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Proposed Federal system for future South Sudan: Let us serialize it (part 6)

Part 6: Bill of Rights in Federal South Sudan: First part

By Sindani Sebit


July 29, 2014 (SSNA) -- Part 6 of this series focuses on part of the Bill of Rights in a proposed Federal system in South Sudan. This includes right to life, equality and freedom from discrimination, human dignity, right to have a family, language and culture, freedom of movement and residence, right to privacy, protection right and property, freedom and security of the person, slavery, servitude and forced labour, labour relations, right to clean environment, economic, social and consumer rights, right to fair administrative action and freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion.

The Bill of Rights is deemed as the fundamental framework for social, economic and cultural policies and thus forms an integral part of federal democratic South Sudan. This is because human rights and fundamental freedoms of the people must not only be recognized but also protected by enshrining these principles into the federal and state constitutions. The aim is to preserve the dignity of individuals and communities in addition to promoting social justice and the realization of the potential of all human beings.

Therefore, these rights and fundamental freedoms belong to each individual and are not granted by the federal or state governments. They do not exclude other rights and fundamental freedoms that may not be in the Bill of Rights but are recognized or conferred by law or traditions. However, some of these rights and fundamental freedoms may be subject to limitations when they are inconsistent with state laws enacted in accordance with the principle of separation of powers between the federal and state powers. The purpose here is to prevent anybody trying to violate state laws by evoking the federal laws to override state laws. Pursuant to this, the states shall always enact laws that strive to protect human rights and fundamental freedoms consistent with the federal laws.

Any bill of Rights enacted by the federal constitution shall apply to all laws and binds all federal organs and all persons. This means every person is entitled to enjoy the rights and fundamental freedoms as enshrined in the bill of rights. As result the courts whether at federal or states levels should apply the provisions in the bill of rights in way that should not infringe the right or fundamental freedoms on individuals or the communities in South Sudan. The courts must interpret laws in ways that most favour the enforcement of a right or fundamental freedoms. The interpretation of the bill of rights shall aim at promoting the values that underlie an open and democratic society based on human dignity, equality, equity and freedom.

In order for the federal and state authorities guarantee these rights and fundamental freedoms in the country, these institutions shall avail resources aimed at prioritizing the rights and fundamental freedoms. This is to ensure widest possible enjoyment of the right or fundamental freedoms by all, including the vulnerable groups in the country. On the other hand, the courts or tribunal or other authority shall be deemed to not interfere with a decision by a federal or State organ concerning the allocation of available resources for protection of the rights and fundamental freedoms, solely on the basis that these resources will not meet the objectives for which they are intended.

Having outlined the principles of the proposed bill of right, it is important to look in details the rights and fundamental freedoms that shall be enshrined in the bill of right of South Sudan federal constitution. These should include the following:

1. Right to life
2. Equality and freedom from discrimination
3. Human dignity
4. Right to have a family
5. Language and culture
6. Freedom of movement and residence
7. Right to privacy
8. Protection right and property
9. Freedom and security of the person
10. Slavery, servitude and forced labour
11. Labour relations
12. Right to clean environment
13. Economic, social and consumer rights
14. Right to fair administrative action
15. Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion
16. Freedom of expression
17. Freedom of the media
18. Right to access to information
19. Freedom of association, assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition
20. Political rights
21. Right to access justice and rights of arrested persons
22. Rights of persons detained, held in custody or imprisoned
23. Right to fair hearing
24. Specific application to rights such as children, persons with disabilities, youth, minorities, marginalized and other members of society.

Right to life

Every person has the right to life and life begins at conception. This means abortion should not be allowed unless under medical consideration or when there is need for emergency treatment or when the life of the mother is in danger. No person shall be deprived of life except sanctioned by federal or state laws following conviction by competent court.

