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Is South Sudan Television (SSTV) a Dinka Own or a National Own?

By Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

Jesus said to the multitude people who gathered around him" whose head in this coin? Caesar !!! shouted the crowds ' then give God what belong to God, and give Caesar what belong to Him' said the Messiah.

June 14, 2014 (SSNA) -- SSTV is a National Television whose role in the country is to aware the public on daily going in the country, delivering hopeful information,news and dedicating  important events to the beloved citizens of south Sudan.But the regime in Juba is using it as traditional horn to blows war songs to warriors, Juba government used the National TV to conduct private meeting, individuals programmed, which doesn't carried the mandate of TV. The cripple regime went far by sending Hate messages and mobilizing the youths to have a permanent hatred among themselves.

DINKA DOMINATED THE NATIONAL TV (SSTV)

It has come to my knowledge that our fellow dinka brothers are trying harder to impose colonization, humiliation, ignorance and segregation to the other smaller tribes in the country after pushing out Nuer in the country. It’s clear that as long as Salva kiir continues to sit on presidential seat the carnage won.t stop, the ethnic cleansing will not end and more blood will still be shed. SSTV face denial of it right as National Television which act as messenger to the people of the country.

Dinka community think they will lead this nation forever and that is why they are enchanting filthy words of tribal division everywhere, Dinka can't differentiate a national owned asset and President Salva kiir's properties which he himself owned.

'It’s rare in the whole world to fine a drunkard villager singing in his dialogue in the National Television for almost one hour and nothing, absolutely is done about it.' This shows a high percentage promotion of tribalism in the country and its Dinka tribe doing that.

Where on earth, will you find the President and his cabinets ministers delivering speeches to the masses in their own mother tongue? it only south Sudan and its only Dinka doing that.

South Sudan is country bless with multi-million people with different tribes, 64 tribes with different languages.

For your information, Dinka language was not chosen to be the National language and you should not used it in National TV.

The random used of Nation TV by one ethnicity is embarrassing both internally and internationally, if its the state government in Bhar el Ghazal, Bor, Renk and Abyei? that didn't aware its people that SSTV belong to the government then today you should take it as a warning to do so.

The other tribes in south Sudan and the international community view south Sudan national television as a traditional horn and whistle to blows war song to the warriors.

SSTV CONTRIBUTED IN FUELING THE CURRENT TURMOIL IN STATE.

The national TV have contributed much in the current crisis in the country by the wrong use of its staff .Col. Philph Aguer ,Brig.Gen. Malaak Ayuen, Hon.Micheal Makuei Lueth have carried alots of damages to the image of National Television and they should not continue preaching hate messages and fabricating lies to the public. The whole world, Africa and south Sudan in particular is tied of your evils in formations.

In conclusion this message is representing the voices of south Sudanese who are tied and bored by the Dinka language which is randomntly used in the national TV shows, ceremonies, party public turn up and events.

I wish Kiir’s government will come back to its own senses and realized that SSTV is a National Television and not Dinka own television.

Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is the Secretary for Information of Uror youths.

Federalism sufficiently not confederacy

By Deng Turuk Liem

June 12, 2014 (SSNA) -- There are handful promulgating arguments against and for a proposed federal system as impressive tool for restructuring South Sudan, amongst South Sudanese citizens. Many people especially from greater Bhar El Gazal, as matter of facts, have even gone far in demonstrating their grievances against federalism by asking what seems to be serious question to them, as if the federalism is going to be fully implemented, will the remains of our martyrs who died all over South Sudan during liberation struggle be collected and delivered back to where they were belonged?

On other hand, greater Bhar El Gazal youth’s forum convened in Warrap State on the 3rd of June 2014 and published by Gurtong site, decried its intention against federal system coined lack of developments, insecurity and tribalism as fundamental reasons behind their decision. Their resolution, however, eloquently demonstrated that forming federal state at the backdrop of tribal conflicts, where tension between states and tribes is still at high level and the insecurity where arms rebellion becomes a habit is not a great idea to begin with as it will promote tribalism and all ills come with it. This forum unknowingly or knowingly instead was, therefore, declared its supports for devolution governance system as good system to start with and that it will pave a way for us to a peaceful federal system in our maturity time.

