution must put in place strong references for smooth administration of justice.

Do we need Public Service Commission to gazette names, recruits and appoints civil servants? Yes we do for transparency purposes. The current practice of delegating that job to respective recruiting ministries is susceptible to abuses. May be the constitution needs to empower the current one and not to dissolve it.

How about armed forces, their current Act seems to have so much to do, and it is time to support them

Nine, there is this vague statement that the ‘land belongs to the community’ that must be refined and replace with a clause that would harmonize land distribution or policies. That clause has caused so much confusion in the minds of the people everywhere; something must be done in the current constitution to help people enjoy their rights in this country. The government must be allowed free hand to own and regulate the land on behalf of the people. That is why they’re representative of the people in the central in case there are infringes of rights against the people. But land Policy Act, Land Registration Act as well as Land Court Act are to be developed quickly to help in that area of land discharge and disputes.

Then there is this thing called Appropriation Act, a situation through which the Parliament gives the Treasury the go ahead to spend the approved budget. This is process always come after parliament has already passed the annual budget, and once the budget is passed, it has to go through this Act called Appropriation to make into a law. That means that no any other person whoever that be could to spend beyond what is ‘appropriated’ by the Assembly. In our case that is not followed.

The Treasury, the Presidency and others still violate the law and spend over and above what the law has delineated. In the current constitution it has to be made abundantly clear to all. We write something about our banking rules, about debts, about pension, about contingency or consolidated.

I will return next week or so about other ten concerns things. Your comments, please

Isaiah Abraham lives in Juba; he’s on Isaiah_abraham@yahoo.co.uk

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Press Release: Condemnation letter: On Appointment of unconstitutional mayor of Malakal Township by Gov. Simon Kun Puoch

SEPT. 3/2012, SSN; Governor Simon Kun Puoch has denied Chollo participation in matters that concern their lives; the governor’s policies have become a direct threat to Chollo physical existence.
We call upon all Chollo, political leaders, intellectuals, civil societies, and the kingdom authorities to speak out and strongly support the Chollo intellectuals’ recent stand against Simon Kun Puoch illegal decisions and also to support the vigilant stand of honorable Juliana Nyawello Dak Padiet and his colleagues who have walked out from the Upper Nile Legislative Assembly in boycott of the illegal creation of Malakal City Council and appointment of a Mayor of the City of Malakal.
We support the efforts of the Honorable Santino Ajang in mobilizing the Chollo communities to stop Governor Simon Kun Puoch threats against the Chollo Kingdom.
Governor Simon Kun Puoch is inciting the rift between Upper Nile communities to build his own political utopian kingdom relaying on his own personal militia.
Chollo Global Action (CGA) calls upon all the Upper Nile communities to reject this divide-and-rule politics which will further destabilize the state and might lead to tribal genocides.
It is clear that Governor Simon Kun Puoch is following the path of some of his predecessors who have worked to destroy the Chollo Kingdom.
CGA condemns the encroachment of the Jongeli State into Panyikang County, the encroachment of Akoka County into Fashoda County and the encroachment of Melut County into Manyo County.
Similarly, Chollo hold President Kiir’s government responsibly and accountable for failing to act to resolve the land disputes between Chollo and Dinka communities and Chollo will not make any concession to those who want to occupy their ancestral land.
Malakal is the heart of the Chollo Kingdom and a vital part of Makal County. We support the commissioner of Makal County in his strong defense of the county and his rejection of Governor Simon Puochs decision creating an illegal Malakal City Council without national, state and local government constitutional provisions.
CGA condemned Governor Simon Kun Puoch’s action by appointing an unlawful mayor and creation of Malakal City Council in the Upper Nile state. This is a clear violation of provision of national, states and local government constitutions Act 2009.
Governor Simon Kun Puoch should know that his action will undermine the peaceful coexistence within the state of Upper Nile and he must and should abolish this illegal action.
The creation of Malakal City council is illegal and unacceptable which will create conflict among the citizens of Upper Nile state. Malakal is the capital of Upper Nile state and formally known as Upper Nile Province based on historical records and facts originates its name from Makal, which is the Chollo village.
Governor Puoch has decided to violate both national and states provisions by creating and establishing the Malakal City Council without any warrant of endorsement from the President Kiir.
As we all know that Makal County Council is created and established by the order No. 003/10/2004 issued by late Cdr. Dr. John Garang De Mabior, Chairman and Commander -in- Chief, SPLM/A dated 16th October 2004.
As citizens of Upper Nile States , we ask the Governor Simon Kun Puoch to revise his decision for the interest of citizens of Upper State and Makal County.
We warn those who seek to create a false reality and a way to drive the Chollo to leave their ancestral homes on the east bank.
For the sake of peaceful coexistence within the state of Upper Nile, we ask Governor Simon Kun to abolish the creation of illegal Malakal City Council.
We also urge the Governor Simon Kun to resolved other areas in Chollo Kingdom such as Akoka, Atar Ardeb, Obang, Ogod, Wic Nyiral Lul and Athidhang which have been occupied under his watch and his predecessor former Governor Gatlwak Deng on Chollo ground.
Chollo Global Action, CGA is a nonprofit organization that works to promote human rights in South Sudan and protect the interest of the Shilluk Kingdom. If you would like more information about this topic, or would want to schedule an interview with CGA, please contact us by Tel or Email CGA at the following contacts.
Olany Amum Lueth
907-317-3871
info@colloga.org
olanyi@gmail.com
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Press Statement by the Leader of Minority in Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly on;

The Farcical statement made by Upper Nile Governor in Juba.

