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Analysis: What makes a true and competent leader (Part One)?

The purpose and intent of a true leader shall be to elevate mankind’s faith, and to fill the world with justice -- Maimonides, Laws of Kings

By: Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut Thijoak

January 10, 2015 (SSNA) -- At some point in our lives, we have all had a relationship with someone -- a parent, a teacher, or employer perhaps -- who greatly changed the way we look at life and the world. Someone who had high standards and truly stood for something, someone who inspired and motivated us. Someone who taught us to set goals and instilled the confidence and spirit to achieve them. Such a person is a true leader.

Today, we are surrounded by people we may call leaders -- in government, in business, in education, in the arts. But we are suffering from a scarcity of genuine leadership. Where are these people really leading us, and why?

After witnessing so much deceit and such frequent abuse of power, many people have stopped trusting their leaders. Still, no matter how cynical we may grow, we resign ourselves to the fact that we need someone to keep our various houses in order. Since we are so preoccupied with our own lives, we are willing to elect or appoint officials to manage the affairs of the land.

But is a leader merely a manager? What should we expect from our leaders? And do we really need leaders in the first place?

Yes, we do need leaders. On our own, we lack the vision, direction, and strength to reach our goals. We all begin our lives in need of guidance - even the most precocious child could not possibly be expected to make certain crucial decisions. Once we become adults, with the capacity to reason for ourselves, we are so overwhelmed by the pressures of daily survival that we rarely find the time and energy to focus on life’s larger issues. And when we do, our emotions and inherent subjectivity limit our vision and constrict our movement.

A leader provides a new perspective, inspiring us to abandon our narrow field of vision.  When we are preoccupied with our self-interests - be they petty or great - a leader sends out a wake-up call, alerting us to seek the true priorities in life.

This sense of urgency is just as important in a leader as a sense of vision. Leadership today is sorely lacking the quality of urgency. Many of our leaders are effective managers, and some are even inspirational; we have CEO’s who can direct thousands of employees toward a single objective, and politicians whose rhetoric inspires millions of citizens to support them.

What these leaders don’t provide is simple - and essential: a vision of life itself. Genuine leadership must give people a long-term vision that imbues their lives with meaning; it must point them in a new direction and show how their every action is an indispensable part of a purposeful whole. It is not enough for our leaders to teach us to be productive or efficient; they need to inspire us to change or improve the world in a productive, meaningful way. And this creates a compelling sense of urgency: to fulfill this vision of life.

To be continue……………………………………………

Cde. Sirir Gabriel Yiei Rut is a writer and commentator and He is the Chairman of SPLM Youth League Chapter in Egypt he can be simply reach through This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

2015 Elections: The Legal Facts, Political Fictions, and Democratic Fantasies

By Juma Mabor Marial

January 8, 2015 (SSNA) -- In recent weeks, a vigorous debate has been had on the 2015 elections in South Sudan and the debate is on-going. The Elections Commission, an institution sanctioned by the law to carry out this task has made it abundantly clear that the election will take place. Political parties and other political actors have also shared their thoughts on whether there should be elections in 2015 or not. Nonetheless, whichever views are put forward, I have reasons to believe that most of these commentators are wearing political camouflage and metal headgears.

It is within this context that a professional and neutral opinion is needed to set the rules on this debate straight and I wish to lead in this discourse not with political or other spectacles but with transparent eyeglasses as someone who is not just posting an opinion but a person who is giving an analytical view on whether there should be elections in 2015 or otherwise. I wish to do this in the following sub-headings;

The Facts and Legal Framework

Article 100 (1) of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 stipulates that; ‘the tenure of the office of the President of the Republic of South Sudan shall be five years’ and sub- article (2) of the same article state that; ‘notwithstanding article (1) above, during the transitional period the term of the President shall be four years beginning from July 9, 2011.’ This article should be read and interpreted along with Article 66 (1) of the Transitional Constitution, 2011 which states that, ‘the term of the National Legislature shall be five years and sub-section (2) states that notwithstanding article (1) above, the term of the current National Legislature shall be four years from July 9, 2011. What these articles tell us is that the term for both the Executive and Legislature runs and ends concurrently. It also means that both their mandates end on July 9, 2015.

Article 26 of the Transitional Constitution talks about the rights of the citizens to participate in elections and it states that, ‘every citizen shall have the right to take part in any level of government directly or through freely chosen representative, and shall have the right to nominate himself or herself or be nominated for a public post or office in accordance with this constitution and the law.’ It added that, ‘every citizen shall have the right to vote or be elected in accordance with this constitution and the law.’  Whether the spirit of this article can be achieved in the proposed elections is a topic of debate as we move along this article.