Devolution is defined as an act or a process by which a central government gives or delegates power, property, etc. to local groups or governments. It sounds great, but if they took a look at it very closely with insight and tremendous senses of understandings, they would understand that, it is what we have in hands currently. As per my understanding, it is a status quo. It is not a new political solution to use for diagnosing current political predicaments. It is, notwithstanding, a failed old political instrument that cannot be reused any longer in diagnosing our current deteriorated political situation.

In our current system of government, albeit, everything that we do in our states, counties, payoms and bomas, is what our central government in Juba delegates or mandates us to do. All revenues throughout the country, include the two percent of oil shares allocate to oil producing states, are collectively taken to Juba first and later reallocated back to states, counties, payoms and bomas by central government with specific mandates attached to for states and local governments to execute. This system did not work and will never work or give us any easy path to nation-building. If this is the case, we all must be hungry with devolution system of government and reject it big time because it is what had failed us and dauntingly promoted tribalism, nepotism, corruption and unintermitted arm conflicts.

My simple response to the opponents of federalism who call it a quit is that, Sirs, federalism sufficiently not confederacy. It is not a divided independence nations with different national constitutions as you are allegedly put it. In this case, you might, however, confuse it (federalism) with confederalism where different countries from region form confederal government merely to defense the interests of that particular region. In confederacy, each country has it owns national constitution, army, currency, judicial, and etc. The relevant examples of confederal governments available on top of my mind are AU, EU, IGAD and Arab League among others.

In contrast, unlike devolution, federalism renders full constitutional rights, but not delegations of powers to state or local governments, as in case of devolution. It is, however, a system that constitutionally enhances full decentralization of a democratic government where state governments have an independent constitution and mutual responsibility to make it owns decisions, renders services to its own designated population, and creates development programs in its own realms without any interference from federal government. The national government has stakes only on those programs which it provides funding for. In liberal federalism states such as the United States of others, each state has rights to repudiate any national government programs which carry heavily mandates and restrictions.

It is a system where a national security businesses such as national defense, foreign affairs, interior, federal judicial, include Supreme Court and other important national installations which states cannot handle to manage, are run by and/or permanently remain in hand of national government, that means one country with fully decentralized government system. For your vivid information, the army of Federal Republic of South Sudan will not be separated, hence, they will live, deploy and fight together under one commander-in-chief in any conflict that needs their participations as brothers and sisters in one national army. But, not as private recruited Doot Koch Beny militias who created havoc in Capital Juba in name of fabricated coup d’état and terrorized population based on tribal grounds.For these reasons, we do not have any validated reason deems fit to collect the remains of our martyrs and delivered them back to where they were belonged since we will remain having one national government with one national army.

I personally believe that, federalism is what will earnestly spare us and our diversity as nation. Without it coherently implementations, the army conflicts will never cease in South Sudan as the power struggles over centralized national resources will never halt. It is a system that will indiscriminately obligate all South Sudanese citizens staying and participating in developing of their home states, counties, payoms and bomas, rather than to run away from home and reside in Capital Juba without a portfolio simply because Juba designated a place where national resources are strictly held.

The majority of those innocent Nuer who lost their lives in Capital Juba in the aftermath of December 15, 2013 event, were jobless who had nothing to do in their home states to rely on for living. Then, they went to Juba looking for jobs because Juba was only a designated place for them to go and got employments, be it a production or profession.

James Wani Igga, the current vice president of Republic of South Sudan, on the other hand, unpleasantly urged Equatoria people in their consultative forum convened in Juba last week not to support a proposed federalism idea by rebels, even though he has been constantly an utmost supporter of this great idea, simply because it is a stolen thing from them, the Equatoria people by Dr. Riek Machar. He was even gone in depth by mentioning that, it was stolen from us here in Nyakuron Cultural Center by Dr. Riek Machar. He (James Wani) referred to Equatoria conference that took place back in 2011 shortly after South Sudan became independence sovereignty state and it was event where they came up with federalism idea as it should be utmost system to governing South Sudan. James Wani Igga joined by his boss Salva Kiir Mayardit by elaborating that, federalism idea is not Dr. Riek Machar proposal. It is a proposal that South Sudanese had demanded since Juba convention and went on.

