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North African women press for freedom, rights and dignity

Note to the editor: The popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt appear to have set the stage for a wave of women’s activism in Africa, with a fresh demand for freedom and dignity. Fatma Naib examines this phenomenon for UN Africa Renewal

By Fatma Naib
Cairo

August 9, 2011 (SSNA) -- Arab women have shown that women can play important roles in revolutionary events. In Egypt and Tunisia they participated in the popular uprisings for democracy. “The women contributed equally to the revolution, like the men,” affirms Emna Ben Jemaa, a Tunisian lecturer and journalist. “We took part in protests in the street, without any discrimination against us.”

Women’s activism is not a recent development, notes Ms. Jemaa. “For Tunisian women, independence is not something that came with the revolution, it has been there.” Before national independence in 1955, Tunisian women faced discrimination. They were taken out of school, forbidden to see male doctors and limited in the political sphere. Yet during this period Tunisian women developed began fighting to advance their role.

With independence, President Habib Bourguiba helped advance the role of women. A “Personal Status Code,” adopted in 1956, gave women unprecedented rights including the right to vote and to be elected to parliament, to receive wages equal to those of men, access to mixed-gender education and the right to divorce.

As a result, the women’s movement in Tunisia is relatively advanced compared to those in other Middle Eastern countries, notes Ms. Jemaa. This paved the way for their prominent involvement in the revolution that toppled President Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali on January 14.

After President Ali’s ouster, members of the previously banned Islamist Nahda Party returned to the country. The party will be allowed to participate in Tunisia’s elections, but that does not worry Ms. Jemaa.

“People assume that Islamism would interfere with women’s rights and freedom. But this is not necessarily correct,” she says. “When Islam came to mankind, women used to work and played an active role in society. So I don’t understand why people assume that the presence of an Islamist political party will lead to the exclusion of women.”

However, Ms. Jemaa admits that there are fears of a backlash for women’s freedom if the country is ruled by a religious party. “People look at the examples of Algeria and Iran. History has proven that there is no guarantee that an Islamic party such as al-Nahda will secure women’s rights.” So Tunisians need to be on guard, she concludes.

The revolution in Tunisia inspired people in Egypt on 25 January to demand freedom and dignity. But even before the uprising, female factory workers had staged major strikes in 2007 in the city of Mahallah.

In Egypt women accounted for 40 to 50 per cent of the demonstrators during the 18 days that toppled President Hosni Mubarak. With and without veils, they set up barricades, shouted slogans and risked their lives. The idea that men and women should be different was set aside. Nawara Najm, an Egyptian journalist and human rights activist, recalls how she fought side by side with the men. “When we had to fight, I fought. When we had to hurl stones, I did. When we had to shout slogans, I did.”

On 28 January, dubbed the “day of rage,” she and other women helped mobilize the resistance. “When the police clashes intensified and the shooting escalated, some of the guys would retreat. At that point all the women would push to the front. When our male fellow revolutionaries would see us do that, they would return immediately.”

That day also brought Ms. Najm’s worst memory, when a person died next to her. “We were on the bridge by the Nile. What upset me was that his death was preventable, but we couldn’t call an ambulance. I tried to use my phone, but the lines were cut. Then he shut his eyes. I asked if he was asleep, but another person told me that he had passed away.”

For Ms. Najm, the revolution is ongoing. “We managed to topple the head of the regime, but the entire regime is not gone yet and our key demands have not been met.

“I am not too worried about the Muslim Brotherhood having political power. They are a political organization that has the same right as everyone else. No one can stand in the way of the people anymore.”

Salma El Tarzi, a film maker, echoes Ms. Najm. “I am not into any political parties. I prefer to remain neutral for now. I know I will always be in the ‘opposition,’ so I am ready to demonstrate, or fight.”

Ms. Tarzi is agitated as she speaks about how soldiers cleared Tahrir Square on 9 March: “They violently dispersed the crowd and arrested several activists, including women who had to undergo forced virginity tests. Those who failed the tests and were not married were charged with prostitution.”