Equality and freedom from discrimination

It must be stated that every person is equal before the law. He/she has the right to equal protection and equal benefit of the law. Equality means having full and equal enjoyment of all rights and fundamental freedoms. Women and men have the right to equal treatment, including the right to equal opportunities in political, economic, cultural and social spheres. Nobody shall be discriminated directly or indirectly on any ground, including race, sex, pregnancy, marital status, health status, ethnic or social origin, colour, age, disability, religion, conscience, belief, culture, dress, language or birth. On the other hand, no person shall discriminate directly or indirectly against another person on any of the grounds specified or contemplated above.

In order to guarantee these rights federal and state assemblies shall enact laws and other measures designed to redress any disadvantage suffered by individuals or groups because of past discrimination. This should include affirmative action programs. These measures should adequately provide for any benefits to the needs of the people or communities.

Human dignity

It is crucial that the law recognizes that every person has inherent dignity. He/she has the right to have that dignity respected and protected.

Right to have a family

Every adult has the right to marry a person of the opposite sex based on free consent of the parties. This is because family is a natural and fundamental unit of society. It is the basis of social order, and therefore shall enjoy the recognition and protection of federal and state authorities. Adults that have consented to marriage shall be entitled to equal rights at the time of the marriage, during the marriage and at the dissolution of the marriage. Laws enacted to recognize marriage shall also recognize marriages concluded under any tradition, or system of religious, personal or family law. This can also include any system of personal and family law provided that such marriages or systems of law are consistent with federal or state constitutions.

Language and culture

Language and culture are fundamental elements in social development and integration because they create the diversity that typifies the unity of a country. Therefore, the bill of rights shall enshrine the fact every person has the right to use his/her language and has the right to participate in the cultural life of the person’s choice.  A person belonging to a cultural or linguistic community has the right, with other members of that community to enjoy the person’s culture and use the person’s language. He/she can form, join and maintain cultural and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society. He/she likewise shall not compel another person to perform, observe or undergo any cultural practice or rite.

Freedom of movement and residence

Every person has the right to freedom of movement. Every person has the right to leave and enter, remain in and reside in any state of the Federal Republic of South Sudan. The right to freedom of movement and residence within South Sudan and within any state of South Sudan is important for the citizen to have the freedom of choice provided that this choice is not inconsistent with the laws of the state to which a person would like to move or reside. In such cases the laws of the state regulating free movement and residence take precedence over the federal law. The aim of compliance with state laws is to mitigate the rampant tendencies of land grabbing, trying to impose behaviours that are inconsistent with the norms of the hosting state and ensure that nobody is above the laws of the state that he/she has decided to move to, settle or work in.

Right to privacy

To protect the privacy of the individual, the constitution shall ensure that every person has the right to privacy. This includes the right not to have the person, home or property searched, property or possessions seized, information relating to their family or private affairs unnecessarily required or revealed and privacy of their communications infringed.

Protection of right to property

In Federal Republic of South Sudan, every person shall have the right, either individually or in association with others, to acquire and own property of any description in any part of Republic provided acquisition of such property is based on the laws of the state regulating transaction in such property. The purpose here is to ensure legal acquisition of property, transparency and to avoid any conflict with the federal laws. Nobody shall evoke any laws other than that of the state to fraudulently acquire property.

On the other hand the federal or state parliament shall not enact a law that permits the federal or state government or any person to arbitrarily deprive a person of property of any description or of any interest in, or right over. On the contrary, the state parliament shall enact a law depriving any person, property or interest in, or right in property because:

a) Such property was fraudulently acquired
b) Land or property is public property
c) Land or property requires prompt payment or compensation
d) Land or property has pending court case

The Federal government shall support, promote and protect the intellectual property rights of the people. However this shall not include property found to have been unlawfully acquired.

Freedom and security of a person

Personal security is the responsibility of the government and therefore in federal South Sudan, every person shall have the right to freedom and security. This includes the right not to be deprived of freedom arbitrarily or without just cause, detained without trial, except during a state of emergency. No person shall be subjected to any form of violence from either public or private sources. No person shall also be subjected to torture in any manner, whether physical or psychological or subjected to corporal punishment, treated or punished in a cruel, inhuman or degrading manner.