Based on my personal understanding, and I share it too with other commentators is that, the arguments could not be about who proposed it at the onset, but it could be about, if it is a good proposal to be implemented. If this is the case, the second argument should be about which of two or more form of federal systems is best for us?The two important form of federal systems are parliamentarian and presidential.

1. Parliamentarian federal system: It is a system that is run by prime minister as a leader of parliament and when citizens go for elections they are elected parliament along with chosen candidates by parties for prime minister Position. Whichever party wins supermajority of vote in parliament possesses Prime Minister Position and that party must be deemed a ruling party for that particular term of that government. If no party wins supermajority, therefore, the unity government should be formed through bilateral agreements until next elections cycle surfaced, and that the party with small margin victory takes the Prime Minster position and the ministries department heads could be appointed subsequently, according to how many seats each party possesses in parliament.

In the absence of Kingdom (King or Queen), the parliament shall appoint president who mandates is to step in to dissolve parliament should it needs or deems fit through certain conditions and criteria inscribed in national federal permanent constitution to follow in case of national political crisis or failure to governance the country like what had happened to General Salva Kiir government, meanwhile the judicial remains attaining its own independence to interpret laws in need of justices or given checks and balances. 

2. Presidential federal system: It is a system where citizens are directly elected president and parliament. The president afterward is mandated to appoint judicial branch of government officials or judges, and totally he or she has no any capacity or power to intervene with parliament business as an independence elected representatives of the people rather than to engage collectively with them in national discourses. In this system, all branches of government attain their own independence to give checks and balances to each others.

In this system, like parliamentarian system, each designated state attains their independence with their state constitutions, wholly or partially, not interfering with national constitution. Should there is any allegedly interferences with federal law, the federal judge would intervene with scrutiny and declared such a violation of federal law unconstitutional. It is system that all citizens will pay federal as well as state government taxations. In case of South Sudan, where resources may be held by state governments, therefore, each state can contribute equal shares to federal government.

Lastly, Mr. Wani Igga and them (Federal system opponents or critics) would have known that any proposal always hails from one smart person in society and that it may be pushing for implementation by others with utmost convictions and dedications, if it needs be. Claiming that, it was not originally Dr. Riek Machar’s proposal; therefore, we must not support it until the dead come back to live, is unsubstantiated arguments. Hence, it lacks elucidative. It will not take us anywhere as people and the nation. It has never been the case in the whole world because of that, Mr. Salva Kiir and Wani Igga should mind their own businesses and leave South Sudanese alone in this quest for federal system. We are for federalism and we will never back down from its quest until we achieve it.

Mr. Wani Igga must understand that Equatora will not do it alone without the participation of Upper Nile. Given invigorate supports to Salva Kiir and Bhar El Gazalians elites to implement their dauntingly marginalization programs at the expense of South Sudanese attributed to the killings of Nuer innocent civilians, is unwise and disproportionate.

Mr. Salva Kiir, you had unpleasantly mentioned that, you could not force it (federalism) on us, the people of South Sudan, but people would decide it themselves. Absolutely Mr. Salva Kiir, we, the people have never attempted to force you to do it for us through your unwanted presidential decrees as you allegedly put it. We are tired of being ruled by excessive presidential decrees. You have excess the edges of executive orders. However, we, the people of South Sudan are the ones who demanded it (federalism) ourselves and we will implement it ourselves. We do not need you to do it for us. I think I make  it abundantly clear to you Mr. Salva Kiir and that you clearly understand it now better than before.

Most importantly, I therefore not recognize you as either my or South Sudan president because you had lost the legitimacy to be president after you systematically massacred my people on tribal grounds for political reasons. And those in fact were your national constituencies who were elected you in 2010 elections before you untimely sent them to their new homes in heaven in 2013.