Nabila Ramdani, a French political analyst of Algerian origin, compares women’s roles in Tunisia and Egypt with their situation in the 1954-1962 Algerian independence war. “Women played an important role in the battle for Algerian independence. They planted bombs and acted as informants.” She blames a mixture of religion, culture and law for the current state of affairs in Algeria. But in post-revolution Tunisia, she adds, the voice of women is louder because it is a secular society, with a distinction between religion and the rule of law.

Ms. Ramdani is optimistic about the future, because women are speaking up as is evident in the Arab world, including in Saudi Arabia and Yemen. In Saudi Arabia, where women are banned from driving, several women drivers have posted videos online showing themselves defying the ban. “It was previously unthinkable that women there would defy the king.”

Women in different parts of the region face different challenges. While some countries have accomplished more, it seems that women in the Arab world want their voices to be heard. They want their basic human rights to be respected in societies that are free and fair for all.

Africa Renewal www.un.org/africarenewal

Fatma Naib is a reporter for the Al Jazeera news network.

Darfur ... and now more genocide in Sudan?

The Christian Science Monitor, August 4, 2011
http://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2011/0804/Darfur-and-now-more-genocide-in-Sudan

Evidence is piling up that genocide is taking place in the southern border region of Sudan, affecting tens of thousands of Nuba people. But the world is dillydallying, just as it did with Darfur, Rwanda, and Srebrenica.

By Eric Reeves
Northampton, Mass.

Yet again, Sudan shows all the signs of accelerating genocide, this time on its southern border.

August 4, 2011 (SSNA) -- The question is whether the world will now respond more quickly---and effectively---than it has to the years-long atrocities in Darfur, in western Sudan. Over four years ago the International Criminal Court indicted a senior Khartoum official for crimes against humanity (2007); most recently it has indicted President Omar al-Bashir for genocide (2010). But to date Khartoum has continued to express only contempt for the ICC and human rights reporting generally.

Another test of the world's resolve to halt ethnically targeted human destruction now presents itself in a border state known as South Kordofan (like Darfur, in Sudan). Al-Bashir has unleashed a campaign against many tens of thousands of Nuba people, a grouping of indigenous African tribes. The Nuba have long made common cause with the people and former rebel fighters of the newly created country of South Sudan.

The catastrophe in South Kordofan is daily becoming more conspicuous, both in scale and in the ethnic animus defining Khartoum's military and security operations in the region.

Beginning with events of June 5, strong evidence is growing of house-to-house searches for Nuba people and those sympathizing with the northern wing of the Sudan People's Liberation Army. Also, compelling evidence points to roadblocks that have similarly targeted Nuba. Most Nuba found were arrested or summarily executed. This has occurred primarily in the Kadugli area, capital of South Kordofan. Most disturbingly, a great many eyewitness accounts of mass gravesites are being reported; a number of these accounts are collected in a leaked UN human rights report from late June.

The extraordinary indictment rendered in this report is confirmed by definitive satellite photography from the Satellite Sentinel Project, based at Harvard University; these photographs clearly indicate large, parallel mass gravesites---capable of holding many thousands of bodies. Evidence from the UN report, as well as eyewitness accounts from many Nuba who have escaped Kadugli, confirm the findings of the satellite project.

The Associated Press has reported on an even earlier leaked UN "situation report" indicating that some 11,000people, virtually all Nuba, sought protective custody with the UN Mission in Kadugli, capital of South Kordofan; 7,000 of these people, including women and children, were forced on June 20 to leave the UN protective perimeter and move to an unspecified location. Those moving them were reportedly members of Khartoum's security services, disguised as Red Crescent workers. Today, the UN has no idea where these refugees are.

Bombing in the Nuba Mountains of central South Kordofan is relentless, threatening the lives and livelihoods of the African people who make up the Nuba. Fields have been abandoned at the height of planting season, when the need for crop-tending is greatest. Many tens of thousands of people have fled to the hillsides and caves, desperate to escape continuing aerial attacks. Next fall's harvest will be a disaster, and Khartoum has blocked virtually all humanitarian aid to the Nuba Mountains, including the UN’s World Food Program.

Why, with so much evidence of ethnically targeted human destruction, and so many acute risks to human life and welfare, has there been no rapid or forceful international action?

