Open letter to South Sudan’s leaders
September 19th 2019 (Nyamilepedia)-By SIMON E. KULUSIKA. General Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan General, Dr Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon, Chairman of the South Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition General, Thomas Cirilo Swaka, Chairman of National Salvation Front
General, Paul Malong Awan, Chairman of South Sudan United Front, All other Chairmen of Armed Fighters Movements and Fronts, in South Sudan
Dear Comrades and Compatriots.
Greetings in the Name of Almighty God, and Allah, and the buoyant People of South Sudan:
SUBJECT: GOVERNMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY
1. We observe the revitalization of the Peace Agreement (PA) for resolution of armed conflict, and restoration of peace in South Sudan. The meeting in Juba on 11/12 September, 2019, between President Mayardit and Chairman Machar was indeed as we understood it, to achieve a breakthrough for peace in South Sudan (SS).
We subscribe to such a bold political move. But the people of South Sudan are cynical, because the meeting has not achieved tangible results to supersede their despondency about peace process.
In light of this reality, we take courage, to offer some suggestions for conclusive settlement and restoration of genuine, lasting peace in South Sudan.
2. We advocate a broad participation in the R-ARCSS, by including ALL ACTIVE ARMED MOVEMENTS AND FRONTS in South Sudan (SS). To make the R-ARCSS more comprehensive and Robust, for purpose of implementation and enforcement.
We support the formation of an ‘Interim Government of National Unity (IGNU), for the ‘Interim Period (IP) of three (3) years. But we consider the three (3) years to be inadequate.
We suggest a period of five (5) years in view of the complexity of the tasks ahead such as, repatriation, resettlement and reconciliation (it requires at least two years), integration of the various armed forces, to form South Sudan Defence Forces (it may require one year, if not more) and constitution making and elections. This is expected to take more than three years).
3. The IGNU is to be governed by a National Redemption Council (NRC), a kind of Supreme State Council (SSC), with full executive powers. It is to be assisted by a Council of Ministers (CMs), under an Administrative Prime Minister (APM). The NRC comprises seven (7) members. Each member holds the presidency (or Chair of the NRC for one month by rotation. Each member has a Veto power (Veto Vote).
The decision of the NRC are taken by consensus, failing, which on the third attempt, the matter is to be submitted to the Constitutional Court (Con Court) for a binding RULING.
4. The advantage of the NRC:
a. It provides a collective, political leadership and collaborative executive, thereby ensuring efficient governance.
b. Membership consists of the major ethnic Groups in South Sudan. This ameliorates ethnic tensions, divisions, suppresses political rivalry, as there will be no questions of chain of commands or in-subordination: all are AMBA, BANDIT, JAIL DWONG …… It fosters cooperation and solidarity, bedrock of democratic dispensation, for a new emerging State.
5. We suggest that the members of the NRC to include: two (2) Dinka (due to Dinka’s numbers, one (1) Nuer; one (1) Shielluk; one (1) Bari; one (1) Zande, one (1) Ferttit. (some other Ethnic groups will find place in the CMs.
6. The judiciary should be independent, with guaranteed tenure. The justices of the superior courts should be removed by process of impeachment, following an inquiry. There should be a national Constitutional Court, as an original and appellant court, on all constitutional controversies and the interpretation of statutes, or laws in general.
7. The structure of states governments should be revisited. The number of states should be reconsidered. Our formula is 32 (Kiir) + 21 (Machar) ÷ 2 = 26 states.
8. The IGNR should choose the type of federal system of governance: Presidential federal system (e.g. Nigeria, USA), parliamentary federal system (e.g. Canada, Germany, India), mixed (e.g. South Africa), or Confederal system (e.g. Switzerland), One must bear in mind that federalism protects identity. It is based on shared sovereignty. It is guided by the doctrine of separation of powers and checks and balances. Its advantages outweigh its costs.
9. The South Sudan Defence Forces and national security forces must be balanced so that there is no overrepresentation by one or two ethnic groups in these forces.
10. The last years of the IP should examine issues relating to the nature of the State, including its name. The drafting of new national and states constitutions, including a Bill of Rights. The constitutions should be adopted or approved or accepted by the people in Referenda. To design a new, simple national Flag. To write and compose a new national Anthem that received the approval of the citizens of SS.
11. The current signatories to the Peace Agreement (PA) have the obligations to bring on board all the active armed movements and fronts, before an ‘Interim Government of National Unity’ (IGNU) is formed and formally inaugurated. An inclusive IGNU will bring peace to SS. Because balanced representation removes the sense of marginalization and injustice.
It stimulates cooperation and respect between the different ethnic groups, And lays the foundation of national building and progress. Leaders who persistently ignore or prescribe people’s demands risk becoming irrelevant and lose support. Let us work and walk together for lasting peace in South Sudan (or a new name).
SIMON E. KULUSIKA
ZAOU, LAW SCHOOL
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