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South Sudan’s Parliament on the Verge of Collapse After the Discovery of a Government’s Conspiracy to Remove Committee Chairs

Juba, June 25, 2014 (SSNA) -- After weeks of internal wrangling, the speaker of South Sudan’s National Legislative Assembly (SSNLA), Manasseh Magok Rundial, has secretly replaced heads of parliamentary committee without following parliamentary procedure. The new chairs are widely speculated to be staunch supporters of president Salva kiir Mayardiit.

The move surprises most of the MPs with leading members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) and opposition party threatening to boycott all parliamentary legislative sessions, unless the speaker reverses his decision.

A secret document obtained by the South Sudan News Agency (SSNA) explains reasons as to why the speaker chooses to act without following parliamentary procedure. The document signed by the government's Legal Affairs Advisor, Telar Ring Deng, further reveals political tactics, maneuverings, and conspiracy to counter the growing nationwide call for federalism to be established in hope to end the ongoing political crisis in the country.

“Mr. Speaker, we have no time to waste. You must remove any head of any committee who acts against the government interests. Any member of Parliament who talks about the so-called FEDERALISM must go”, Telar Ring Deng, the Legal Affairs Advisor in the office of president said in the document.

“Some MPs are not helpful in this senseless war. We don’t want those [MPs who are not openly supporting the government]. There is no give and take with supporters of rebels”, Deng warned.

Telar Ring Deng has a story of stony relationship with the young nation’s MPs. In August of 2013, his bit to become the country’s Justice Minister was trashed, with most MPS calling his legal record “bogus and tainted”.

Deng’s contentious comment, linking unnamed MPs to the ongoing rebellion did not surprise MPs who are furious about action taken by the speaker, Rundial.

Three influential members of Parliament who spoke to the SSNA on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal confirmed the change and declared that the main reason the speaker removed the committee chairs is because the government doesn’t want people who publicly express their support for a federal system of government.

“Here in Juba, people simply don’t talk about federalism, especially if an individual wants to see a fully-established federal government in the country”, One of the MPs who talked to the SSNA acknowledged.

“We will not allow these illegal appointments to stand. Parliament is different from an Executive office; these threats from a government’s legal affairs advisor are the very same reasons we went to bush and fought against Khartoum’s regime", he declared.

Meanwhile, the main opposition party, the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement for Democratic Change (SPLM-DC) rejected the procedure, calling it “inequitable and nonsense”.

President Kiir has on many occasions indicated that he will not tolerate anyone who criticizes his government. In 2013, he asked anyone who publicly criticizes his government to leave, asserting that a person cannot criticize the government and expect to be a part of government at the same time.

On July 23, 2013, Kiir dissolved his entire cabinet and reduced the number of national ministers, claiming he wants a lean government.

Fighting erupted in Juba late last year between different units of presidential guards after months of political crisis among senior leaders of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party.

The Greater Equatoria Youth Leadership’s Statement on Resignation of Defense Minister

Date: 23/062014

June 23, 2014 (SSNA) -- The Greater Equatoria Youth Leadership in support of Opposition, whole heartedly would like to promptly state here that, the decision of Defense Minister Kuol Mayange Juuk to resign from the bloody thirsty and dictatorial regime is wise and appropriate.

GEYL considers you, and will never forget the bold leadership example you have taken toward sustainable peace, and development for the people of South Sudan, because it’s totally inhuman to kill and deprive your own citizens whom you have liberated them from the yoke slavery, and now their dignity are reduced to nothing at the expense of power greed, and personal interests.

Mr. Juuk, you deserve our endless respect, congratulations and future supports as Greater Equatoria Youth Leadership, who are following every inch of President Kiir’s self imposing agenda to suppress, kill and loot resources of the state.

In that view we immediately also called upon our entire members of National Legislative Assembly from Greater Equatoria Region, and other regions who have people of South Sudan at their hearts, equally to resign unconditionally from their positions from National Legislative Assembly, and go back to their respective constituencies if they still need our supports, both materially and in kind, in the future.

We consider that if the MPs of National Legislative Assembly move to resign, it will have an important factor and effect to speedy peace process, and weaken the unwanted regime to continue. The GEYL will be encouraged by our MPs who really have nationalism charisma, and the country before their own interest.

It’s must be a well noted for all our intellectuals, politicians and citizens, that President Kiir in the last two weeks, has started his own exist strategy whether peacefully or destructively by ordering his militia men, to start transportation of all his pigs, and cows including other valuable belonging from Western part of Juba at Luri to Northern Bahr El Ghazal State, his home area.

The GEYL are also closely noting, the Kiir reshuffling agenda, and policies of create disunity and in disintegration among the people of South Sudan from what best desired the majority of our citizens to bring a lasting peace and stability on country. The GEYL advices all the youth from different states should waste no time to ensure that they join hand to put an end to a regime that does not safeguard the interest of the citizens of South Sudan.

Signed: The Greater Equatoria Youth Leadership

Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan’s Letter to Special Envoys to South Sudan

PRESS RELEASE
Date: 18th June 2014

Addis Ababa, June 18, 2014 (SSNA) -- We the Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan (CECSOSS) are extremely disappointed with the delay of the critical phase of this round of peace talks, that should lead to an end to the senseless suffering and deaths of innocent civilians, and provide space to address the eminent famine. We particularly deplore the very issue which contributed to this unfortunate situation, the lack of transparency, that has marred the initially good gesture by IGAD of including all stakeholders.

The Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan (CECSOSS) represents forty two (42) South Sudanese organisations registered in South Sudan, but currently operating outside Juba due to the crisis that started on December 15, 2013. It is worth mentioning that individual groups within this consortium have been separately engaging with the IGAD Special Envoys on the peace process, since the beginning of the crisis.

It is worth noting that the consortium has not been represented among the civil society peace delegates from Juba, despite efforts to directly get in touch with IGAD on the issue, as per our letter to Amb. Mesfin Seyoum dated June 6, 2014. Neither have we received any response from his office to date, and as a result, the consortium representatives missed the symposium. 

In the effort to participate in this key point of the process, the round table peace talks that was scheduled for June 12, we the selected representatives of the consortium made our way to Addis on June 10 and requested a meeting with the IGAD Special Envoys on participation in the round talks, but are yet to secure an audience with them.

We are greatly concerned that the civil society representatives from Juba do not sufficiently include the representation of vulnerable groups directly affected by the conflict (refugees, internally displaced persons and the persons with special needs). It is therefore unfortunate that the very population directly affected by this conflict are not represented in the selected CS delegates.

We therefore call for:

1. A transparent process of re-selection of civil society delegates to the round table peace talks to be undertaken immediately, and should include those representing the communities directly affected by the conflict. As most of these groups are already here in Addis, this should not take more than a couple of hours.

2. An immediate resumption of the talks, and in this regard we strongly feel that the current mediators are challenged. Hence we strongly believe including a female member to the three-man team of IGAD Special Envoys is necessary, and will change the staled dynamics of the talks here in Addis. We recommend African women who have successful experiences in similar peace processes, to join the peace talks with immediate effect.

Signed,

Consortium of External Civil Society Organisations of South Sudan

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