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.


  1. monychol says:

    Tong, it is always good to be honest or try to when one is discussing public issues in the public space as this and at the national level.I hope you have kids and if you donot, still I will ask you this question.When your child cries for milk do you tell him/her that the hyena is devouring you or do you provide the milk? If itis me, I will provide the milkand if I old my kid that such as such animal is devouring you I will be kidding to distract the kid from his or her legitimate demand.
    The current military junta in Juba is now using the same approaches that it used last year when the public debate arose within the SPLM.Kiir administration resorted to silencing, issuing threats and concoction of coups forcing the section of the society into rebellion after the December failed assassination plot on the SPLM leaders.
    Now we are in this Kiir own making mess and national crises, are you trying to suggest that this government own making crises should be used to silence public debate on other issues that can solve a situation like this once and for all and to prevent the future occurrence of similar situation.
    I suggests that open public debate about federalism without bullying intimidation and threat of violence like last year must be allowed.
    Because of this ear plugged and blindfold administration rule of terror, other regions have lost hope in a peaceful and prosperous centralized South Sudan and they must be allowed to express their views freely with the usual threats intimidation and brutal use of force like last December.
    If not now is the time for debate on federalism, then when?4

  2. Eli says:

    Tong Kot
    You shut up, you puppet stupid like your stupid dictator and corrupt evil witchdoctor Kirr. We are coming for you.

    • monychol says:

      Eli, no doubt that it is Salva Kiir who is messing up the country.He has become a terrible example and bad mentor.
      He does not know that success without a successor is a total failure.
      He doesnot listen and doesnot see what the citizens are going through.He is no longer working for the best interests of the nation and the great Muonyjang and he will reap that.I donot know whether there is anyone who prays for him to have wisdom and guidance.He is no longer bringing peace and prosperity to this nation.

  3. monychol says:

    And by the way who told you that the current Kiir military junta is interested in tackling national pressing issues?
    You should not allude yourself to their political stunt that they claims to be negotiating the peace in Addis Ababa.Thatis just a ploy to decieve the international community.Dr.Adwok Nyaba under house arrest in Juba last two months urged Kiir to resolve the issue of rebellion before other dissenting voices join the rebellion calling for similar conditions inside the country especially in Equatoria.But that advise was brushed aside like numerous last year advises by the same Kiir.
    Now other discontent voices have joint and you are attempting to calm them down by blackmailing them with the very Kiir own making crises.
    Federalism must be discussed now and if referendum is needed must be agreed upon concurrently and implement concurrently with the peace agreement that is being discussed in Addis Ababa.
    Non shall be left behind because Kiir and his cronies have no ears and eyes.

  4. monychol says:

    Tong, it is now very clear that it is only we Dinkas who are the problem in South Sudan and it is not all the Dinkas but the Dinka Rek from Warrap, some elements from Paul Malong section in Aweil, elements from Lake state and other few elements from Bor county in Jonglei state.These are the minorities within the Dinka groups that have created such a hostile atmosphere in the country since last year.They have been trying to ferment hostilities among tribes and wants to set up the Dinka against everybody in South Sudan.We cannot and should not use our Dinka majority to bully,threaten,pillage,terrorise,abuse,intimidate and violate everybody rights in the country.These Dinkas have imprinted an indeleble stain on the Dinka and are desacrating the name and image of the Dinka.
    The above Dinkas are were the current barbarian bully boys came from.
    Dinka Rek:Salva Kiir and Aleu Ayeny.Bor county:Kuol Manyang and Michael Makuei Lueth.Aweil element Paul Malong and Deng Deng.Lake state:Awan Guol Riak, Marial Nuor,Marial Chanuong and Telar Deng Ring.
    These are the very individual who have been behind and are still behind this ethnic war in South sudan.They are trying to pit the Dinka against everybody in South Sudan and are using the national tesources, assets and might to implement their ethnic war agenda.These individuals are dooming the entire society and country of South Sudan.All people have become so hopeless and desperate and that is why they are calling for federalism as a bulwark against these evil bullies

  5. Mathew Agar says:

    As confirm by governor Clement Wani Konga, The Equatorians has already lost big. There is no way they can regain their lost glory. Militarily they are incapable. Their claim to support Dr. Riek is a measure to seek allies. Kokora is too late for the Republic of South Sudan. We already put our roots deep down in Equatoria and any crisis will be treated dearly. Besides our generations born by Equatorians women are enough to crash any rebellion. As of these days, the security situation in Equatoria will remain very tight. As you choose to behave like Palestinians, remember, we are South Sudan Israelites. We will not withdraw from Equatoria. This as a land God promised to Dr. John Garang and his generations forever. The same way God promised a land to Abraham. A land for which we are proud for over 30 years now. You will bake like a dog but you will not get it. Republic of South Sudan is The Dinka Republic just to let you know.
    Mathew Agar

    • monychol says:

      Matthew, what is it that you are writting about?
      I know you are a non Dinka but somebody from somewhere who just expropriate the voice and identity of the Dinka in order to ferment and instigate another conflict between Dinka and Equatorians.
      If you are a Dinka, then your uncle is either Salva Kiir, Kuol Manyang, Makuei Lueth, Telar Deng Ring or Aleu Ayeny.
      We Dinkas who lives in Equatoria are not occupiers but citizens who are living anywhere in our country as entitled by our constitution.You should not use the Dinka names for your rubbish.