The South Sudan Elections Act, 2012 talks generally about the procedures to be used in approaching elections. The act deals with issues of registration of candidates, screening and creating polling centers. The list is long on the ethics and guidelines through which the Commission is supposed to conduct elections but above all, the Commission is tasked with conducting free, fair, transparent, democratic and peaceful elections.

It is in regard of the above articles that concentrated debate on the elections is provoked because, typically, the elections as per the above provisions should take place in June 2015 while a new democratically elected government is expected to be sworn in and take over office by July 9, 2015. This is also the basic reason why most of the proponents of elections talk about the legitimacy of the government and the necessity for holding elections in 2015.

Customarily, most countries carry out their general elections after every four or five years, examples in this case are Kenya, USA, and Uganda. Rwanda holds its Presidential and Parliamentary elections after every seven years. This is just but an illustration of systematic renewable of political mandate within the region and beyond but the issue here is what happened in case the elections do not take place within the constitutionally stipulated time?  

This question looks first at the circumstances under which the delay in elections come in and then, legal measures are taken to address what is likely to amount to constitutional crisis and power vacuum. For instance, Kenya after the promulgation of its constitution in August 2010 had stipulated that its general elections under a new constitutional dispensation shall take place in August 2012; unfortunately, this didn’t happen largely due to a number of reforms agenda that were supposed to be carried out including establishing an independent Judiciary before the elections. The Kenyan Parliament (now Defunct) felt that it was necessary to extend the term of the incumbent government for at least five months in order to create time and establish the institutional reforms needed, this wasn’t done by decrees but through amending the provisions that deals with elections in the constitution. Ultimately, Kenya held it elections successfully in March 2013.  

Several models of postponed elections on numerous circumstances are in abundance and this leads me to the next question; Is South Sudan general election, in fact its first general election after her independence faced with the circumstances as experienced by other countries? This question can be answered in the next sub-heading if I were to answer it adequately.

Political Fictions

South Sudan has been engulfed in conflict with itself for over a year now and consequent of this conflict, it democratic rating, economic strengths, the unity of its people, social and political fabrics have been highly obstructed. Such factors do not provide not only room for elections but also poison the environment for any significant and meaningful elections to take place legitimacy of the government notwithstanding. This is just a hypothesis as I am yet to draw my conclusions at the end of this article.

But before I reach there, we must quickly answer the question as to whether the circumstances that our country are in now allows for elections to take place. The first answer would be NO on many grounds. One, there is insecurity across the country and carrying out elections in such an environment would not allow the citizens to freely exercise their democratic rights and vote for whoever they want as there would be fears all over. Secondly, elections need funds and throughout the world, no single country can afford to fund its own elections, international funding is needed to help in conducting successful elections and in the absence of this support as that is the likely probability, contemplating to fund elections single handedly is an economic suicide. Thirdly, in each election, at least two or more political parties must contest and as things stands now, almost all the political parties except SPLM mainstream are against any holding of the elections and this therefore means, if the elections were to take place as advocated for by some actors, it would mean SPLM contesting against itself. Fourthly, doing elections in 2015 is an official declaration of subsequent instability in the country as those who may lost will have no choice but to go Athor-Yau Yau’s direction. Unfortunately, their retreat will not be independent as was that of Athor and YauYau but will immediately leans towards joining the other side against the government. Fifthly, elections are about asking people to freely select those they thinks can represent them efficiently and deliver service to them effectively. The 2015 elections will not do that because anyone who does not vote for a candidate especially if such a candidate comes from SPLM will be branded as from the other side, this therefore means that, there will be a lot of intimidation, coercion and other irregularities than what had happened in 2010.

The 2015 elections if it is allows to happen shall be a replica of what happened in Uganda in 2012 elections when the incumbent Ugandan President sent his troops to the streets across the country to ensure that all the votes are tailored in his favour. Lastly, the time is so limited if the Chairperson of the election Commission said that the elections are scheduled to take place on June 30, 2015. Voter registration needs up to three good months, primaries by political parties need at least two or so months and many other pre-election arrangements have to be put in place including the security set up for any meaningful elections to take place. All these are underlying challenges that should not be overlooked because ideally, no country can risk going for elections with these long list of challenges.


The question of legitimacy of the government comes in here; the proponents of 2015 elections are quoting precedents from countries like Syria and Libya as countries that did their elections during the crises. Yes, it is true but again, how legitimate was their legitimacy? The question of legitimacy should not only be looked at as stipulated in the constitution, there are other thresholds that should be considered in addition to the constitutional provisions on legitimacy and some of these prerequisites include but not limited to; Will the region and international community recognize the legitimacy of the government elected? Are the citizens or electorates happy and will they recognize the government and the process? Is the environment in which the elections are being conducted free and fair to the extent that all electorates shall have the freedom to choose who they wish should represent them in the government plus, would there have been any other better alternatives in which the tenure of the executive and legislature legitimized than venturing into elections that would be a ponderous box?

