Tag Archives: south sudan constitution

South Sudan – President Kiir set to establish more states

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudan’s President, Salva Kiir, will soon issue another controversial order to increase the number of states from 28 states to undisclosed number, according to his second deputy and longtime ally.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, delivers a speech in the capital, Juba, on 10 June 2013 (Reuters)

Speaking after Tuesday’s meeting, Vice President, James Wani Igga, flanked by the controversially newly appointed First Vice President, Taban Deng Gai, said the presidency has agreed to increase the number of states but will soon start with the issue of Malakal and Lol state as the first priority.

Malakal, is a contested capital between West Nile and East Nile states, but which was given to the East Nile by the presidential decree in October last year. Lol is another controversial state in Bahr el Ghazal region.

The two places, according to the Vice President in a statement broadcast by the state owned South Sudan Broadcasting Corporation (SSBC), are where communities have protested either splits, asserting the order had divided their communities or have been annexed to communities with whom they share nothing in common in that they would prefer to remain alone.

“We have resolved and agreed to increase the number of states but the first thing is the issue of Raja and Malakal. A committee has been formed under the First Vice President and this committee will have to complete their work and report back to the President within seven days,” revealed Vice President, Igga.

He did not say how many more states will be added to the already controversial 28 states.

The two issues the presidency had discussed and resolved, he further added, were the reinstatement of the civil servants who either abandoned their positions or rebelled, either in Juba or in the states, when the conflict erupted in 2013.

The other issue was the issue of cantonment sites for the opposition forces of the SPLA-IO. Two cantonment sites, he said, will be in central Equatoria, one in Eastern Equatoria and another in Western Equatoria.

(ST)

South Sudan – EU condemns Kiir unilateral creation of 28 states

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – European Union (EU) has issued a strong-worded statement condemning the Friday’s unilateral decree issued by South Sudan’s president Salva Kiir which created 28 new states, saying this was a violation of the peace agreement he signed with the former vice president and armed opposition leader, Riek Machar.

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European flags are seen outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels (Reuters Photo)

“The announcement by President Salva Kiir of the presidential order to replace the 10 existing states with 28 new states goes against the spirit and the letter of the Peace agreement signed by the Government of South Sudan on August 26,” partly reads the statement extended to Sudan Tribune on Tuesday.

EU, which is composed of powerful and influential European countries, urged president Kiir to suspend his decree until when the parties to the agreement handle the matter during the constitutional making process in accordance with the peace deal.

“The agreement provides for decisions on the structure of the country to be addressed during the permanent constitution-making process under the oversight of the Transitional Government of National Unity and in consultation with the people of South Sudan. The European Union therefore urges the President and Government of South Sudan to refrain from proceeding on this fundamental matter,” it said.

The statement decried the shift in mind by the government, reminding that the peace agreement was also endorsed by the top South Sudanese leaders during the recent high-level summit of the United Nations General Assembly in New York.

It also urged the parties to work out an agreement on the security arrangements which the parties have been discussing at a workshop in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The joint statement was signed by both the EU’s vice-president, Federica Mogherini, and commissioner for humanitarian aid and crisis management, Christos Stylianides, on South Sudan. The statement in condemnation of the presidential order is the first which has publicly come out from the international community.

EU warned that there will be consequences for those who attempt to derail the peace agreement, reminding of the previous initiated actions against peace spoilers.

“The international community has consistently said that there will be consequences for those who obstruct the implementation of the Peace agreement. The EU welcomes in that respect the African Union’s decision to publish the commission of inquiry’s report and to move ahead with the establishment of the hybrid court,” it further stated.

South Sudanese government on Monday also came under heavy criticism from foreign diplomats when senior government officials gathered representatives of the foreign nations for a briefing at parliamentary building in Juba which aimed to explain the genesis of the unilateral presidential decree over 28 new states.

Officials close to the meeting told Sudan Tribune on Monday that the diplomats questioned the timing and rationale behind the government’s decision to unilaterally decree the new states, urging Juba to respect the peace agreement and suspend the creation of the states to be handled during the transitional period by the would-be formed government of national unity.

The reaction by the ambassadors accredited to South Sudan is seen as a reflection of what would be response from their home nations before a position can be taken by the IGAD Plus mediation body and the United Nations.

However, the source said government officials at the briefing defended the decision of the president in decreeing the new states, saying it would help accommodate officials during the transitional period.

Minister of information and broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, told the diplomats that the president had the right to do “whatever” he wanted as a representative of the people in the sovereign country, South Sudan.

He said the creation of the states was not a violation of the peace agreement as said by the opposition faction led by former vice president, Machar, adding that the opposition group should have instead appreciated it so that the expanded states could accommodate them more.

He revealed that according to the new states the opposition leader will nominate six governors for the new six states which were curbed from the two oil-rich states of Unity and Upper Nile.