Slavery, servitude and forced labour and labour relations

In federal South Sudan, nobody person shall be held in slavery or servitude. A person shall not be required to perform forced labour. However, every person shall have the right to fair labour practices. This includes:

a) Fair remuneration
b) Reasonable working conditions
c) Form, join or participate in the activities and programs of a trade union except federal army and federal security organs
d) Go on strike.

On the other hand all employers shall have their rights in accordance to the law. They will have rights to form and join an employers’ organization and to participate in the activities and programs of an employers’ organization. Meanwhile every trade union and every employer’s organization shall have the right to determine its own administration, programs and activities, organize and form and join a federation. The trade union, employers’ organization and employer shall have the right to engage in collective bargaining.

Right to clean environment

Protection of the environment is essential for the present and future generation and therefore in a federal South Sudan, every person shall have the right to a clean and healthy environment by ensuring that the environment shall be protected for the benefit of present and future generations through legislative and other measures such as:

a) Sustainable exploitation, utilization, management and conservation of the environment and natural resources
b) Work to achieve and maintain minimum tree cover
c) Protect intellectual property
d) Protect genetic resources and biodiversity
e) Prevent activities that endanger the environment
f) Utilize the environment and natural resources for benefit of all
g) Ensure that every one has the obligations relating to the environment

Economic, social and consumer rights

The economic and social status of the people usually underscores the prosperity and posterity of a nation. Therefore to ensure that the people of South Sudan enjoy the high economic and social status, federal South Sudan shall ensure that the every person shall have the following rights:

a) Highest attainable standard of health, which includes the right to health care services
b) Accessible and adequate housing, and to reasonable standards of sanitation
c) Free from hunger, and to have adequate food of acceptable quality
d) Clean and safe water in adequate quantities
e) Social security
f) Education

Failure to guarantee these basic rights has characterized the current regime in Juba. This is because of rampant corruption; poor planning, failed leadership and inability to prioritize the peoples’ needs. In addition every person shall not be denied emergency medical treatment.

The right of the consumers shall also be recognized and protected. These include the right to:

a) Goods and services of reasonable quality
b) Information necessary for them to gain full benefit from goods and services
c) Protection of their health, safety, and economic interests
d) Compensation for loss or injury arising from defects in goods or services.

Right to fair administrative actions

Any administrative actions taken by authority, employer or any person responsible to others may have adverse effect on the person and so every person has a right to administrative action that is expeditious, efficient, lawful, reasonable and procedurally fair. If a right or fundamental freedoms of a person has been or is likely to be adversely affected by administrative action, the person has the right to be given written reasons for the action. Laws shall be enacted to provide for the review of administrative action by a court or if appropriate, an independent and impartial tribunal so as to promote efficient administration.

Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion

The above mentioned freedoms are considered cardinal if South Sudan is to leap away from the current state of dictatorship to achieve equality and tolerance. Many countries have plunged into chaos because of intolerance to different opinions, beliefs and religion and currently the same seeds are being planted in South Sudan. In order to nip this mushrooming cancer in the bud, in federal South Sudan every person shall have the right to:

a) Freedom of conscience, religion, thought, belief and opinion.
b) Manifest individually or in community with others, in public or in private, any religion or belief
c) Freedom of conscience, religion, belief and opinion through worship, practice, teaching or observance, including observance of a day of worship.

No person shall be denied access to any institution, employment or facility, or the enjoyment of any right because of the person’s belief or religion. In addition no person shall be compelled to act or engage in any act that is contrary to the person’s belief or religion.

Freedom of expression

Under federal South Sudan, freedom of expression shall be guaranteed to all except in situations that are now allowed by federal law. Therefore every person shall enjoy the freedom to seek, receive or impart information or ideas, freedom of artistic creativity; academic freedom and freedom of scientific research. However, an article shall be inserted in the federal constitution that shall make the following a federal offense:

  • Incitement of violence
  • Ethnic incitement
  • Vilification and incitement to cause harm
  • Propaganda for war
  • Discrimination
  • Advocacy for hatred

It is stipulated that when exercising the right to freedom of expression, every person shall respect the rights and reputation of others. This is important for peaceful coexistence and harmony in the country.

