Federalism based on Regionalism vs that based on partisanism

BY: Chol Ajak Demac, ARIZONA, USA, MAY/15/2013, SSN;

Lately, I have been monitoring the political development in South Sudan and I am in awe on how fast the situation is deteriorating and how fast the SPLM lost and will continue to loose grounds as a national political party! Things may get worse for the South and the SPLM, unless miracles happen.

There have been a lot of talks lately on how best to govern South Sudan, some are calling for Federalism others are calling for centralism and few are for I don’t care party!? Without taking sides on which is the best way to govern the South, one can only be concerned in the way the debate is being carried out. For example last week in Juba the greater Equatoria region, on their extraordinary conference, called for a federal system of governance.

Today we learn that the greater Bhar el Ghazal is due to hold their extraordinary conference in Wau from the 15th to 20th of May this year and who knows? Greater Upper Nile may hold it conference soon (who’s better than who?)

Now here are the questions:

1- Is it best to tackle the problems of politics and governing the country by going regional? Did we try that before? Where did we end up in the past by going regional on the issues of national interest? “Those who fail to learn from the history are doomed to repeat it” or “he who lives to forget his past lives to die of his past.”

Knowing the past and keeping the past helps us to shape the future, and may avoid the re-occurrences of past disasters.

2- One can’t help but to notice that all the leaders of so-called regional conferences are seniors SPLM members. That begs the question: did the SPLM fail as a party to hold these kinds of conferences?

Why can the SPLM organize the conference that have nothing to do with who should or shouldn’t be the Chairmen but rather debate and come out with the solutions on how best to run the country, keeping in mind that the SPLM had been the ruling party for the last 8 years?

3- Others may say that they tried all the above within the ruling party and failed for one reason or another!!! I don’t have any inside information to agree or disagree with them, but I can’t imagine that their failure is due to where they hailed from or which region they came from.

In such a case the problem of how to govern South Sudan shouldn’t be regionalized, but rather nationalized in terms of Political parties.

In short, if the SPLM fails you, you quit and form a party that calls for federation in the South and I bet you will find a lot of supporters from all corners of the nation.

4- Some may ask why worry about the regional-driven politics? To be candid, it doesn’t worry me when a region gets together to address problems in the region such as insecurity in the area, because of the tribal and inter-tribal conflicts, or tackles the issues of developments in the private sector or agriculture improvement.

Most of you will agree how urgent the South is in need of such conferences!! I only worry when we try to use the regions to score political points at the national level for these reasons:

A- Although the intention may be good, there are always a few who will try to hijack the situation and misuse it to farther their self interest will can result in dividing the Country on the regional line and tribal politics.

B- With all due respect, our people are still young when it comes to politics that include the so called intellectuals (the roots of most problems in RSS), therefore if we base our political demands on the region instead of party platform, we are risking further divisions among our people, and the words of our national anthem “Land of great abundance, Uphold us united in peace and harmony,” will be things of the past.

C- Let’s all assume that Bahr el-Ghazal calls for centralism in their upcoming conference. And the Upper Nile calls for either centralism or regionalism. Are we not setting up the country on the path of civil war based on regionalism? But if we do it based on the parties platforms then each party will have supporters in every town, city or region of the nation, and that can lead us towards more unification of our nation.

Finally, it is my hope that when it come to discussing the national issues we should always try to keep our emotion away from it, and have some intelligence deliberations .

Last but not least, on my open letter to Mr. President Kiir Mayardit, published on August 3, 2011, I asked him the following question: Are we going to be the beacon of light and hope in Africa or the laughing Stock of the World?

Fellow citizens of Republic of South Sudan, I’m appealing to your better nature to try your level best in answering this question, and ask ourselves what kind of Country did we really fight for and dreamt about??

May Almighty God guide us towards being a peaceful and democratic Nation, so God bless South Sudan

Chol Ajak Demac, Former Secretary General of SPLM Chapter in Arizona State. (USA) and can be reach at chol.ajak@gmail.com


  1. Chol Deng Anyieth says:

    The regional conferences always result in promotion of regionalism, sectarianism, tribalism, nepotism, corruption and embezzlement of public wealth. The regional conferences are used as tools for achieving regional interest of a clique within the government. The common example is the so-called ‘Leader of a community’. Most of the constitutional post holders prefer to be called ‘leaders of communities’. But South Sudanese communities know the tribal chiefs and the constitutional post holders are called politicians. Unfortunately, the appointment of constitutional post holders in South Sudan based on community leaders but not part leaders. What a fiasco!