The universally agreed upon UN "responsibility to protect" civilians from ethnic cleansing and genocide---not to mention attack by their own government---should be in force in South Kordofan if anywhere. Yet there is nothing of consequence coming from anyone in the UN, the European Union, the African Union, or the Obama administration---except Susan Rice, American ambassador to the UN, declaring there will be no US military commitment to the Nuba people.

This virtual policy silence on South Kordofan seems to be based on a peculiar, indeed incomprehensible skepticism about the evidence available, including the satellite photography as well as eyewitness accounts provided by the UN report and other sources.

The Obama administration spokesperson for this skepticism is Princeton Lyman, special envoy for Sudan, as The Washington Post recently reported. But his account does not square with the facts; for example, he asserts that the piles of irregular white bags near the mass gravesites, all of human anatomical dimension, have always been at the sites focused on by the satellite project; but sequential, dated satellite photographs unambiguously demonstrate otherwise.

There are in South Kordofan too many harrowing echoes of not only Darfur, but Rwanda and Srebrenica. In all these cases there was a UN military presence; in each instance this presence was completely intimidated or rendered ineffective by génocidaires bent on their task; many world leaders refused to recognize the reality of genocide; and in each case unspeakable shame followed.

Are these echoes not being heard in Washington, New York, European capitals, and African Union headquarters in Addis Ababa?

Despite Mr. Lyman's skepticism, the urgency and scale of potential human destruction demand an immediate and robust international response---and not simply moralizing pronouncements, whether from UN officials or international actors of consequence, or in the predictable and formulaic prescriptions of human rights groups. At the very least Khartoum should be warned that if its military aircraft continue to be implicated in attacks on Nuba civilians or humanitarians, they will be destroyed on the ground by cruise missiles or other means. Impunity for such atrocity crimes cannot continue.

If the world refuses to see what is occurring in South Kordofan, and refuses to respond to evidence that the destruction of the Nuba people, as such, is a primary goal of present military and security actions by Sudan, then this moment will represent definitive failure of the "responsibility to protect."

**********

Eric Reeves is professor of English language and literature at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts. He has spent the past 12 years working full-time as a Sudan researcher and analyst, publishing extensively both in the US and internationally. He has testified several times before the Congress and is author of “A Long Day's Dying: Critical Moments in the Darfur Genocide.”

Tribocracy: The New Political Philosophy for the New Country (Part 2)

For the Republic of South Sudan to avoid the pitfalls of her fellow African countries and be politically and socio-economically successful, she must fully embrace and constitutionally legalize tribalism as a system of political representation in the constitution of government at the local, state, and regional government and especially in the national governments based in Juba.

By PaanLuel Wel, Washington DC, USA

August 4, 2011 (SSNA) -- Though South Sudanese are yet to know and witness the final shape and form of the forthcoming new cabinet, it is now official that the full composition of the post-independence South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA), or the bicameral National Legislative Assembly (NLA) as it has been re-christened, has been identified, constituted and decreed by President Salva Kiir Mayaardit. According to the Presidential Decree No.10/2011 for the Transformation and Reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, the fully-fledged SSLA is now composed of an astronomical number of not less than 382 honorable members of the bicameral house.

Of these, 170 are the old 2010 elected members; 96 members are the political refugees displaced from the Government of National Unity in Khartoum, April 2011, in the wake of South Sudan successful secession, 50 members are the South Sudanese members of the Council of States from Khartoum, and the remaining 66 members are the Benydit Kiir political cronyists, who, I suppose, had to be politically accommodated to deny the devil the opportunity to use them to destabilize the country. It appear Benydit Kiir and Kuormedit Machar are rationalizing that their government, hence their coveted positions, would be politically secured if only they could take care of these small fish. And what is the better way to make an ally, even for a day, out of potential political rivals than bringing him/her to your side where he/she could indulge in the warmth of the wealth-generating fire around Benydit?

That as it may be, there is one burning question that South Sudanese are dying to know: is the newly-decreed South Sudan Legislative Assembly constituted tribocratically? That is to say, is it a regionally-balanced political appointment and a tribally-fair and -transparent political representation according to the respective population sizes of those parameters? Whether the finding to that query is in the affirmative or not would, indubitably, be a harbinger to the composition of the looming cabinet.