In conclusion, the aim of the bill of rights and fundamental freedoms is to accord South Sudanese self steam, confidence and guarantee that the federal authorities are there to serve them but not to oppress, suppress, subjugate and exploit them. It is further to provide the necessary atmosphere d for them to enjoy their rights and fundamental freedoms, live in harmony with one another and participate freely in building the country. The rest of the bill of right will be described in part 7 of these series. These will include freedom media, right to access information, freedom of association, assembly, demonstration, picketing and petition, political rights, right to access justice, rights of arrested and detained persons, right of persons held in custody, right fair hearing and specific application to rights such as children, persons with disabilities, youth, minorities, marginalized and other members of the society. The role of the South Sudan human right Commission will also be dealt with in the next article.

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

Why my Country is Failing

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut

July 28, 2014 (SSNA) -- I have thought a thousand times on why my country [South Sudan], so endorsed with both human and natural resources, is failing. I have arrived at only one conclusion: President Salva Kiir Mayardit no longer has the capacity to think beyond a certain point nor has been able to extricate his brains from the past which hugely influenced who he has become today.

He is now a leader unable to think beyond a certain time frame because the times we live in are significantly different from the past in which he was quite successful as a military commander in the frontline.

We then add liberation diehards made up of security chiefs, retired generals, SPLM alumni and praise singers who have occupied this vacuum solely to their material advantage and not in the interest of south Sudan at all.

Their role is to maintain the status quo by isolating the president from reality that he is even shocked by the state of our roads. Their interest is to ensure that one of them occupies the throne on order to maintain their comforts and safety. All this fuelled by fear of any alternative. They will therefore protect that throne to the death.

Those who have an opportunity to make money have done all they can and we have seen an elite comprador class emerging; people whose sense of responsibility and ethics leaves much to be desired. These elites, in partnership with their political masters, have bled the country dry and continue to be “successful” through murky deals and pervasive secret corruption. This can be evidenced by the flashy cars (V8) and huge mansions that one sees in Juba town.

In these circles, it is not about the work ethic nor is it about conscience, but it is more about making as much as one can now by any means and at all cost.

The business sector which is reeling under SPLM in Juba‘s fear and unwillingness to see an apolitical national black bourgeoisie emerge, remains blocked up in a condition which they can hardly change.

Over three years now our business sector has been weakened as a change agent. We have seen those who want to survive the day choosing to be complicit and partnering with SPLM cronies; corruption is their creed, apathy and fear is their disease.

In civil society we have struggle fatigue. The last 8 years since 2005 just after the signing of comprehensive peace agreement (CPA) have been years of struggle and anguish for the majority of south Sudanese adults. Change looked like it was coming in 2009-2010, but it never arrived.

Unfortunately most adult south Sudanese who have live through terror and loss have run out of energy and motivation to fight. This has certainly entrenched SPLM in Juba while it has weaken other political parties whose only remaining power is to praise president Salva Kiir to remained in his throne and keep singing the song of no “tribal war” which they don’t know it meaning themselves.

The international community seems to be collaborating with this so called president. Who order his own people to kill themselves; they should put their eyes on Salva Kiir activities. President should be force to step down by the International authority because he is finishing one ethnicity which is Nuer tribe. How can they allow one man to do whatever he wants?

We also have non-governmental organizations that must now fight for relevance and resources. The mandate to fight Salva Kiir is shifted to the other side and they must come up with new ideas and new mandates of how to operate in the emerging geopolitical landscape.

Increasing unemployment levels have added to the weakening of organized labor; a voice of the workers which continuously challenged the status quo in the past. We have seen a lukewarm approach to confronting this regime, a capitulation and lack of direction which can be blamed solely on the need of millions to merely survive on a day –to day basis.

Sadly, our youths remains confused and misguided as this environment has not created any opportunity or hope for a better future. Those who can leave do so and those who can not are damned ad they search for meaning in a country with no values, no leadership and no hope.

The Diasporas continues to make the right noises through social networks, but is disadvantaged in causing change on the ground in south Sudan.