  2. Dau-network says:

    I think greater bhar el Ghazal are about to convince president Kiir not to contest again to keep his reputation and love of his history clean before he becomes bad in public eyes like other long serving presidents .
    If leaders from that region really care, they will advice him to and he MUST nominate SPLM candidate but not Dr Hitler.

  3. aj says:

    You live in Arizona, a place where federal system is practised. Do you see anything wrong with that? You just have to admit that, you guys you don’t want any sort of working government only cry blood of kokora when others propose better solution for all.
    Now, either way people will demanded that and fail will result to negative or no government at all. I have to say loud and clear to you dinkas that federalism is a way and don’t call it regionalism.

    Sack it up felas and head to your backyard and clean up rather than crying for national interest which we have achieved it already and now we need all corners to be developed.

    • Chol Ajak says:

      Dear AJ,
      Kindly reread my articles with open minded, and you may come out with different understanding.
      Stay bless.
      Chol Ajak

  4. Gatcharwearbol says:

    Mr. Network,

    This is one sensible thing you have ever said in this forum. I do admire Salva Kiir as a person, but his political ideology does not vice with me. But what you have said is true. Kiir has little reputation left and if he runs again for the Presidency, this little reputation will not exist anymore. People are fed up with his government and I hope he is the same wise person I know.

    Kiir’s advisors need to sit down with him and convince him to step down. It is time to give way to another person who will have capability to turn things around for the better. There are many we can choose from. Please, Mr. President, step down for your own good and preserve your little reputation left. Do not let your advisors lead you in the wrong path; they are just there for wealth, nothing more.

  5. Tyson says:

    Chol Ajak,

    It is interesting to lament but the SPLM is rotten for the top to the bottom. The clique has destroyed the country is just 8 years and still want to rule forever. The country has already lost direction and it is at the cross line of a failed state. The current leadership has failed to address the issues of tribalism, nepotism, service delivery, governance, accountability and nationalism but instead promoted corruption, wanton arrest and killing, and looting the resources of the country.

    Many opinion writers continue to warn those in power of the repercussions this could bread to this nascent state.

    The fact of issues in South Sudan cannot be denied. Politics are based on tribal lines and this will be attested by the up coming fight between the Jieng and the Naath when they will support Mr. Kiir vs Dr Hitler for the top job. Equally, the army is tribal with the two tribes taking the lion share in all positions… this means chances of tribal conflicts are high with more rebel groups. The army is not regularly paid and no thoughts of professionalizing that institution.

    These regional conferences will continue to dominate (within SPLM alone) because there is nobody driving the affairs of the state. Every region will manvouver its security, political, development, and social agendas. On the other side people of talking 2015 elections but no one knows if the SPLA will be able to contain Yau Yau and its havoc including those recycling ragtag generals who continue to be pardoned, promoted, paid and then get back to the bushes of killing innocent people.

    Indeed, May the Almight God forgive our leaders for they do not know what they are doing. May God protect those innocent people who continue to suffer in all corners of South Sudan.

    • Gatkuoth says:

      I think the step government took to initiate and bring peace with rebels is a very wise decision. Government can resort to war when they refused peace and continued to kill innocent people like what’s happening in Pibor county. Indeed David Yau Yau deserved to be put to court for trial whether he surrenders or captured. There is no way a person can fight a political post by use of force. I think this is the person you referred to when you say may the Almighty God forgive our leaders for they do not know what they are doing.
      David Yau Yau is a villager and government can pardon his ignorance but he had gone too far. Regarding to the blame we put on our government especially president Kiir Mayardit is that he did not hold senior officials responsible for the thievery accountable. The people plan to incriminate him by putting money into his office and then stealing the money. Kiir deserved second chance in addition to the reshuffling of ministers and judiciary office.

      • Gatkuoth:
        You have posted a great comment. I agreed with what you have said above, but unfortunately, President Kiir is too kind with the thieves and murderers in his government. Some People took advantage of Kiir’s kindness and used the rebellion as a means of negotiating and obtaining the military Ranks and/or political seats/jobs in his government.

        As far as my political knowledge goes, the Republic of South Sudan is the only Country in the entire world where the killers, Criminals and thieves are pardoned and allowed to rule the orphans of their Victims or put in charge of the national wealth. What a disgrace and waste of the national resources/wealth! Take Care, brother. I personally I admired your comment.

  6. South Mole says:

    Useless article!!! Instead of proposing solutions the author wants us to continue down this path that leads nowhere. When was federalism tried in South Sudan? Kokora was an administrative attempt to take cities to villages. Without kokora, there won’t have been some development in either Upper Nile or Bahr El Gazal. A federal system will allow us to localize our development instead of waiting for some bureaucrat/politician in Juba deciding our fate in our villages.