In this second part of “Tribocracy: The New Political Philosophy for the New Country,” I am going to tribocratically dissect and analyze the just announced South Sudan Legislative Assembly at the regional level. Secondly, I am going to propose the regional composition, based on the principle of tribocracy, of the yet-to be revealed Cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan. I have widely and exhaustively discussed the meaning and the indispensableness of tribocracy as the new proposed political philosophy of governance in the new Republic South Sudan in part one of “Tribocracy: The New Political Philosophy for the New Country.”

It therefore suffice, here, to briefly state that whereas tribalism is “a form of government where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts disproportionately large to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents and use them to advance the position of their particular ethnic group(s) to the detriment of others;” tribocracy, the opposite twin sister and her true panacea, on the other hand, is a political system, to paraphrase the same quote, where representatives of a particular ethnic group hold a number of government posts proportionate to the percentage of the total population that the particular ethnic group(s) represents in order to promote and achieve fair and equitable political representation across all ethnic groups that comprise and form that particular nation.

Tribocracy at the Regional Level

According to the record of the South Sudan Census Commissioner, Hon. Isaiah Chol Aruai, the current population of the Republic of South Sudan, based on the May 2009 Sudan fifth population and housing census, stand at approximately 8.26 millions. At the states level, Jonglei state has about 1.36 million; Central Equatoria state about 1.10 million; Warrap state about 0.97 millions; Upper Nile about 0.96 million; Eastern Eqatoria state about 0.91 millions; Northern Bahr el Ghazal about 0.72 millions; Lakes state about 0.695 million; Western Equatoria state about 0.62 millions; Unity state about 0.585 millions and Western Bahr el Ghazal with about 0.33 million.

Regionally speaking, therefore, Greater Upper Nile region—comprising three states of Jonglei, Unity, and Upper Nile—would have about 2.91 million people. Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, which is made up of four states of Warrap, Lakes, Northern Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Bahr el Ghazal, would score around 2.72 million people. Finally, Greater Equatoria region, composed of three states of Central Equatoria, Eastern Eqatoria and Western Equatoria, would get about 2.63 million inhabitants.

Thus, from the total population of 8.26 million citizens of the Republic of South Sudan, 35% of them reside in Greater Upper Nile region, 33% in Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, while 32% live in Greater Equatoria region. Tribocratically speaking, that mean that in term of an equitable and fair political representation in the national government in Juba, Greater Upper Nile region should get 35% share of the seats in Juba, and Greater Bahr el Ghazal should take home 33% share of the seats while Greater Equatoria region should pocket the remaining percentage of 32%.

That political arrangement would, of course, be applicable to, and implementable at, both the composition of the South Sudan National Assembly as well as the forthcoming cabinet appointment. Tell me, which region would have the audacity to complain of political marginalization; discriminative under-representation; disproportionate underdevelopment, political neglect and/or tribalism in political appointments were that to be the legal political framework under which President Salva Kiir decrees and political appointments are informed and based on?

Now let’s go back to the burning question we just broached before at the beginning of this article that South Sudanese can’t wait to find out: is the current SSLA/NLA composition tribocratically informed? I mean, based on the three Greater regions we have in respective to their populations we just saw not-long ago, is the current decreed Assembly regionally balanced? Are all regions politically represented in the national assembly proportionally to their population?

To ascertain whether or not there is tribocratic representation in the newly decreed national assembly, we must analyze the list itself in terms of the names and the regions they originate from. Based on the Presidential Decree No.10/2011 for the Transformation and Reconstitution of the National Legislative Assembly of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011, there are about 92 members from Greater Upper Nile region, approximately 88 members from Greater Bahr el Ghazal region and close to 86 members from Greater Equatoria region (with generous allowance, of course, for a possible statistical error due to my own human error in arithmetic.) This calculation does not include the new 66 presidential appointees or the 50 South Sudanese members of the Council of States from Khartoum. The states of origin for the last two groups are not provided in the list of the presidential decree. Hence it is a daunting task to classify them regionally.