“They (opposition) should have instead appreciated the decision because this will help them. It will solve the problem of accommodation which they have,” Lueth told the diplomats.

Lueth also explained that the power sharing agreed in the peace deal will also apply in the new states in which the opposition will get 15% of state ministerial positions from the other 18 states in greater Bahr el Ghazal and Equatoria and 40% from the 10 states created from greater Upper Nile.

He did not however explain how members of the new state legislative assemblies will be shared between the parties as the peace agreement maintained the current elected members of the state parliaments. He did not also talk about how the national legislature will be affected in the new representation.

The new proposed states isolated the Nuer community, the second largest in South Sudan, from the rest of the tribes, giving them 5 states enclaves without mixing them with any of the other tribe in the country. The Dinka community, the largest in the country, however was mixed with other minority tribes in greater Upper Nile and Bahr el Ghazal.

Earlier, Lueth on Friday also said the order of the president which created the 28 states did not need to go to the national parliament for approval, arguing that it was an executive order and should be implemented without any questions by the national legislature.

However, president Salva Kiir’s legal advisor, Lawrence Korbandy, who also attended the Monday’s briefing of the diplomats, contradicted Lueth’s interpretations, saying the order must go to the parliament for endorsement.

“We have 30 working days during which the order will be presented to the parliament. If this is not done I will be the first to speak against this order,” he said.

Korbandy however defended the order, saying it was in the interest of the people and that local resources will be mobilized to cater for the 28 states.

The opposition faction earlier warned that the new 28 states will alter provisions of the peace agreement which was based on the current 10 states and open up the deal for further negotiations, calling on the international community to step in and stop the government from violating the agreement.

The peace agreement, signed in August by the parties, deferred the establishment of federal system of governance and creation of more states to the constitutional making process during the transitional period of 30 months.

EU warned that only a genuine and concerted effort by the leaders of South Sudan will bring an end to the suffering of the people of the world’s youngest nation, renew their hope for a peaceful future and avert an “even greater humanitarian tragedy.”

(ST)

South Sudan – Kiir unilaterally splits 10 states into 28

Sudan Tribune

(JUBA) – South Sudanese president Salva Kiir has unilaterally decreed expansion of the current 10 states to 28 federal states in the country in an unexpected move announced on South Sudan Television (SSTV) Friday evening, prompting reaction from the armed opposition leader, Riek Machar, that the unilateral move was a serious violation of the peace agreement.

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South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir (seated) signs a peace agreement in Juba, August 26, 2015. (Photo Reuters/Jok Solomu)

President Kiir, in order read on SSTVat 8:20pm, criticized his current governance system which he said has been holding the people’s power in the center in Juba, saying there was need to adopt a federal system of governance in the country, surprisingly in line with the demand of Machar’s rebel movement which the government had been rejecting at the peace talks in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for nearly two years.

“Over the last ten years, the power which was given to you by the CPA [Comprehensive Peace Agreement] has remained in the center,” said Kiir, referring to the peace deal signed on 9 January 2005 with Sudan by then SPLM rebels to end 21-year long civil between north and south of the former Sudan.

The CPA granted South Sudanese a referendum on self-determination which resulted to overwhelming vote for secession from Sudan in 2011. He said his rationale for delaying creation of more states in devolution of powers to the people was because he was allegedly busy preparing for referendum from 2005 to 2011.

“My administration in the center was busy with issues to do with your self-determination such that you become free and sovereign state. Now, indeed you are free, therefore, there is no reason for me to retain your constitutional right for self-governance, self-reliance, self-development and determine your through free, fair and democratic elections in three years to come,” he claimed.

He went on to say that the creation of 28 states, which shall come into effect within 30 days, will provide an opportunity to “develop your locality, your home villages through mobilization of local and states resources.”

“We should therefore abandon culture of war and embrace culture of peace, co-existence and hard work such [that] you and I together develop our country because our country is a country of opportunities,” he said.

The order number 36/2015 AD for creation of new states of South Sudan said the president will now have the chance to nominate more state governors and additional members of the state assembly in his newly created states.

The sitting state members of parliament (MPs) will be maintained at 21 members in each state and there will be no more than 21 lawmakers.

The president acknowledged that his administration has been facing economic declines, surging unemployment as a consequence of the war which erupted on 15 December 2013.

It is not clear where more resources will be mobilized to fund the development of the states as the creation of 18 more states has become as a surprise to the nation and the international community.

In the breakdown of the states, Kiir created 8 states for greater Equatoria which included Imatong, Namurnyang, Maridi, Budi, Amadi, Jubek, Terekeka and Yei river.

For greater Bahr el Ghazal he decreed into being 10 states namely, Wau, Aweil, Ngor, Aweil East, Twic, Gogrial, Tonj, Eastern Lakes, Western Lakes and Gok.

In greater Upper Nile he also decreed 10 states to include Leer, Northern Guit, Ruweng, Eastern Nile, Jonglei, Western Nile, Eastern Bie, Lajor, Buma and Western Bie.