All such questions are what should be considered and addressed before any country could talk about going for elections. Yes, the government may use the elections as the means to put pressure on the rebels to concede to its position in the peace-talks but is this a long term solution to the crises in South Sudan, the government may too be assuming and maybe telling the international community that, despite the crises, the country is still on track and has it plans on course. Maybe yes, maybe not, but altogether, it should be applause that the proponents on the government side are now finding it necessary to implement the constitution at some point. The unfortunate thing is that, since the adoption of the Transitional constitution five years ago, it has occurred on several occasions that the constitution has been implemented selectively and this is manifested on article 101 (s) and (r) regarding the removal and elections of governors. Nevertheless, the insistency on elections in June 2015 is all a political game that is being qualified by constitutional provisions. It is to some extent a political fiction intended to reaffirm legitimacy and disregard all the consequences that comes with it.

Democratic Fantasies

I named the calls for elections in 2015 in South Sudan “Democratic Fantasy’ because the object for holding elections every five or four years throughout the world is always to allow people exercise their democratic rights and choose people that they thinks will represent them well in the government. It is always a social theory contract between the people and the ones that they are giving five or so years to govern them. But in this case, 2015 elections may not be that kind of theory because, people maybe forced to vote for those they don’t want or are tied with or there could as well be voter apathy since most people may feel that the elections are not carried out not because the government want to renew its vows and political ideologies to the people but it is only doing elections because its legitimacy is in jeopardy. It means that, after the reaffirmation of legitimacy, it will be business as usual. The fact that other countries like Syria carried out their regular elections despite the crises is not a successful precedent that can be emulated if there are alternatives for extension of the lifetime of the incumbent Executive and Legislature.


Using my transparent spectacles in this debate, I wish to give the stakeholders that are engaged and involved in the elections debate the following recommendations;

1. The government especially the SPLM should use it parliamentary majority in the Legislature to amend articles 66 and 100 of the Transitional Constitution 2011 to extend the life of the current Executive and Legislature for at least two or three years. The amendment bill should be based on the above mentioned challenges while precisely; it should be used to give ample time for the on-going peace talks to come to their logical conclusion.

2. The rebels if they intend to do reforms in this country as they usually claim must not cheat themselves that delaying to sign peace agreement with the hopes to declare the government illegitimate when July 9, 2015 comes are misplaced calculations because this wishful thoughts are taken care of by recommendation number one there above. The best these people can do is to engage the government to sign peace and then come and follow up on the reform agenda that they are so much advocating for. The prerequisite for this will be the formation of the Transitional Government of National Unity which will automatically render the debate on elections obsolete.

3. The regional and international community if they want South Sudan to be peaceful and develop democratically must do two things, one, they must take away all the strings that they have attached to the peace talks in Addis Ababa and speed up the process of facilitating and honestly pressurizing the warring parties to sign the peace agreement. Secondly, they must convince the rebels and government that strategies and conspiracies to provoke elections to take place and render it null and void or forcing it to happen are not going to help the people of South Sudan in both their peaceful co-existence and democratic prospects. The rebels will swallow it bitter if the elections takes place and the government get another five years mandate.

4. The elections Commission instead of now playing a complacent role of telling people that there should be elections on July 9, 2015 should be a professional and neutral body that advices on what should be the best alternative in the circumstances like what the country is in now. The election Commission is not a government employee or parastatal to the extent that, if the government says there will be elections or no elections, then its follows suit. It must have its own independent opinion on whether or not there should be elections or otherwise. All in all, the Commission has been unable to conduct by-elections in the four states that the governors were sacked on excuses of having no money, where would it now get the whooping 1.5 billion required to conduct country-wide elections. I think some reasoning is needed here.

5. The proponents of elections must look beyond legitimacy question, there is more to elections than just reaffirmation of positions because as this is achieved, the issues of democracy, trust, confident and even the absolute legitimacy itself would have been thrown out of the window because meeting an electoral date is just one thing but nurturing nascent democracy like ours is another because after all, There are alternatives to renewing the legitimacy of the current government as articulately stated in recommendation one above.


Legally speaking, elections can take place in accordance with the provisions of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan, 2011 but alternatively, the challenges as navigated through there above can be considered if the unity, peace, stability and democratic future of South Sudan and its people is use as a recipe to determine its future affairs. I am against the holding of elections in 2015 not because I am speaking for anyone but it is because I feel that, elections in the circumstances our country is in now would be largely an exercise in futility.