    Better smell the coffee, Chol, and wake up from your slumber instead of trying to make inane and useless commentary.

    • Chol Ajak says:

      Dear South Mole,

      You label my article Useless, fair enough, that’s your opinion! Nothing wrong with you disagreeing with me, so instead of wasting your time responding to useless article and insulting me, why don’t you put forward one useful article that will help our Nation reach the ultimate goals of Justice, Liberty & prosperity for all.

      God bless you,
      Chol Ajak

      • Dear Mr. Chol Ajak:

        This is a great article despite what Mr/Mrs.South Mole and his likes perceive it. Those thugs are known of being Character Assassination gangs on SSN forum. They could not contribute anything good other than demeaning Nuer and Dinka writers/contributors to SSN. I personally advise you not to be dejected because there is nothing wrong with your article. Those Ugandan gangs have some personal issues against Jieng and Naath people and I bet they would never accomplish whatever they wish to gain.

        I wonder, What would Mr/Mrs.South Mole and his likes do if one of their daughters or female relatives get pregnant by a son of Jieng and/or Naath? Undoubtedly, I believe he would murder his own daughter/relative, kill the grand child and commit suicide due to his hatred against Jieng and Nuer. What a bloody idiot? No matter how long it takes, South Mole and his likes would definitely commit suicide or die of heart attack since they could not get rid of Jieng and Nuer from Equatoria. Take care brother!

        • South Mole says:

          Gathkout Garang, you’re nothing but a food-loving Dinka parasite. Where did I say I hate Nuers/Naath? I don’t have anything against Nuers/Naath because they’re my brothers and sisters. My problem is with you and your ilks. Stop bringing Nuers/Naath into what is an issue between my people and your people. Nuer/Naath didn’t not occupy my land in Nimule, Chukudum, Yei, Juba, etc.

          G.G. You think “we won’t accomplish whatever we wish to gain”. Well, you’re seriously deluding yourselves. We should’ve learnt our lesson in 1991 and followed the flag that Dr. Riak Machar raised. However, this time it’s going to be different because should Dr. Machar lift another flag this time things will be different because we’ve now identified the real enemies of South Sudan…

    • South Mole:

      If Kokora was meant to be an administrative attempt to take Cities to villages, Why did you kill Dinkas in Juba? Why did certain areas in Juba were renamed such as Rujal Mapie, Athala Bara, Jebel Dinak etc? What kind of development did the Kokora bring to South Sudan between 1981 and 1983? Please stop glorifying Kokora and it’s brutal memories.

      • South Mole says:

        You’re a seriously deluded Jenge. I take it you’ve never been to Juba but depends on secondary sources for your indoctrination. Rujal Mafie (not Mapie – must be to your missing teeth or nyalama) and Athalabara were names given before 1983. Recheck your history or ask the owners of Juba for the real meaning. Incidentally, there is nothing called Jebel Dinka. That area is called Jebel Karak. Jebel Dinka is an attempt by your people to rename and occupy Juba as you people are trying to do to Chukudum by calling it New Bor.

        • Majongdit says:

          South Mole,
          You just make me laugh. I am not an CE but I can tell you ‘Kirek’, not karak is not a name for Jebel Dinka. Kirek is a name for Jebel Kunjuur. I wonder there has been no problem about renaming of Jebel Kunjuur by CE. Do you know who renamed the current Atlabara? It’s a Dinka man called Niknora Chor Malek. He was one of those people who kept cattle in Juba town and later he became a victim of Kokoro. He together with other Dinkas and Nuer moved their cattle to what was an empty land out of town – a place they called “Thongpiny” meaning all places are equal. I can people Equatorians are comfortable with the name Atlabara, which is not a bari name…please tell me is the ‘Dinka’ suffix that you don’t like or is it all about general rename in your state?

  7. umoja says:


    The only way to govern this country is federalism, I am perplexed when south Sudanese have been calling for federalism since time immemorial, other politicians like Ezbon Mondiri, were jailed by the then Sudan government for calling for federalism. Today when we got South as independent state it is ridiculous those calling for federalism now are rejecting.

    People have ever been in system of central government and people are aware of what it breeds. We in south Sudan have not tested federalism, why not go for it, only sticking to this old system of ruling that is always breading rebelling because of power struggle.

    Let us go for federalism and we see who will rebel against central government as powers will be given to states and center will have small structure.