The rule of law has failed us because those who must implement the law have themselves become corrupted. Any social system that is not based on universal human rights and the respect of private property tends to regress, both morally and economically.

All this has resulted in money becoming a national god. Where talent and virtue offer no advancement and corruption has become the only means to survive. This culture has permeated all sectors of our society from the public sector, state enterprises, churches and private sector.

Our moral values have therefore deteriorated and life has become cheap, brutal, short and very boring. The numbers of the poor are increasing daily. The poor can hardly be agents of change because poverty disempowers and absolute poverty disempowers absolutely.

Our only hope is therefore for a few amongst us to reject this narrative and to realize that we are on our own.

There is no time difficult for any generation as our present time and yet we must remain hopeful and do what we can.

We must fight and not give up. We must never accept this dreadful narrative that has been created by SPLM in Juba.

The struggle continues!!

The author can easily be reach through his email address 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 (part 5)

By Sindani Sebit

 Part 5

July 18, 2004 (SSNA) -- Part 5 of these series focuses mainly on the sources of financial resources for both the Federal Government and Federal states and how the federal resources can be distributed between the federal government and states. It will further illustrate how state resources can be distributed within the states. It will also outline the role of the body that will be responsible for financial resources distribution at the three levels of government.

Before discussing the sources of revenue for both the Federal and State Governments, it important to point out here that South Sudan is endowed with vast resources that if managed well, would spur rapid economic development in the country and perhaps transform the country into a middle class country within 15 to 20 years. With a population of nearly 10 million and Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of USD 1,858 in 2011, there is no reason why the economic transformation in South Sudan cannot supersede its neighbours because South Sudan has the highest GDP compared to all countries in the East African Region. It should also be mentioned here that the GDP referred to above is calculated based mainly on oil income that accounts for 98% of the production in South Sudan. However, South Sudan has other resources that could increase rapidly the GDP if these resources were exploited.

These resources include copper, gold, diamonds, uranium, chromium, manganese, iron ore, zinc, mica, silver, tungsten and hydropower. In addition one would also need to mention some of the potential economic areas, namely agriculture, forestry, fishery, trade and commerce which could have vastly contributed to boast the economy of the country. Sadly enough these resources are yet to be exploited.

In addition to failure to exploit all the potential of South Sudan, rampant corruption and poor resource distribution by the regime in Juba has, severely stagnated the economic development of the country. This is due to concentration of resources in the hands of the central government, poor planning by the central government, incompetent leadership, weak governance institutions at the center, lack of separation of powers between the executive, parliament and judiciary so as to ensure accountability, transparency and prudent planning and implementation. Therefore, as the situation exists now in South Sudan, most of the country resources are used rightly or wrongly in Juba and its environs while the so called states have been neglected. Judging from the 2014 budget of 17.3 billion SSP whereby a total of 14.098 billion (81.5%) (6.590 billion, to repay doubtable debts, 4.130 billion for central employees and soldiers and 3.130 billion for security) was allotted to the central Government, no kind of imaginable development or services can been rendered at state level.

Therefore, the proposed federal System for South Sudan is a deliberate effort to correct the gross failures created by the current constitution and form of government that exists now. This can only be done by establishing independent governing institutions at all three levels of federal government. These are aimed at guaranteeing accountability, transparency and prudent planning and resource management. Secondly, by establishing mechanisms that can distribute resources equitably and equally, to all the federal states as per the population sizes. The objective here is to ensure that these resources reach the intended populations and guarantee that the resources are used for the intended purposes.

In relation to a country, resource is defined as “the means available for economic and political development such as minerals, labour force and armaments” (Free dictionary) or “a country collective means of supporting itself or becoming wealthier as represented by its reserves of minerals, land and other natural assets” (Oxford dictionary) or “is a source or supply from which benefit is produced. Typically resources are materials, energy, services, staff, knowledge, or other assets that are transformed to produce benefit and in the process may be consumed or made unavailable” (Free encyclopedia). Therefore in a federal system, the right to collect revenue from resources must also be divided according to the levels of government namely Federal resources and state resources.

