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.
Tong Kot is a Practicing Legal Counsel at Deng & Co. Advocates and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.