    • Dear Mathew Agar Jeing,

      What you forgot to mentioned is that ,you Dinkas /Jiengs are only good and brave in stealing public Funds and Land grabbing in great Equatoria.Mr Agar or whatever you call yourself make no mistake to misuse the word Israelites ? If you must know in 1966 ,The Israelites fought more than seven Arab Countries, but still defeated those countries militarily without inviting a single Country for help and who are the Jiengs /Dinkas that you compared to the Israelites? Nuer as a single tribe was able to defeat the whole kingdom of Dinkas /Jiengs until they called for help from their Husbands in Uganda the UPDF Mr Agar, ask yourself a simple question that,What would have happened to Jiengs Kingdom if the Ugandan Force did not intervene in December 2013? The result was going to be living in Kakuma for life which coming soon whether you like it or not until you accept Federalism and develop your region like any other place in South Sudan without nonsense of promised land in Equatoria forget that in your minds as Jiengs because it will never happened even if you bring Jesus Christ there is no promised land for Dinkas in Equatoria this is just your mere dreams.

      The other question is that,we Equatorians are in for the dancing and we want see whether the UPDF can help you as they did in December 2013 and my kindly assurance to you the Jiengs /Dinkas including your head prefect NyanKirr is that, your time is over in Equatotria as well said to you by our Governor H.E Clement Konga that we are not afraid and nobody can site on our heads as Equatorians we are well prepared to eradicate the disease called Dinkanism in South Sudan once and for all .Keeping distributing Guns to your villagers in Juba we shall still defeat you we have more than enough guns in Equatoria what we need is for you to just start the disco and we see the dancing.The stupid saying that,Dinkas are strong should be mentioned to foreigners only because they don’t know this uncivilized cattle’s called Dinkas/Jiengs but we Equatorians know this idiots better if Nuer or Murle talk of braveness i shall agree but not the cattle’s from Bhar-El ghazal .

  6. Oduho Mamur Otuho says:

    Tong Kot,
    I thought as a lawyer you would reason beyond your nose but unfortunately you have not offered us anything of benefit to take home. You must understand the root causes of the conflict in South Sudan that led to the conflict in December. I am not sure whether you are a member of the SPLM or a politically conscious citizen. For those of us who have join SPLM/A in early years like myself in 1985 under High Command Modi Galerio who was overall commander in the Greater Equatoria Region we know what the issue is. We witness the drafting of the SPLM manifesto by lates Dr. John Garang and Veteran politician Joseph Oduho Haworu in June of 1983 after the group led by late Charles Akuot Atem with Garang himself as member and part of the delegation that met Ethiopian Chief of Staff General Girma Demissie W and were turn down because their manifesto was calling for secession of South Sudan from the old Sudan. Oduho as a Veteran and well experience politician drafting the manifesto and presented it to Garang and they went together from page to page grooming the paper to fit the interest of the Ethiopian authorities. The paper says, the movement would be a national one with the objectives of fighting to create a socialist oriented united Sudan and that all other rebel groups that are fighting in all parts of the Sudan would be regroup together to join the movement as one so as to achieve common objective of a united socialist Sudan.

    Now from there Oduho was appointed as Chairman and Garang was Chief of Staff. Oduho was known worldwide since 1950s and because of such prominent, he went to Europe to solicit support and after getting all the support and upon returning back to Addis ababa, Garang with the help of Ethiopian government arrested Oduho and took his position as Chairman of the movement as C-in-C of SPLM/A. Was this not tribalism? It is upto you to answer. Secondly, The SPLM read its manifesto the radio in July of 1983 and since then, the politico-Military command have never met to discuss about the movement’s issues as stipulated in the manifesto until 1994 in Chukudum when many push for it and Garang was pressured to convene. Garang according to the party’s constitution was to step aside to allow members of the political and military bureau to elect new blood or to re-elect Garang. I was in the meeting in Chukudum. Dr. John just took his cap and put it back on his head before it even reach the table. I was very surprise.

    Comrade Yosef Kuwa from Nuba Mountains was the Chair of the meeting. Garang intimidated people by taking the cap for one minute and putting it back on his head before election started. Contrarily to the constitution which says you can only do so after election has taken place and results announce, putting the Chairman’s hat on before election is self proclaim winning and it was wrong but for the sake of peace, people were ask to cool down which they heeded.

    Now, since then, SPLM basic documents have not been reviewed and updated. This is necessary for it to be registered as a legitimate party, right now SPLM should not even be ruling the country because it is illegal party under the Transitional constitution of South Sudan which says in order for a party to govern, it has to be registered and SPLM has not met the requirements for it to be registered due to dictatorial tendencies of some members. Now the four basic documents, the party’s manifesto, constitution, rules and regulations and code of conduct should have been reviewed and updated long time had the Chairman and his cliques listen to the members.