Juma Mabor Marial is a Trainee Advocate based in Juba, reachable at: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

The transfer of federal system from Khartoum to Juba (1956-2013) was received with massacre: What is next?

By John Juan Dong

January 7, 2015 (SSNA) -- Would one be wrong to conclude to the fact that there’s no dispute in systems of governments between Juba and Khartoum? EXCEPT Khartoum capital city never made house search and massacre where the country sovereignty lays. Southerners set on fire petrol stations in Khartoum March 1964. Khartoum International Air Port received massive destructions in some parts of buildings, just because of the delay of minister of Interior who had an official visit to Malakal province. Clement Mboro was one of the southern brilliant national figures. However, despite such destruction, there was no massacre.  May be the system could not allow because of the highly qualified and experienced national advisors embedded with high political experience of regional and international relations. The 11th of July 1965, was that direct massacre in Wau town at a marriage ceremony, but in south Sudan far from Khartoum capital city. It was during that incident that our young Veterinary Dr. Justin Papiti Akol Ajawin, the departure head to Wau, was among the 36 murdered. It is a period of 55 years, seven months and nine days from independence of Sudan from British (January 1956 - 9th July 2011). However, within only three years after  the of independence of South Sudan from Khartoum (9th of July 2013- 15th December 2013), Juba witnessed a deliberate and committed massacre of one specific tribe, the Nuer an act that has culminated into a fight up to day. (For what purpose are they still fighting and isn’t the plan fulfilled?  

Under how many political and administrative progresses South Sudan has became to ten states governments? Is there any attempt made by the SPLM/SPLA to put the decentralization government right when it achieved the country? Or it has taken the theoretical and philosophical of sheep clothing. Was the late Dr. John Garang mistaken with his concept of transferring development to rural areas? If Garang was to be alive would our children seek for education in East Africa? Besides, would many constitutional holders buy houses in East Africa, or the four billion USD not cleared still hanging and suspects still seeking for more positions in central power and not in state and local levels to benefit community?

No creation of any state or transfer of powers in any decentralized policy without considering the demand of people concerned. Government takes the decision on the matter of formation of a new a state and local government after taking into consideration all relevant factors like political, socio-community, economic programs and available resources. For example the local authority gives the proposed considered state research and the central democratic republican government decides on the forwarded scientific research.

First half Decentralization policy:

Before 1972 of Addis Ababa Accord, South Sudan was ruled under different local government Acts of1951,1961 and 1971 of Dr. Gaafer Mohamed Ali Bakhit, as closed districts. They were created with decentralized devolved powers of functions, but in practice they were centralized. In principle, rich Councils like Bentiu and Renk, the Province Executive Council was collecting their Surplus to meet the poor local council’s deficits in a kind of Grant. Old politicians of Greater Upper Nile in particular and the whole south in general knew about the function of Governor speed boat, ELDISTUOR . ( الدستور ) It was being assigned to collect district surplus from their rich councils after the collection of Social Service Tax from adult people of all the districts before rain falls.

In 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Accord ( AAPCM ), South Sudan witnessed for the first time something like self rule or Regional government, centered in Juba. It was the effect of the first movement 1955- 1972, the demand of people following 1947 Juba Round Table Conference when Southern Parliamentarians like Both Diu, Clement Mboro, Lugi Aduok, Aggrey Jaden and many others demanded for Federal System to be applied in South Sudan, then followed by Toriet Mutiny 1955. This Regional Government was established as the High Executive Council presided over by Honorable Abel Alier Kuai. One of the best fundamental reflection in the agreement that intensified the unity of southern Sudanese,which is now being abused by Juba massacre, was that the rebels, the AnyA-Nya(1) under the leadership of General Joseph Lago from Equatoria province, accepted in principle that the regional government going to be established in South Sudan is to be presided over by a southern Sudanese from inside, and he himself, General Lago shall maintain the army. Despite tribal composition, all southern political leaders agreed on Abel. That concession made the people and the regional government united and strong by establishing a strong Regional Executive Council with only one car.  There was no black Oil discovered producing foreign currency that could divide and kill black people of one origin. Local Councils were depending on their local resources Social Service Tax (S.S.T). They collected it from adults, budgeted and the executive officer takes his budget to Province Executive Council for vetting. But still after the vetting, the Province Executive Council sent the whole province to regional government to seek approval. In the same manner, the Regional Government was getting its approved budget from Khartoum, the central government because of central Grant. Why? This is because Juba was half centralized, but perfectly honored and well administered. A minister had high integrity and was reflected in the appearance, conduct and execution of duties. Public Service and Administrative Reform was given absolute powers that public servant in the region were adherent to the system. The hierarchy and chain of command keeping the flow of government policies rested on that official strategically stationed with a precise solution or answer (Yes or No). He was not that official who dares to facilitate his guest and begin to ask him “ eyien nga, or ejin nga” when the guest is ignorant of the tune. In comparison to the implementation of 1981 local government Act under South Sudan Regional Government, and the implementation of 2009 local government Act under the Republic of South Sudan it is surprising! There is no conformity. The schools which are functioning now were established under 1951 local government Act of General Aboud 1958-1964, or the Area Council in 1981. No primary school children were sent to East Africa countries to get educated, as it is now the case with 2009 L.G Act. With pride, the 1981 Area Council established provinces and states governments in South Sudan. It is a system that has resulted to a full state. To the contrary, the 2009 Local Government Act remained in Juba until the 15th of December 2013 Juba massacre. What next!