1. Federal resources

The federal government resources will include among others that may be regulated by federal law:

a) Natural resources such as mineral and petroleum
b) Customs
c)  Immigration
d) Federal courts (federal Supreme Court and Federal Court of Appeal)
e) Value Added Tax (VAT)
f)  Assets such as airports, railways, weight and bridges
g) Services such as Federal employees, investments

Therefore, the Federal Government will collect revenue from mineral resources, immigration, customs, courts (Federal courts), VAT, federal investments, income taxes on federal employees, service taxes on airports, railways and weight and bridges. The revenue collected by the Federal government shall all go to the national consolidated fund. The funds collected by the Federal government are for whole nation and the federal government is not entitled to use it until it is distributed between the federal government and the states. The distribution of this fund shall be done by the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission. This is an independent commission which is set up under a constitutional provision purposely to ensure that national resources are collected and distributed between the Federal Government and the federal states according to a formula defined by the constitution which should be 30% for the Federal Government and 70% for the Federal States. This ratio is purposely established because Federal States are the service delivery organs in the country and so they must be provided with enough resources to effectively and efficiently deliver services according to the needs of the states. This is meant to offset the current system in Juba where the regions are designated to deliver services to the people yet they helplessly depend on the central government on what is given to them as grants. As usual these grants have always being less than 10% of the national income. As a result the regional governments have failed to deliver services to the people.

2. Federal state resources

The federal state government resources will include among others that may be regulated by state law:

a) Land
b) Games and parks
c) Courts
d) Royalties
e) Services
f) Taxes
g) Loans

Therefore, the federal states revenue sources will include land and housing rates, market taxes, licenses, agriculture, court fees, game and game parks, tourism and recreation services including parking fee and income taxes from state employees and residents. Others are vehicle registration fee, service taxes such for water, sewerage and electricity, road tolls and import and export taxes. However, interstate taxes such not be levied. The states will also get resources from royalties, federal contribution and loans from local banks.

3. Distribution of federal resource between the Federal Government and states

In sharing the national resources at whatever level, the principle of public finance is underpinned by the fact that there shall be openness and accountability, including public participation in financial matters. The public finance system shall promote an equitable society, and in particular that the burden of taxation shall be shared fairly and revenue raised nationally shall be shared according to the federal constitutional provision of 30% to 70% in favour of the federal states and that distribution of resources at state level is equitable. Expenditure shall promote the equitable development of the country, including making special provision for marginalized groups and areas in addition to ensuring that the burdens and benefits of the use of resources and public borrowing shall be shared equitably between present and future generations. The principle shall also guarantee that public money shall be used in a prudent and responsible way. Financial management shall be responsible and fiscal reporting shall be clear.

However, while sharing the federal resources, the following additional criteria should be taken into consideration:

a) The national interest and obligations shall be a priority particularly such as in a state of war and national calamities. This means the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission must ensure that resources are made available to the Federal Government to meet these challenges before distributing the federal resources according to the formula set out in the constitution. In such situation, the federal government is required to come out with concrete budget proposals that shall be reviewed by the commission to ensure that they meet legitimate needs that are in the interest of the nation. Thereafter the commission with present such request to the Federal Parliament for debate and approval. Once approved these funds shall be credited to the emergency fund account created for this purpose.

b)      The need to ensure that State governments are able to perform the functions allocated to them

In order to ensure that the annual federal resources are shared between the federal government and the state governments according to the stipulated formula, this money shall be calculated on the basis of the most recent audited accounts of revenue received and approved by the federal Parliament.

4. Distribution of 70% of the federal resources among the states

The distribution of federal resources among the states shall be shared according to population size in each state. This is to ensure equity in distribution of resources among the states and guarantee that every citizen in each state gets its correct share of the national resources and services. This means that states with large populations will get more money than those with low population. This is because high population density means there is greater need for more services such as health, education and road infrastructure. Demand for housing, water and electricity increases with increasing population in addition to other social demands such as recreation, sporting and urbanization. Therefore once the 70% of the Federal funds is credited to state allocation account, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission shall calculate the amount to be allocated to each state according to the population of the state. This shall be done independent of the state governments so as to avoid undue pressure exerted on the commission by the state governors. The population of the state shall be calculated according to the latest census taking into consideration the country’s average annual population growth rate.