    Pagan and Ann Itto wrote several letters to the Chairman to convene meeting of the political bureau in order to set the agenda for the meeting of national liberation council to discuss about those documents, but the Chairman kept quiet. The group of Riek read out their paper in December calling for the meeting and outlining the issues facing the party as it has lost direction and vision, no one listens until to the mid of December when a meeting was convene. The meeting that the Chairman called was also illegal because the agenda was not set by the political bureau as stipulated by the constitution but for the sake of peace, Dr. Riek, pagan, madame Rebecca Nyandeng, Cirino Hiteng, Deng Aluor and many came. When Chairman gave speech, it was very hostile. He said some people here are traitors they stabbed the movement in 1991 referring to Dr. Riek and his group. What does this has to do with the current situation, who did not do what in the past? Manifesto was read and was passed within 30 minutes and when it comes to the constitution Dr. Riek and others wants its to be democratic, he wants voting by secret ballot which is a universally accepted way, Salva rejected, he support a show of hand which is a system used by those who wants to threaten people. Dr. Riek favor a democratic system of electing officials based on service delivery and interest of the people, the Chairman refuse, he wants to appoint and fire at will. Some members including Dr. Riek said we cannot be part of authoritarian constitution, they walk out. As soon as they did, Salva order commander of the presidential guards to go and disarm all Nuer members of the presidential guards and this is the origin of the war and Riek was not even aware. Soldiers were sent to kill Dr. Riek and others but thanks God he escape and now they resume a door to door killing of nuer and their supporters.
    Let us not lie, now who caused the war? any tribe can be killed like how they did to nuer should their leader rebel. Now people are being killed for talking about the kind of system they need federalism. Why? Now people have two choices, either to join and fight for their rights or to remain under oppressive regimes as slaves in their own country. If you are someone who care about your children, the coming generation, I am sure you would not mind sacrificing your life. Commander Edward Otome took Tafeng upto ethiopia for training and many have perish on the way and they came back and die like flies just so that we can have freedom and still we can do that ya Jamaa. Secondly, people must also be open to dividing this country into three. Equatoria, Bar el gazal and Upper Nile like how we just separated from North. As humans, if something cannot work, we have to divorce for the sake of peace. We must do anything to bring about peace including dividing the country into three countries. Let me stop here.

    • alex says:

      Stop lying to people. If there was no plan how comes the army division in Bor and Bentue were composed of one tribe and commanded by the same tribe. If one is disarmed by fellow comrade could you just react by shooting if there was no hidden agenda? If you watch live debates in British parliament or in the congress does people not raise their hands up when voting. It is people who want to steal votes who are afraid of ope system of voting. The same system is still used in schools when electing their prefects. It is only people who are followers or who are there for there stomach will fear raising their hands up because they fear to lose their positions. If you are voting on the will of your own constituency then there is no need to fear president Kiir. It is the same people who want secret vote when they lose they beat around spreading lies that the votes are stolen. If things are done in open, there is no allegations. If you lost you have lost and you can not frame liars. You can not be killed by raising your hand to propose Riek instead of Kiir to be the chairman of SPLM. These same guys are the one who rebeld in 1991. Their aim is to fulfill their unfinished mission. Stop beating around the bush for the mistake Riek did. He should have convince enough delegate during the convection if he want to replace Kiir. as chairman.About your lie that now people are being killed for discussing about federalism, brother name those people being killed. Even this Saturday Historian Dagulas Jonson is lecturing about federalism in University of Juba. If the government wanted that people should not discuss this issue why then allow this British historian to deliver the lecture? I hate lairs who just lie to achieve their interest.If you want to go and join the rebels just go but do not try to persuade others with lies.
      The SPLM is there to stay and will continue ruling South Sudan. In pact you need to praise Kiir if it was in other countries, those accused today would be no more living but thank God he is humanistic and follow democratic rule of law. How many South Sudanese were murdered in Juba during the Khartoum regime and are up to now an accounted for. To be sincere, we deserve military rule for 30 years before even starting to talk about democracy. Everybody thinks he/she knows more about democracy while they are hiding their greed and corrupt practice. Brother there are determine people to defend the constitution and the unity of our people. This is not the time of Arabs whereby those greedy people who want money sometimes run to their masters the Arabs in Khartoum taking lies to betray their fellow brothers.

      Any trouble makers will be crushed militarily if they will not follow proper laid democratic channels. Greed should end and everybody should eat from his/her own sweat but if they insist to take government by force , they should be taught a lesson which they will not forget. as we talk now ask the white army if they have guts of fighting anymore. This is the time for so called politicians to practice clean politics. Lies and rumor mongering will not achieve you something but clean non tribal politics are what we now want. Politics of lies belong to old sudan but not our new born nation.



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