Second half Decentralized Policy and the creation of Area Councils under Sudan Local Government Act 1981:-

In 1981, and especially in August while we were conducting Council Management Course in association with Institute of Local Government Studies University of Birmingham, the people of Equatoria, under the leadership of their political figures came up openly in the street for a peaceful demonstration which they called (COCORA) demanding for their own democratic decentralized regional government, and to be called “Equatoria Region“.

In the midst of December 1981 and immediately after lengthy discussions over 1981 Local Government Act, the Regional Government of South Sudan passed the Act to the Central Government Khartoum without Baliet Rural Council to become an Area Council. Baliet was not financially competent to stand by itself to become an area council under 1981 local government Act. But this was seriously disputed by Baliet political leaders in the central government, Khartoum, especially by late Andrew Wieu, an old Mamur of L.G during British rule and also an old parliamentary figure after independence 1956. Late Andrew Wiew had his marriage from Bentiu of Nuer Tribe from Leek section. He was one of the best of our leaders. Our interest is the cry of Baliet politicians which was echoed by Ngok tribe demanding for decentralized power and responsibility. Public reaction was represented by their tribal Chief leader, Chol Abiel, was my colleague in Bentiu Intermediate School at Malakal. On Executive side of Baliet citizens, the pharmacist, Dr. James Thuc and also the senior local government officer, late Hussain Ajuong and many others gave their willingness for Baliet to become a full Area Council despite its poverty in financial collections. Accordingly Baliet was made an Area Council because of the wishes of its people. This is the demand of its people. Under the Act 1981, Western Nuer District was called Western Upper Nile Area Council which comprised of Bentiu Rural Council, Mayom Rural Council, Leer Rural Council and Pariang Rural Council. (It is the only district all over Sudan that keeps the unity of Nuer and Dinka tribes since the British rule). In tribal conferences, or when MAIN Courts are constituted, the membership of the assigned group of chiefs to see pending cases of a certain Nuer tribal court, such team is sometimes presided by a Dinka Head Chief and probably Late Makuey de Bilkuey or his Executive Chief, late Jau De Jiel ( God shall rest their soul in eternal Peace ). He presided the court sittings with perfect proceedings as a sign of trust. This shows a sign of fair judgment full of trust and honesty in shared cultures. Can Juba give such trust to states and local governments to apply federalism?  

Just after the course and during Christmas Eve in 1982, by coincidence, I happened to aboard Numile Nile Tourism Boat with Hon. Daniel Kuat Mathews, known as DK Mathews, a brilliant politician since the first movement. I was going to land at Adok quay to take a bus to proceed to my station of Mayom Rural Council at Wankai. Being old friends and as well in political change (1) 1978 general elections, D.K Mathews suddenly dragged me into his room where he had a rolled big bundle of T Shirts under his bed. He pulled it out, opened and offered me one with written words on its chest “UPPER NILE REGION NOW”. I rejected the offer because I did not have the opinion at that time, that South should be divided. He took it simple but sure of his plan as he bid me farewell as I landed at Adok quay in Leer Rural Council. The old friend with his T Shirts proceeded with Nimuli boat to Malakal propagating for Upper Nile Province to become a Region like what is being claimed by the Equatorians.  

In 1983, after one year while politicians in Greater Upper Nile were demanding for their province to be up-graded to become a Region, Western Area Council, Bentiu, was propagating to become a Province which we all appreciated and as technical we labored to be given the name of BENTIU PROVINCE as an honor to the (9) tribal Courts that established the district financially and ethically in 1936:-

There are factors that led Western Area Council to become legitimately A PROVINCE as appeared to the above administrative set up of Western Area Council, Bentiu. When the province was decreed, the name of Bentiu was dropped by Khartoum favoring the name Unity to address the unity of the country in pursuit to Oil discovery in Beniu. There are administrative and scientific reasons led to the Western Area Council (Bentiu) to be up-graded to province included:

(1) Rapid expansions of Oil discoveries all over the district emerged.