The author is South Sudanese living in the United Stated. He can be reached at email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let us serialize it

By Sindani Sebit

Part 1

Introduction

June 12, 2014 (SSNA) -- Since the events of 15-16 December 2013 in Juba and subsequent outbreak of fighting in South Sudan, South Sudanese have been grappling with whether these sad events could be the blessing in disguise for envisioning the future of South Sudan in which all people live in peace and harmony, enjoying the fruits of a prosperous nation. The gruesome killings in Juba and the fierce fighting that has claimed thousands of lives, has alarmed the world and particularly IGAD and Troika countries that had worked tirelessly to bring about the independence of South Sudan from Sudan in 2011. Now there are staggering peace talks going on in Addis Ababa aimed at peacefully resolving the needless conflict in South Sudan. While the negotiators are fixed on cobbling an interim government, which could bring both sides of the conflict to share power, the opposition has proposed to first discuss the fundamental root causes of the problem in South Sudan and agree on how to deal with them and also agree on the future governance system for the country.

The governance system that has been proposed by the opposition is a federal system as opposed to the current perverse quasi-decentralized system in Juba. Although the call for federalism in South Sudan is being opposed by Kiir and his immediate supporters, the call is rapidly gaining support from many sectors of South Sudanese society including the governments of Central and Western Equatoria and people of Greater Upper Nile. Most South Sudanese in the Diaspora have already lined up behind the call for federalism in South Sudan.

As the call for federalism in South Sudan is becoming louder, wider and irresistible, there is urgent need to bring South Sudanese with speed to quickly and completely understand the federal system that is being advocated for. While Some South Sudanese have confused the current so-called decentralization system in South Sudan to Federalism, it must be stated on the onset that this comparison is either an attempt to lure South Sudanese to believing wrongly that they have a federal system or lack of understanding what really a federal system entails. This is simply because the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan has not only failed to name the system as federal system but actually concentrated the governance, economic and security function in the centre with the ten states being relegated to be subservient to the central government. At the central level, the central institutions such as the Parliament, Judiciary and security apparatus are subjugated under the presidency, making the president the sole dictator in the country. South Sudanese are all aware of the countless decrees issued by the president, including those used to dismiss elected governors and other constitutional post holders. This is not federalism but centralized system in disguise. In addition, while the states are supposed to be service delivery organs that should bring power and resources nearer or closer to the people, the central government continues to retain 80% of the resources for the lavish life styles of an emerging elite or embezzled by individuals, creating a small clique of “haves”, in Juba while majority of the people of South Sudan wallow in abject poverty. This is not the federalism that South Sudan needs. The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan has created a dictatorial monster who is wielding his constitutional powers to disregard the bill of rights in the constitution; thus committing grave human rights atrocities at will. These powers have made South Sudanese judiciary impotent, the parliament marooned and civil society powerless. The president has overstepped the constitution and went ahead to create his own parallel military force and security apparatus that has terrorized the citizenry in the country at will.

Therefore, the proposed federal system that is being advocated for by the majority of South Sudanese is the intended real federal system of governance that is implemented in many of the federated countries such as UK, USA, Canada, Germany, India, South Africa, etc. In this vein, the objective of serialization of the proposed federal system in South Sudan is to create awareness among South Sudanese and educate them on the basic principles of federalism and the implementation strategies so that South Sudanese can deliberate on the system on the same page and clearly understand whether such as system can solve the chronic problems which have bedeviled South Sudan. The fear of “doubting Thomas” and those who fear change must be allayed so that they can embrace this change without reservation.

South Sudan is a diverse country that is multi-ethnic, multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-religious. The country has varied geographical conditions and awash with various natural and human resources spread all over the states. The political landscape is darted with various beliefs and conceptions. Therefore, such a country needs a system that can recognize and accommodate all these level of diversities with the aim of uniting the people, while harnessing these diversities for their effective self governance and rapid development. The current system in South Sudan has completely failed to respond to the diversity in South Sudan; instead it tried to subjugate the people into a system dictated by the powers that be. This is what was and still continues to happen in Sudan. The deliberate refusal by the then ‘united’ Sudan to demands of South Sudanese for federalism in the 1947 Juba Conference, in 1955 Torit Conference and in the 1965 Khartoum Conference, created all the wars in Sudan that led to the disintegration of Sudan. There is also possibility that the remaining Sudan may further disintegrate if the government in Khartoum continues with its militaristic attitude against the rebels in Sudan.