  8. Andrew Dau says:

    Fellow countrymen
    There is nothing wrong with debating issues of this magnitude in the public arena; that is how we reach a social contract on how to govern ourselves, guide the new nation, and realize our aspiration. What amazes me, however, is our insistence on insulting one another! how does that help us in reaching an agreeable conclusion. It is wrong, irresponsible, and reflects political immaturity.

  9. choldit kiir says:

    please, the country was liberated by all regions, you two tribal regions make some adjustment in politics. that house politics will never tolerate you all to win the election otherwise we will call back our seat. it is very seldom for GB and GE to rule the country.

    • Choldit Kiir:

      It is true that the Country was liberated by the people from the three regions. However, the problem you are currently facing in Upper Nile Region has nothing to do with Bhar El Ghazal and Equatoria Regions. Your people need to sit down as brothers and sisters and try to iron out their differences before they could point a finger of blame somewhere else in South Sudan. Why can you not get along in Upper Nile Region?

      Your political leaders should be blamed for the hatred and disunity among the various tribes in Upper Nile Region and they should be the ones to play a big role in resolving some political and tribal conflicts in the Region. Whether you believe it or not, the Greater Bhar El Ghazal and Equatoria Regions would continue to rule the Republic of South Sudan.

      Due to the tribal and political conflicts in the Region, there are more people from the Upper Nile region in Juba, Equatoria. Why can you guys not get along in Upper Nile Region? Is this a Curse, Greed, hatred or stupidity? Please put your house in order before you dream of ruling South Sudan again.

      • South Mole says:

        G.G, the problem is because your food-loving people don’t want to share the cake with the others. That is why!!!!

        • South Mole:

          You must participate in the preparation and baking of the cake should you expect to be granted a piece of the cake. Why did you run to Uganda and falsely claimed to be a member of Kakua/Acholi of Uganda while I and my likes were preparing and/or baking a cake in our Country? Did you not have a faith in me and my likes that we would one day manage to cook the cake?

          Please let General Mamur Obute, General Wani Igga, General James Hoth Mai, General Oyai Deng Ajak, General Pagan Amum, General Thomas Cirilo, General Joseph Lagu and Mr. Lukudu Gatkuoth Garang and his likes eat…eat…eat and eat their cake in peace and harmony. They really worked hard and sweated so long for this cake and they deserved to have a big portion of the cake without being disturbed.

          The leftover cake would be given to the SSN Editors for allowing the cowards and fools such as you and your likes to express their frustrations,jealousy and hatred online for free. Those people should be treated as heros/heroines in our Country for their dedications and outstanding contributions. Psychologically, they are curing you and your likes by allowing you to release your deadly rage and htred on Jieng and Nuer. You would have gone nutes or creazy if you were not given a chance to release your anger and hatred on me. They surely deserve a word of thanks and appreciations for giving us the opportunity to share or express our tribal and political issues online/SSN.

          South Mole, I thoroughly understand your frustrations, however I want you to respect me and my likes if you really want to have a share of the cake. It is your right as a Citizen of South Sudan to have a share of the cake although you ran away and hid in Uganda when the cake was being cooked. Please learn how to beg for the cake nicely rather than threatening me and my likes for the war. Be advised that I’m not fraid of the war. If I fought with the Arabs and Nyagats for 22 years and still managed to bake the cake for you and your likes, don’t you think I can fight with you for another 50 years? Please stop the threat of war and let us share the cake equally and peacefuuly.

  10. Majongdit says:

    Chol Ajak,

    I read the article and its beautiful.
    However, some of your views have been taken within the perspective of the American society – imagine, America has existed for nearly or over 400 years.
    Again, one thing that is so fishy about the call for federalism is that it is all against the Dinka and the Nuer.

  11. Taban says:

    Majongdit, when Southerners demanded for federal system from the Northerners, was it about the Dinka and the Nuer or it was about Northerners centralizing powers due to their greediness or oppressive attitudes? Why now you don’t like federalism? If we need our country to prosper, we have to pursue what we been longing for.

  12. Majongdit says:


    From this point, I can prove that you are innocent. Your questions have justified that my fear about your quest for federalism is so dangerous. Now I know: federalism is to answer oppressive, greedy people who centralized power.
    Taban, we demanded federalism from the North Sudan because they were oppressive, greedy and they had centralized power. Now tell me who is oppressing who in South Sudan? Who has centralized power? And who is that that is greedy? Plse tell me something else, not these issues you have raised.

  13. Deng says:

    I blame all these on the so-called Greater Equatoria cuz the other one was just a mere reaction out of panic.

    We here in Jonglei, Uppernile and Unity will not call for that good-for-nothing conference.

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