(2) Central minister of petroleum Dr. Elrasheed Eltuhami through Oil Company Chevron was planning to centre the Oil allocation Refinery at Kosti instead of production area, Bentiu.

(3) Bentiu as in size and population deserved to be made a province.

(4) Bentiu in type of revenue collections was financially capable.

(5) Bentiu is bordering South Kurdufan Arab nomads since Sudan history.

(6) It is bordering all the Dinka tribes of Greater Bhar al Ghazal. i.e Lou and Atuot tribes of Yerol. Luanyjang, and Rek Tribes of Tony. Then all tribes of Gogrial before the split of Warab.

(7) The river Nile from Latitude 7⁰ N up to 9.45⁰ N at the interception (at 32⁰ E and 9.45⁰ N of river Gazal with the White Nile of Bentiu limit to the East is a semi circle surrounded by neighboring districts that need more weight of authority to address border security disputes.

And in 1983 honorable Danie Kuat Mathew (D.K) successfully achieved his goal when Upper Nile Province was declared a Region as well as Equatoria and the same was to Bhar El-Ghazal. After the three regions were achieved, people have decided to demand for more power and responsibilities. The new three southern regional governments, Upper Nile, Equatoria and Bhar Elghazal, were approved as requested by their people. The question is; did the powers and responsibilities demanded that supposed to be totally transferred by the Khartoum central government existed? These powers and responsibilities are dependable budget, Judiciary, Criminal & Civil Suits, commerce and supply, education and culture, maintenance of roads and bridges and other responsibilities. Before giving you the right answer, let us see the next stage of claimed power.

Third half Decentralized Policy:-

In 1993 there was a desire of creating federal system in the country. But which type of federalism? South was at war, with displaced politicians in south Sudan and Khartoum confused. A  Republican Decree No, 11 was issued establishing a central ministry under the Palace to address the proposed new system in the country. A ministry which has overt power was created and given the name “Central Ministry of Bureau, States and Local Government” It status is above the central ministries, except the Presidency. Its function is to supervise states and local governments, and especially those of South Sudan, and gives direct report to the palace to prepare for federal states to be established under it in the country. There was a desire of creating further federal states, not in South Sudan, but in the whole Sudan. As such the three regional governments in South Sudan each struggled either to establish more or less states and how to merge provinces to become one state. It was a really pull and draw, but people through politicians and executive machinery opened the road for the north to attain a decentralized federal system to be adopted in the south as demanded by our old first politicians at Juba Round Table Talk 1947 followed by Toriet Mutiny 1955.  

It was the desire of the people of every state with the interest of central government in sharing certain powers. People and politicians of every province raised their petition not through the region, but to central level, except those provinces which wanted their regional governors to make them remain in their old regions on ethnicity grounds.

Without prejudice and as the Executive Director of Unity Province in 1983 we had to carry forward the demand of the people of Unity Province. On 23rd Dec., with Sudan 1956 map in my left hand, I flew to Khartoum with all relevant factors, the researched documents which formulated Unity Province to become a valentine state government. Before forwarding the document to the Central Technical Committee Chairman, Dr. Ali Alhaj, minister of federal Bureau ministry, I had first to organize a political rally with Unity province politicians and Chiefs to counter Upper Nile Region delegation committee sent from Malakal headed by the secretary general of Upper Nile Region eng. Faruog Gatkuoth Kam. The Governor, late eng. Juang Tuoc wanted Unity Province to remain a part of Upper Nile new state. Therefore, I had to consult Bentiu leaders to seek their view. The rally was attended by the following key political figures

(1) Late Thomas Kume Kan

(2) Late   Francais Gey Majok

(3) Late  David Wall Gatkeak

(4) Former Commissioner of Upper Nile Province, Hon. James Gatkuoth Nyak

(5) Hon. John Dor Majok,

(6) Late Choc Da Kier

(7) Hon.Arob Dau

(8) Late Chief Jau de Jiel

(9) Students and many others.

(10)Young politicians & young officials of Unity Province.