5. Distribution of state resources to the counties

The state resources that shall be distributed among the counties of each state shall include funds received from the federal government and the funds collected by the state. All these constitute the state revenue. While distributing these funds, the Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission should first consider the state government budget which should not exceed 30% of the total state revenue. This must be the budget approved by the state parliament. Having allocated the amount to the state government, the rest of the funds (70% of the total) shall be distributed among the counties based on the following criteria

a) The fiscal capacity and efficiency of county authorities to absolve the funds;
b) Developmental and other needs of counties are ensured
c) Economic disparities within and among counties and the need to remedy them is considered seriously
d) Affirmative action in respect of disadvantaged areas and groups is upheld

Revenue Allocation and Distribution Commission

This commission shall be established through a constitutional Act like other independent commissionsestablished under this Act.This means members of the commissions are:

  • Subject only to the Federal constitution and law
  • Independent and not subject to direction or control by any person or authority

The Commission members shall be nominated and appointed by the President/Prime minister subject to approval by the federal parliament. It shall be composed of:

  • Four persons who are not members of parliament nominated by various political parties represented in the federal Parliament according to their strength
  • Permanent Secretary in the ministry of finance
  • Two persons nominated by the Public Service Commission. These should not be members or employees of the commission
  • One person nominated by the Judicial Service Commission who is not a member or employee of the commission

Person nominated to be appointed to this commission shall have extensive professional experience in financial and economic affairs or should be a qualified lawyer in case of the representative of the judicial service commission

The commission shall be charged with the following responsibilities

1. Ensure that the revenue raised by the federal government is shared according to the constitutional stipulated sharing formula of 70% revenue going to the states and 30% remaining with the federal government

2. Make recommendations concerning basis for the equitable sharing of state revenue to the counties

3. Make recommendations on the matters concerning financing of, and financial management by state governments

4. While formulating the recommendations, the commission should seek to consider the following:

  • National interest
  • Public debt and other national obligations
  • Ensure that state governments are able to:
a) Perform their functions
b) Development needs
c)  Economic disparities within the counties in each state
d) Affirmative action in regard to the disadvantaged areas and groups within the states
  • Population density of each state
  • Desirability of the county and predictable allocations of revenue
  • Need for flexibility in responding to emergencies
  • When appropriate define and enhance the revenue services of the federal and state governments
  • Encourage fiscal responsibility

5. Determine, publish and regularly review a policy in which it sets out criteria for disadvantaged or marginalized area within states

6. Submit recommendations to the senate, federal parliament, federal executive, state assemblies and state executive

In conclusion, the proposed federal system intends to deliberately establish a robust and independent revenue allocation and distribution mechanism that first aims at fighting corruption and money laundering at any level of the federal government. The objective is to ensure that national resources are distributed equitably and transparently between the federal government and states and among the states. The second objective is to curtail or obstruct the federal Government from garrisoning funds in the Federal capital instead of ensuring that states have resources for development and service delivery. The third objective is to ensure that all federal states get equal chance for rapid and equal development. This means all South Sudanese will have access to basic services regardless of where they live or settle. The overall intention is to avoid the current constitutional loopholes that have resulted in amassing all the national resources in the hand of the central government giving no chance to the regions to access resources and foster development. Currently the regions are totally dependent on Juba government for their existence but the federal system aims to put the states in-charge of their own affairs and promote equal development and growth.

Due to the fact that many South Sudanese have misunderstood Federalism as a system aimed at sending other South Sudanese away from Equatoria or other parts of the country though is absolutely far from it, part 6 of these series shall focus on the rights of individuals and citizens in the proposed Federal Republic of South Sudan. The aim of serializing this system is to enable South Sudanese fully understand what is being proposed. We try here and there to compare the proposed system with the current one so as to see the advantaged and disadvantages.

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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