In percentage proportionality, these figures, miraculously or by design, translate into about 35% for Greater Upper Nile region, 33% for Greater Bahr el Ghazal region, and 32% for Greater Equatoria region. Correspondingly, in term of population size, Greater Upper Nile region lead with 35%, follow by Greater Bahr el Ghazal region with 33% and then lastly Greater Equatoria region with 32% of the total population. Therefore, it is fairly accurate to inferentially conclude that there is fair and equitable representation of seats base on the proportional strength of each Greater region according to their respective population. And since this article is about tribocracry on regional level only, I will not delve into the state level here, at least for now.

The People Cabinet

By sheer coincidence or by meticulous regional balancing act by the president, we have seen that the recently decreed SSLA/NLA somehow met and satisfied the principle of tribocratic system; at least for those figures we have analyzed. There is a discernable political equality in the sharing of the political seats in the South Sudan Legislative Assembly across the three regions, namely, Greater Upper Nile, Greater Bahr el Ghazal and the Greater Equatoria region. Therefore, as far as the post-independence SSLA is concerned, tribocracy has been effected and no region would begrudge the president on the ground of political discrimination.

If we apply the same tribocratic principle on the formation of the pending cabinet, how would it look like? Which ministries would go to which region and why? In the determination of how many and which ministries would be given to which region, we must, in addition to tribocratic model, acknowledge that not all ministries carry equal weights. This is because some ministries, Finance or defence for instance, are more valuable and highly-sought after than, say ministry of gender or forestry.

Thus, two factors that would guide us in the allocation of ministries to the three regions are the weights attached to each of the ministries under consideration and the proportional share of each region in the national government based on its population. Consequently, the next cabinet, if it were to be appointed on the basis of tribocracy, would have 35% of the seats going to the Greater Upper Nile region of Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile States. The four states of Greater Bahr el Ghazal region—Warrap, Lakes, Western Bahr el Ghazal and Northern Bahr el Ghazal—would take 33% share of the cabinet seats while Greater Equatoria—comprising of Central, Western and Eastern Equatoria states—would bag 32% share of the cabinet portfolios.

Considering that President Kiir has promised South Sudanese a lean and broad-based cabinet this time round, say 22-25 members instead of the current 32 members, how will it look like if it were predestined on and by the principle of tribocracy? Tribocratically appointed, the final numbers that would make up the new cabinet won’t matter as much as the fact that 35% of the seats should be allocate to Greater Upper Nile region, 33% to Greater Bahr el Ghazal region and 32% to Greater Equatoria region. Secondly, the most plum ministerial posts—Legal affairs, Defense, finance, presidency, vice presidency, Interior or internal affairs ministry, foreign affairs, Speaker post, (SPLM SG post) etc.—must all be share equally among the three Greater regions of the Republic of South Sudan.

So what is the final outcome of the deliberation? Below are the tribocratically proposed list of the new cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan according to the wills and wishes of the majority of its citizen:

The Tribocratic Proposed list of the New Cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan according to the wills and wishes of the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan

1. The Tentative Cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan

S/N

Ministry

Region

1

Office of the President

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

2

Office of the Vice President

Greater Upper Nile

3

The Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly

Greater Equatoria

4

SPLM Secretary General Office

Greater Upper Nile

5

Cabinet Affairs

Greater Equatoria

6

Ministry of Defense/SPLA and Veteran Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

7

Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development

Greater Upper Nile

8

Foreign Affairs/Regional Co-operation

Greater Equatoria

9

Interior/Internal Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

10

Labor and Public Services

Greater Upper Nile

11

Parliamentary Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

12

Finance and Economic Planning

Greater Equatoria

13

Road and Transport

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

14

Agriculture and Forestry

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

15

Animal Resource and Fisheries

Greater Upper Nile

16

Co-operative and Rural Development

Greater Upper Nile

17

Energy and Mining/Oil

Greater Upper Nile

18

Commerce and Industry

Greater Upper Nile

19

Wildlife Conservation and Tourism

Greater Upper Nile

20

Irrigation and Water Resources

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

21

Housing and Physical Planning

Greater Equatoria

22

Education

Greater Equatoria

23

Health

Greater Equatoria

24

Information

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

25

Communication and Postal Services

Greater Upper Nile

26

Gender, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs

Greater Equatoria

27

Culture and Heritage

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

28

Investment

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

29

Human Resource and Development

Greater Equatoria

30

Environment

Greater Equatoria

31

Higher Education, Science and Technology

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

32

Youth, Sport and Recreation

Greater Upper Nile

33

Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management

Greater Equatoria

34

Peace and CPA Implementation Affairs

Greater Upper Nile

How the People Cabinet was Arrived at.