In Feb.1994 a Constitutional Presidential Decree No, 12 was issued, announcing only 24 federal states without Warab. But as soon as the decree was out the Vice president of the Republic of Sudan General of Police George Kongor, raised an immediate petition to the president Omer Hassan Elbishier over demanding Warab to become a state to be separated from Gogrial and Tony. Probably, he might have produced his own supporting and relevant documents to make Warab to stand on its own feet like the case of Baliet rural council.  Therefore, the total states which were lastly decreed became 25 states including Warab. 15 states were for northern Sudan and 10 states for south Sudan. Unity state was the first among the 25 Sudan states that presented its recommendation list of its cabinet nominee to the president with the Headed paper colored at the top with a green stripe centered by a Refinery logo (Rig). The green stripe resembles agriculture which is the second economic factor after Oil. The Rig represents the Oil which the first factor that established Unity State. And the economic perspectives of the state government were quite volatile. If people could fight hard to establish southern states and local governments from Arab colony, what prevent them to enjoy federalism?

Of course after the war people expected federalism system to be applied in South Sudan that has suffered much and for long from different central patterns of Governments.

The 2010 presidential contest was the first of its kind in the history of South Sudan that established a republican government.  “We never entrusted the president with our votes because he had the cowboy hat and we are all people of cows. We never gave him all our votes because he is called Kiir and we are people of Kier (Jikany tribe of course)”. Why is he given all the votes, is it because he will be the only one son to rule the whole country forever?  But we gave him all our votes as local people so that he pays us back in kind of decentralized powers and responsibilities from the total power we have entrusted on him. Such returned power can be described as decentralized federal system to states and local governments. In other words, the total votes he earned, is the total confident honored to establish a federal system in the country: i.e 30% to federal state and 70% to states & local governments in type of federal system. The philosophy is that the central level share is so small but in practice it has so many rooms establishing legislation in the country and type of federalism described by the constitution. It looks small but strong and acceptable. It is faxable and interesting. It is a bond deemed between the central and the people to run their own affairs within one state of one understanding.   

The Question is why the demand for federal system caused to the death of thousands and thousands of citizens by a disguised coup in South Sudan - a large country of many ethnicities having tested or tried different types of systems except federalism. The issue is not the president, but who are with the president?

Former leaders of South Sudan, who started the first movement, wrote the following petition to United Nation General Assembly when Khartoum failed to implement the Juba Round Table Conference resolutions of 1947 that South Sudan should be ruled by Federal system. The petition reads:-

True Copy:

18th West 135th Street

New York 30 N.Y

29TH April 1963

His Excellency, Mr. Adllai E Stephenson

Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary of

The United States to United Nations

New York


1) Policy of SACDNU (SUDAN AFRICAN CLOSED DISTRICTS NATIONAL UNION) was a political coalition of all Southern Sudanese Parties when general president Ibrahiem Abuod closed the Parliament when rebellion broke out in the south.

2) Reason for the petition (demand for federal system in South Sudan)

The petitioners are:-

(1) Late Hon. L.H Odhuhu   President of SACDNU (Equatoria in Tribe) former member of Sudan Parliament.

(2) Late  Hon. William Deng Nhial Secretary General of SACDNU ( Dinka in Tribe ) former Assistant District Commissioner in the Sudan

(3) Late  Hon. Marko Rume Vice president of SACDNU ( Equatoria in tribe ) former member of Sudan Parliament

(4) Late  Hon. Saturnine Lohure Member of SACDNU, former member of Sudan Parliament & President of Liberal Party in the Sudan

(5) Late Hon. Valerino Orrege treasurer of SACDNU

(6) Late Hon. Aggrey Jaden   Deputy Secretary General (Equatoria in Tribe) Member of SACDNU. Former Local Government officer in the Sudan

(7) Late Ferdinal Adiang   Former member of Sudan Parliament & Minister of Mineral Resources in the Sudan 1956. Member of SACDNU.( Shiluk in Tribe )

(8) Late Hon. James Wek Athian. Member of SACDNU. Former member of Sudan Parliament.( Dinka in Tribe )

(9) Pancrasio Ochang. Member of SACDNU. Former member of Sudan Parliament ( Jurchuol in Tribe )

(10) Late Hon. Philip Pedak Liedh. Member of SACDNU. Former member of Sudan Parliament ( Nuer in Tribe )

(11) Late Hon. Basia Renzi. Member of SACDNU. X Paramount Chief in the Sudan

(12) Late Hon. Nathaniel Oyet. Member of SACDNY. Former member of Sudan Parliament.

(13) Late. Hon. Akuot Atem de Mayen. Member of SACDNU. Former Local Government Officer in the Sudan. ( Dinka in Tribe )

(14) Late Hon. Alexis Mbali Yango

“God has been very generous to mankind, and he reward men that show a similar generosity to others” ( Pr 17:7; 22:9, 28:26 )

“God has blessed you. So you should give liberally to the poor, even they are leaving you. God carefully observes you giving and will treat you accordingly”. Deut 15:14

Jesus said “Even though you do not believe me, believe the evidence of the miracles, that you may learn and understand that the Father is in me, and I’m in the Father”

State government is the central government as well as the central government is. Evidences are there without districts to local councils, then to provinces then states, there is no central government. But the truth is, there was a dominion government from the beginning that created such levels. Therefore, there is no surprise why the lower levels should not enjoy the power of the father since they are productive.