Realizing the fact that centralization is not the answer to political and socioeconomic problems in diverse societies such as South Sudan, and indeed has created conducive atmosphere for a failed South Sudan state, a system that recognizes diversity as strength, while utilizing the values of diversity for national cohesion and socio-economic development, is crucial. As a result, the current disagreements in South Sudan serve as the best catalyst for South Sudanese to look back and admit that they should start now from different perspective, by accepting their unique differences and perceptions for building a strong future South Sudan. No governance system can do this other than federalism.

Therefore, this document intends to outline the following in regards to federal system proposed for South Sudan. The proposals illustrated here may not be exhaustive because, the authors do not claim to have the monopoly of all facts and strategies about federalism; after all, the system proposed must be adaptable, adopted to South Sudan context and attempts to solve all or nearly all the pricking problems in the country to the satisfaction of the majority of its people. The main points to look at here are:

1. Definition of Federalism

2. Advantages of a federal system

3. Federal Government

Declaration of the country

Form of governance including the sovereignty of the country

Functions of the Federal Government

Federal Legislature, including its independence

Federal Executive, including the Attorney General’s Office

Judiciary, including the Federal and State Courts

Federal Law Enforcement Agencies. These include Federal Intelligence Service, Immigration and Custom Services (or Revenue Authority), drug enforcement and illegal trafficking services and special security service

4. Federal states

Objectives, principles

Governing structures

Powers and functions of the state

5. Commissions and independent offices

A) Commissions

Federal Human Right and Equality  Commission

Independent Elections/Electoral Commission

Public Service Commission

Parliamentary Service Commission

Judiciary Service Commission

Revenue allocation and distribution commission

Salary review and allocation commission

B) Independent offices

Auditor General’s office

Controller of accounts office

The reform of the army will be tackle separately while the police, wildlife and other security agents will be mentioned in the roles assigned to the states. Therefore, this introduction will limit itself to the definition of federalism and its potential advantage to South Sudan.

Definition of Federalism

From the Concise Encyclopedia, federalism is defined as, “political system that binds a group of states into a larger, non-centralized, superior state while allowing them to maintain their own political identities.” Does South Sudan have states to fit in this definition? Indeed South Sudan has states. A state is defined as “a territory considered as an organized political community under one government”. Since 1955 South Sudan has always been organized into Upper Nile, Bahr el Ghazel and Equatoria. These three territories are now further divided and reorganized into 10 states. These ten states or more can be bound into a larger, non-centralized superior state, while allowing them to maintain their political identities. The essence of the states maintaining their political identity is crucial in the case of South Sudan, so that they can be able to forge their developmental agenda according to their priorities and resources available to each. Secondly, the ten states in South Sudan currently have their own political beliefs and perceptions that can be nurtured and propagated within the boundaries of the state, while the Federal Government concentrates on crucial matters that face the larger union.

However, successful federal systems must have common characteristics and principles. These include constitution or the basic law stipulating the distribution of powers; diffusion of power among the constituent elements, which should be substantially self-sustaining; and territorial divisions to ensure neutrality and equality in the representation of various groups and interests. Successful federal systems should also have a sense of common nationality and direct lines of communication between the citizens and all governments that serve them. As it stands now, South Sudan has no common characteristics and principles. What exists now in South Sudan is degraded into Dinka, Nuer and the common “tribe” in Equatoria called Equatorians. These are tribal characteristics that are not bound by common principles, but by tribal interests to rule and plunder the resources of the country. Lack of common principles has precipitated corruption, land grabbing, and lack of respect for individual property, as some of these actions are not considered as crimes by some of the communities in South Sudan.

Constitution that devolves powers to the people empowers the people and enables them to share in the governance of the country. This brings sense of belonging and ownership, equal participation and satisfaction. These contribute to the building and development of the country. In addition, the states must be empowered to raise their own financial resources from the resources in the states. This makes them independent and self sustaining. On the other hand, the federal government should also ensure that more resources go to the states instead of the current practice where the central government retains 80% of the resources making the states non-viable in terms of service delivery.