AUG. 25/2012, SSN; Governor of Upper Nile State, Simon Kun Puoch Mar, beamed on SSTV on Saturday August 18th 2012 on his arrival at Juba airport from Malakal, same shameless statement which was published in the Citizen news paper the following morning on first page that, quote, “SPLA Captures SPLM-DC Militiamen in Upper Nile”.

The crux of the matter is retaliation against the SPLM-DC party members’ walk out from the Legislative Assembly of Upper Nile State for refusing to accord audience to illegally appointed constitutional-snare Mayor for Malakal town council by the governor.

The Governor had been hoarding copies of the state’s constitution hidden in his custody since it has been reviewed and passed by national ministry of legal affairs and constitutional development in Juba several months ago.

The constitution was only made available to the parliament only 48 hours before the summon of the Mayor to the parliament. When it became crystal clear that the Mayor had no constitutional being, to appear before and address the parliament, the leader of minority in Upper Nile State Legislative Assembly, protested as a matter of procedure.
However, the deputy speaker overruled and offered the opposition either of two choices i.e. either he must sit down and precede with the appearance of the Mayor or to leave the room. The leader of the opposition opted for choice of the constitutional provisions and walked out. He was immediately joined by SPLM-DC members in the walk-out.

Simon Kun Puoch Mar is above the constitution in Upper Nile State, and can not entertain any opposition from whoever. Least of all the SPLM-DC party. The delayed distribution of the constitution copies to the MPs was a tactic to keep them in the dark in the hope of illegal confirmation of the city Mayor position which is not in the constitution, along with others as the ministry of legal affairs and the ministry of trade and investment. The opposition in the parliament is the vanguard against any unconstitutional practices fostered by the governor in the state.

The SPLM-DC has nothing to do with what happened in Renk county carried out by known commanders of insurgency in the area under the command of Maj. General Mohamed Chol El Haamer, Maj. General James Gai Yoach, Maj. General James Thiel.
The accusation by Simon Kun Puoch Mar comes as no surprise to many people of Upper Nile State, because when he is in difficulties in the state, he rationalizes by smearing the name of SPLM-DC as the escape goat, to appease his superiors as to avert the attention of the public from real issues like the bad health and education where there are no drugs and overcrowded classes of two hundred pupils who never attend classes on rainy days and poorly paid teachers.

Prevention of the commissioner of Makal county to celebrate the nations’ independence in Malakal town, ordering him to celebrate across the river at Lelo Payam, is one part of this plot to hand over the county to an illegally appointed Mayor.
The refusal of Makal county commissioner to give-up the town of Malakal and opposition walk-out of the parliament had triggered anger in the governor who feels better when regarded being above the law.
Where are the 15 captured militia men affiliated to the SPLM-DC? But they could pay any persons to impersonate the alleged militiamen, if the investigation is not carried out by an independent court of competence.

Hon. Juliano Nyawello Dak Padiet

Leader of Minority Upper Nile Legislative Assembly.

Malakal

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author(s) and do not represent those of the website.

Security and Machakos protocols

Interim Security Agreement

Naivasha: Thursday, September 25th, 2003

WHEREAS
the Government of the Republic of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Sudan People’s Liberation Army (the Parties) have been conducting negotiations in Naivasha, Kenya, since 2nd September, 2003 under the auspices of the IGAD Peace Process; and

WHEREAS
the Parties reiterated their commitment to a negotiated, peaceful, comprehensive resolution to the Sudan Conflict within the Unity of Sudan as set forth in the Machakos Protocol of 20th July 2002; and

NOW RECORD THAT
within the above context, the Parties have reached specific agreement on Security Arrangements during the Interim Period, the initialed text of which is annexed hereto and which will be subsequently incorporated into the final Peace Agreement; and

IT IS AGREED AND CONFIRMED THAT
the Parties shall immediately resume negotiations on the remaining outstanding issues and subsequently negotiate a comprehensive ceasefire agreement in order to achieve a final, comprehensive Peace Agreement in the Sudan.

Hon. Idris Mohamed Abdelgadir; for The Government of the Sudan; Cdr. Pa’gan Amum Okiech, for The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army.