I have been patient enough waiting for President Kiir to make public his new cabinet line-up before I could propose mine. But since he is dragging his feet and taking too long to make known the new composition of the cabinet, I have taken the liberty, gone ahead and proposed mine, guided by the spirit of tribocracy at the regional level. Above, as it is below here too, is my proposed shape and form of the cabinet that president Kiir would unveil soon in Juba, maybe this week. For the sake of convenience and familiarity, I have stuck to the original 34 membership as the total number of cabinet portfolios which would, of course, be revised when the exact number is revealed.

I have, as you have surely recognized, included some relevant positions which are not really part of the cabinet portfolio but are still nevertheless relevant in the balancing act of all important political positions in the country. This is so as to give a clear picture of why and how which region got what ministry and not the other one and vice-versa.

Given that we are basing our arithmetic on the proposed 34 positions to be shared out among the three Greater regions each according to its share of the country total population, we are going to end up with the following outcomes: Greater Upper Nile, the most populous region in the country, will scoop 12 ministries (35% x 34 = 11.9); Greater Bahr el Ghazal will get 11 ministries of the total 34 ministries (33% x 34 = 11.22) and Greater Equatoria region will secured itself about 11 ministries too (32% x 34 = 11.88).

As for which particular ministry should or must go to which region, all I can say is that that is the trickiest part as I found out the hard way when I assembled my small think tank of three people, each representing one of the three regions. The rule of the game was that four positions—presidency, vice presidency, speaker of the national legislative assembly and the SPLM SG post—are all predetermined and therefore should be left that way. The second rule was that Greater Equatoria region must be given the first two choices to pick any two ministries of their choice in order to compensate for the loss of the presidency and the vice presidency which are already legally assigned.

The third rule was that each region thereafter must pick one ministry when it turn comes and any ministry that has already been taken is non-negotiation; that is, it can’t be claimed by anyone else picking afterward for you can only choose from the pools of ministries that are still up for grabs on the table. The fourth rule was that some ministries that have more relevancies to particular regions must be assigned to those regions. Energy and mining, for example, should be given to Greater Upper Nile region since the oil is mined in Unity state or any ministry that deals with land issues such as the Housing and Physical Planning ministry should be allocated to Greater Equatoria region since land around Juba has been part of our national headache and would be better handle by someone from that area to assuage the fear of land grabbing.

And since Greater Bahr el Ghazal was assumed to have made the first choice in the presidency and the Greater Upper Nile in the vice presidency, it was the turn of the Greater Equatoria region to pick the first two ministries of their choices before the next chance would fall on Greater Bahr el Ghazal and so forth and so on till each region attain her mandatory quota of the cabinet positions as calculated above. But no sooner did we start the process than it abruptly ground into a halt, just a few minutes after we commenced the deliberation. Though each of the representatives was given an opportunity to make his best choice given what was on the table, it seem each and every representative was never satisfied with one chance at a time.

For example, a representative from Greater Upper Nile or Greater Equatoria would pick, say, ministry X, while at the same time demanding that none of the next two guys should touch ministry Y and Z because, he assumed, those ministries should belong to them too, in total disregard to rule number three above. As the process got halfway, the representatives actually began threatening to walk out from the process itself claiming unfairness and political coercion if not given certain ministries which they had failed to pick when it was their turn and which are now already chosen.

As I found myself between the rock and the hard wall, I began to realize why President Salva Kiir is yet to announce his cabinet. I started appreciating the political dilemma he is up to in real life given how I got myself entangled into this mess by just mere hypothetically cabinet line-ups. In fact, my assembled think-tank broke up in disarray and I had to arbitrarily assigned some of the ministries that they could not agree on since they failed to arrive at a compromised formula over who should take which and why.