A successful nation should always instill to its citizens a sense of common nationality based on equality but not on perceived principles that other communities are more national than others or based on contribution to liberation as has been in the practice in South Sudan that some people arrogate themselves as liberators while others are liberated. Communication among citizens cannot be effective unless the government is taken close to them in form of devolved government. This is important because it accelerates rapid development and advancement. This will also ensure that any change made or proposed has been accepted or sanctioned by the people. These are, therefore, the ills that federal system has to address so that the independent states agree to federate with common principles and sense of common nationality.

Advantage federalism to the people of South Sudan

The federalism will contribute positively to the following:

1. Recognizes all the national diversities while it strives for strengthening national unity based on common principles and equality

2. Devolves powers to the people thus making them to participate and share in the planning and development of states. This creates a sense of common understanding, equal participation and ownership and makes the citizens responsible to their own affairs. The dispersal of power to the states and communities is generally a protection against tyranny. This leads to large extent thriving of pluralism.

3. Helps to manage conflicts by permitting states and communities to pursue their own policies. This reduces the pressure that would have built up in the center like currently happening in South Sudan

4. Improves efficiency as governing of the nation from the center creates inefficiency and ineffectiveness  

5. Enables citizens to decide on how they can be governed by ensuring that the citizens always have to sanction or be consulted on the decisions being taken by their leaders. This also removes from the leaders the dictatorial tendencies that they may have, as the people have the rights to remove or reprimand them

6. Enables states to become independent and self-sustaining. They will determine and plan their development agenda according to their objectives, priorities and available resources

7. Ensure that federal resources are effectively shared between the federal government and states according to the functions of the two levels of government, as stipulated in the constitution with 80% of the resources going to the states. This principle of resource sharing is intended to spur quick development of the states

8. End the culture of categorization or profiling citizens according to tribe or contribution in the society

9. By making the states self sustaining and ensuring that more resources are channeled to the state, creates conducive atmosphere for equal development instead of wasting resources in the federal capital

10. Enables states not only to control their resources but also to use them for betterment or development of the state

11. Ensure that the relationship between the citizenry is mutual based on equality and respect for one another

12. By empowering the states to have their own security enforcement agencies and courts up to court of appeal will ensure that justice to be carried out in an atmosphere of complete understanding of cultural diversities and institution of justice and not favouritism, or merely on tribal inclination as the case is now in many parts of South Sudan. This will create understanding and harmony among the citizens and law enforcement agencies and the Judiciary

13. By ensuring equal development in states, it will reduce internal migration, dispute over land grabbing, internal displacement and overconcentration in few urban or rural areas that have services

Disadvantages of federalism

As system federalism has its own drawback, though these may however not outweigh the significance and numerous benefits the system renders to the people. Some of the challenges associated with federalism include:

1. It may allow special interest groups to protect their privileges. Some states may use state rights and laws to avoid federal regulations that guarantee civil rights such as free movement and settlement of people in the country. However, in such situations the federal law should supersede the state laws.

2. It may frustrate national policy because of differences in priority setting. However, this has been taken care of by the revenue allocation commission which ensures that resources are effectively distributed and utilized according to the overall priority in the country

3. It increases the cost of governance generally and can also cause uneven distribution of these costs. Some states may spend more than twice as much per capita as other states on certain priorities. This can also be dealt with by the salary review commission which ensures that the cost of government is within the overall income of the country.

4. It creates disadvantages in the poorer states and communities. However, the task of Revenue Allocation Commission is to ensure that this should not happened by ensuring that national resources are distributed according population and level of development between the states and within the states.

In conclusion, South Sudan has never had the chance except now to look back and overhaul its autocratic constitution so as to introduce governance system that will not only accelerate development, but that will create united democratic South Sudan based on mutual agreement, citizen participation, state resource control and self-sustenance and respect for one another and for national resources and private property. Part 2 of this series will focus on the proposed federal structures that include the Legislature, Executive and Federal Judiciary. Keep reading and also send in your suggestions. All are welcome but please we need positive criticisms not reactions arising from frustrations.

The author can be reached at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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