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Framework Agreement on Security Arrangements During the Interim Period
Between The Government of the Sudan (GOS)

and

The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement / Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLM/SPLA)

  1. Status Of The Two Armed Forces:
    1. In the context of a united Sudan, and should the result of the referendum on self-determination confirm unity, the Parties (the Government of the Sudan and the Sudan People’s liberation Movement and Army) agree to the formation of the future army of Sudan that shall be composed from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA).
    2. As part of a peace agreement and in order to end the war, the Parties agree that the two forces, the SAF and the SPLA shall remain separate during the Interim Period, and further agree that both forces shall be considered and treated equally as Sudan’s National Armed Forces during the Interim Period taking into consideration 1 (c) below.
    3. The parties agree to the principles of proportional downsizing of the forces on both sides, at a suitable time, following the completion of the comprehensive ceasefire arrangements.
    4. The national Armed Forces shall have no internal law and order mandate except in constitutionally specified emergencies.
    5. 2–Ceasefire:
      • 3—Redeployment :
        1. The two forces shall be disengaged, separated, encamped and redeployed as will be detailed in the Comprehensive Ceasefire Agreement.
        2. Except for those deployed in the Joint/Integrated Units, the rest of the forces of SAF currently deployed in the south shall be redeployed North of the South/North border of 1/1/1956 under international monitoring and assistance within and up to two and one half years (2 1/2) from the beginning of the pre-Interim Period .
        3. Except for those deployed in the Joint/Integrated Units, the rest of SPLA forces currently deployed in Nuba Mountains and Southern Blue Nile shall be redeployed South of the South/North border of 1/1/1956 as soon as the Joint/Integrated Units are formed and deployed under international monitoring and assistance.
        4. The SPLM/A undertakes that the demobilized Southern Sudanese from those currently serving in SAF in Southern Sudan shall be absorbed into various institutions of the Government of Southern Sudan along with demobilized SPLA soldiers.
        5. The parties agree to implement with the assistance of the international community DDR programmes for the benefit of all those who will be affected by the reduction, demobilization and downsizing of the forces as agreed in 1(c) , 3(d) and 7(B). Joint/ Integrated Units:
          There shall be formed Joint/ Integrated Units consisting of equal numbers from the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) during the Interim Period. The Joint/ Integrated Units shall constitute a nucleus of a post referendum army of Sudan, should the result of the referendum confirm unity, otherwise they would be dissolved and the component parts integrated into their respective forces.4—Elaboration On Joint/Integrated Units:

          1. Their Character:-They should have a new character based on a common doctrine.
          2. Their Functions:-
            1. They will be a symbol of national unity during the Interim Period.
            2. They will be a symbol of sovereignty during the Interim Period.
            3. They will participate in the defence of the country together with the two forces.
            4. They will provide a nucleus of a post Interim Period future army of the Sudan should the vote of referendum confirm unity.
            5. They shall be involved in the reconstruction of the country.
              • C—Size and Deployment :The size and deployment of the Joint/Integrated Units throughout the Interim Period shall be as indicated below:-
                1. Southern Sudan: twenty four thousands (24.000)
                2. Nuba Mountains: six thousands (6.000).
                3. Southern Blue Nile: six thousands (6.000).
                4. Khartoum: three thousands (3.000).
                5. Eastern Sudan:-
                6. The redeployment of SPLA forces from Eastern Sudan to South of the South/North border of 1/1/1956 shall be completed within one (1) year from the beginning of the pre-Interim period .
                7. The parties shall discuss the issue of establishing Joint/Integrated Units.
                8. 5—Command and Control of The Two Forces :-
                9. The Parties agree to establish a Joint Defence Board (JDB) under the Presidency, and shall be comprised of the chiefs of staff of the two forces, their deputies and any number of senior officers to be agreed to by the parties. It shall take its decisions by consensus and it shall be chaired alternately by the respective Chiefs of Staff.
                10. Functions of JDB : The JDB shall perform the following functions :
                  1. Co-ordination between the two forces.
                  2. Command of the Joint/ Integrated Units.
                11. The JDB shall perform the following functions :
                12. Co-ordination between the two forces.
                  1. Command of the Joint/ Integrated Units.
                  2. -Common Military Doctrine:-
                    The parties shall develop a common military doctrine as a basis for the Joint/Integrated Units, as well as a basis for a post Interim Period army of the Sudan, if the referendum vote is in favour of unity. The parties shall develop this common doctrine within one year from the beginning of the Interim Period. During the Interim Period, the training of the SPLA (in the South), the SAF (in the North) and the joint units (in both North and South) will be based on this common doctrine.
                  3. 7–Status of Other Armed Groups In The Country:
                  4. No armed group allied to either party shall be allowed to operate outside the two forces.
                  5. The Parties agree that those mentioned in 7(a) who have the desire and qualify shall be incorporated into the organized forces of either Party (Army, Police, Prisons and Wildlife forces), while the rest shall be reintegrated into the civil service and civil society institutions.
                  6. The parties agree to address the status of other armed groups in the country with the view of achieving comprehensive peace and stability in the country and to realize full inclusiveness in the transition process.
                  7. —National Security Organs and Police forces:
                  8. Structures and arrangements affecting all law enforcement organs, especially the Police, and National Security Organs shall be dealt with as part of the power sharing arrangements, and tied where is necessary to the appropriate level of the executive.
                  9. Done at Lake Naivasha Simba LodgeDate: Thursday, September 25th, 2008.