Kiir also acknowledged that the new states will create difficulties or conflicts in determining their respective boundaries, but added there shall be state border disputes committee to address issues that may arise.

SPLM-IO RESPONDS

The leader of the armed opposition faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM-IO), Riek Machar, in response to the abrupt unilateral change, said the move by president Kiir was a violation of the peace agreement he signed with him on 17 and 26 August, respectively.

Machar questioned the rationale behind the initial rejection by president Kiir of his demand to adopt federal system of governance which initially sought to create 21 states based on colonial districts which had clear boundaries so that the expansion of the states should have been incorporated into the peace agreement and in the constitution of the country.

He said although creation of more states based on federal system of governance has been a popular demand of the people of South Sudan since 1947, the unilateral way has been decreed by president Kiir after the peace agreement is a violation of the peace deal.

“The creation of more states in the Republic of South Sudan is the cornerstone of the vision of the SPLM/SPLA in the process to realizing a “Democratic Federal State” in South Sudan. The SPLM/SPLA, before the Peace Agreement, established 21federal states based on the former “British Colonial Districts.” The twenty one (21) colonial districts have clear delineated borders that were demarcated before 1st January 1956,” Machar said in a statement released on Friday in response to the order.

“The Presidential Decree issued unilaterally today, Oct 2nd 2015, by President Salva Kiir Mayardit creating 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan is a clear violation of the Peace Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan signed on 17th and 26th August 2015 by myself and President Kiir respectively. The peace agreement is based on 10 States,” he said.

President Kiir and his government had been rejecting the rebels proposed adoption of federal system of governance and creation of 21 states in the peace talks, dragging the talks for nearly two years. Government’s argument has been that South Sudan is not yet ready for federalism or more states, but the abrupt change of mind has come as a surprise.

Due to the disagreement between the government and the rebels at the negotiations table, the peace agreement was therefore based on the current 10 states until a permanent constitution making provides for creation of more states. The current transitional constitution also says South Sudan is composed of 10 states.

The agreement also gives the rebels 40% of power sharing in the two oil-producing Unity and Upper Nile states as well as Jonglei state, which president Kiir has now split into 10 states. It is not clear whether the governors of the new states coming out from Unity and Upper Nile will be nominated by Machar’s group.

The agreement also restricts national cabinet to 30 ministries with some having deputies and that no new ministerial positions should be created in the 30-month of the transitional government of national unity which will be formed in December.

Machar said the sudden unilateral move by president Kiir was a clear message to the world that he is not committed to the peace agreement and can violate it at any time of his choosing.

“In the light of the action of President Kiir, we call upon the IGAD Plus and the international community to take a position,” he concluded.

Analysts say the abrupt change of mind by president Kiir was to try to score a number of things: to claim credit for creation of more federal states, thus federalism, dismantle the oil-producing states given to the opposition by the peace agreement and set Machar against the people in case he opposes the creation of the new states.

Creating more states without historical known boundaries, they say, will likely create further crisis in the determination of new boundaries from the scratch as majority of them will not be based on of the colonial 1956 boundaries.

(ST)

South Sudan parties want creation of prime minister post

Sudan Tribune
.July 29, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese political parties are demanding the creation of a prime minister’s position in the proposed interim government between the country’s ruling party (SPLM) and its opposition wing.

The group, in a position paper, said the president and prime minister’s posts shall be occupied by nominees from the rival factions of the SPLM, while the vice presidency be given to another party.

“The president and prime minister shall, respectively, be from the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in government (SPLM IG and the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO). The vice-president shall be from the political parties other than the two mentioned above,” partly reads the position paper obtained by Sudan Tribune.

“The speaker of the national parliament shall be an agreed national figure,” it added.

The document also recommends formation of a 21- member cabinet and 18 other independent commissions, suggesting the prime minister as head of government, but reporting to the president in accordance with the conduct of government business regulations.

According to the position paper, some of the functions of the interim government will be the implementation of the peace agreement; conduct of census; registration of the political; oversee an integrated process of national reconciliation and healing; convene national constitutional conference, produce draft permanent constitution prior to conducting a popular referendum for adoption, prepare ground for the conduct of free and fair national elections, expedite reparation of the internally displaced persons, consolidate relations with foreign countries.

The country’s political parties also proposed a 60% to 40% power-sharing arrangement with the majority going to the governing party and its rival faction. The council of ministers, parliament, state assemblies, and state governments, it says, shall be composed of political parties as follows: SPLM factions 60% and other political parties taking 40%.

It also proposes dissolution of one branch of the national legislature, saying there shall be one national parliament composed of 250 members, while the 10 state assemblies each take 48 members.

“It cannot be overemphasised that our country will enjoy sustainable peace, just a stop of war, when and only the suggested and agreed reforms are implemented during the transitional period,” the proposal adds.

President Kiir

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