Though I pride myself on being a confirmed liberal democrat—of course one that is modified and Africanized into tribocracy—I could not help myself longing for some kind of special powers to tame and calm the rowdy team. Little wonder that authoritarianism is such a prized system of governance in the People Republic of China. It get things done at the quickest and the most efficient way available without inviting in the unnecessary debate which is done, sometimes, for the sake of itself, just to make oneself present known and to comfort oneself ego.

To recoup the main point and make things much more easier and in deeper perspective for you, below are the tribocratically proposed list of the new cabinet of the Republic of South Sudan with each ministry placed according to the region it is allocated to:

1. Greater Upper Nile Region

s/n

Ministries Allocated to the Greater Upper Nile Region

Region

1

Office of the Vice President

Greater Upper Nile Region

2

SPLM Secretary General Office

Greater Upper Nile Region

3

Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development

Greater Upper Nile Region

4

Energy and Mining/Oil

Greater Upper Nile Region

5

Animal Resource and Fisheries

Greater Upper Nile Region

6

Co-operative and Rural Development

Greater Upper Nile Region

7

Wildlife Conservation and Tourism

Greater Upper Nile Region

8

Labor and Public Services

Greater Upper Nile Region

9

Communication and Postal Services

Greater Upper Nile Region

10

Commerce and Industry

Greater Upper Nile Region

11

Youth, Sport and Recreation

Greater Upper Nile Region

12

Peace and CPA Implementation Affairs

Greater Upper Nile Region

2. Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region

s/n

Ministries Allocated to the Greater Bahr el Ghazal Region

Region

1

Office of the President

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

2

Ministry of Defense/SPLA Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

3

Interior/Internal Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

4

Information

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

5

Agriculture and Forestry

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

6

Parliamentary Affairs

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

7

Irrigation and Water Resources

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

8

Higher Education, Science and Technology

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

9

Road and Transport

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

10

Investment

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

11

Culture and Heritage

Greater Bahr el Ghazal

3. Greater Equatoria Region

s/n

Ministries Allocated to the Greater Equatoria Region

Region

1

The Speaker of the National Legislative Assembly

Greater Equatoria Region

2

Finance and Economic Planning

Greater Equatoria Region

3

Foreign Affairs/Regional Co-operation

Greater Equatoria Region

4

Human Resource and Development

Greater Equatoria Region

5

Cabinet Affairs

Greater Equatoria Region

6

Environment

Greater Equatoria Region

7

Education

Greater Equatoria Region

8

Housing and Physical Planning

Greater Equatoria Region

9

Health

Greater Equatoria Region

10

Gender, Social Welfare and Religious Affairs

Greater Equatoria Region

11

Humanitarian Affairs and Disaster Management

Greater Equatoria Region

As you can infer from the list, the fact that the cabinet could be a lean and broad-based one does not matter here because the ratio of political representation would still hold at all levels and in all numbers. For instance, should the President, who has already decreed a bicameral house of a humongous 382 members, decide to respect his words and unveil a cabinet of only 22 members as highly speculated, we can just readjust and recalculate that the three greater regions would each have the following portfolios: Greater Upper Nile 8 positions, Greater Bahr el Ghazal 7 positions, and Greater Equatoria 7 positions.

The issue of partisan inclusiveness and broad-basedness would get addressed at the regional level and is therefore not an issue at all. It is rather more of a political consideration than being a tribalistic or a political marginalization. After all, democracy has no room for political accommodation of the political losers. It is a winner-take-all scenario.

I am hesitant to name names for the ministries mentioned above because what matter is equality in political representation at the regional level, not who exactly is holding the office. If there were to be one ministry to be allocated to the Collo people, to take as an example, whether it is Hon. Pagan Amum or Dr. Lam Akol that take the office is not a problem to the Collo people so long as one of their own is in charge.

As we debate and digest the above proposed list of the forthcoming South Sudan Cabinet, let’s wait and see what Benydit Salva Kiir Mayaardit has in store for us, South Sudanese. Meanwhile, get content in the distraction the above list may present to you and your pre-conceived notion of whatever you want to see come that long awaited Cabinet.

You can reach PaanLuel Wël at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it (email address), PaanLuel Wel (Facebook page), PaanLuelWel2011 (Twitter account) or through his blog account at: http://paanluelwel2011.wordpress.com//

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