If the whole above cabinet scholars died because of Federal system to be introduced in South Sudan what type of honor shall we reward them with?

a) Shall we reward them by calling their names in every occasion?

b) Shall we build for them a monument?

c) Or we should implement what they were struggling for, the Federal System to prevail in the country like light signal? A reward that shall reflect and affect lives of African culture that stood firm in support.

To have the best answer, let us remember the following:-

“The relationship between God and Man is unique”

(a)    Exodus 17:23 “Three times a year all the men are to appear before sovereignty Lord”


Reference to the rough and sure journey to civilization, South Sudan had passed different types of centralized systems of governments. However, when Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) was endorsed in 2005, every citizen was full with joy. The SPLA/SPLM that brought peace was received with honor by all people of the South. The general political atmosphere in south Sudan concluded that the really power that fought against such rules on behalf of people has now come to rescue them and puts things correct. For them to achieve federalism they have to implement what the CPA requires. In 2010 they elected their president to lead Referendum as speculated by the agreement. Faithfully they all decided that Referendum must go through. And between 9—to 15 January 2011, people of south Sudan scored 98.83 votes for cessation, and on the 9th of July 2011 was the Independence Day celebration. With the same prestige to liberty, people celebrated independence with great expectation that the president shall declare federalism in the country. Surprisingly, that trust and confidence given to the republican government of President Salva Kiir, turned into massacre on Nuer tribe in Juba Capital City on the 15th December 2013. (Why do kids kill kids?). When dreams turn into reality, reality can become nightmare. What next? It reminds me back about our news paper of late Mading de Garang of “The Grass Curtain “in the first movement. Who killed Nuer was not in the grass curtain.

The republican government of President Kiir reminds me of the Dominican Republic history. The first Dominican constitution was promulgated in 1844, immediately after the nation achieved its independence from Haiti. It was a liberal document with many familiar elements like separation of power, check and balance, and a long list of basic rights. However, an authoritarian government replaced the country’s liberal, democratic government during its first year. The new regime proceeded to write its own constitution. This second constitution considerably strengthened the executive, weakened the legislature and the judicial branches, and gave the president widespread emergency power, including the power to suspend basic rights and to rule by decree.

Under these shameful circumstances, South Sudan must be ruled by federal levels of governments: Federal, states and local governments.  As rebellion began at home, it was a community decision for its sons and daughters to rebel so as to rule itself and makes decisions within the natural climate they were born.

Reference should be made to other countries that have developed under federal system. U.S, Germany and India are live examples. The explanation of (Federalism & Democracy), by DAVID J. Bodenhamer, that, the United state first Constitution when it got draw 1787.  The Constitution denied sovereignty to both national and states governments. What had once appeared illogical, a government within a government was possible because both national and state power came from a grant of authority from the sovereign people. American have long believed that centralized power threatens liberty and they traditionally have feared most the use of power by a distant national government. Vesting power in two levels of government, dividing it by making each level supreme in its separate sphere, was one solution to the problem of how to grant necessary authority to government without creating such concentrated power that liberty would suffer. The states, the level of government closet to the people, in effect serve to check the power of the national government. This grant of power was expressed through a written constitution that assigned different roles to the separate levels of government. State and national government could operate concurrently over the same territory and the same population because they focus on different things i.e. the state on local matters, the national government on more general concerns. The American experiment in government allowed both states and national government to coexist as separate and independent units, each with a separate sphere of authority, because both exist to serve the people”. The interplay of local, state, and national government could scarcely have seen unusual. Few days pass when ordinary people in the United States do not encounter the laws or actions of all three levels of government. Zoning, traffic control, sanitation, educational administration, street repairs, and a hundred other services are all managed primarily by local officials, acting under a grant of authority from the state. State government controls much educational policy, criminal justice, Business and professional regulation, public health, among a variety of other important areas. And the acts of national government, from defense, and foreign affairs to economic and monetary policy to welfare reform, are staples of the daily news everywhere because of their wide impact.

“In contrast, Germany is a federal parliamentary democracy made up of 16 states. It is 349,223 square meters which is half of South Sudan of 647,095 square meters with only 10 states. Within the federal system an array of different states and local governments system exist. The head of the Federal Republic of Germany is the president (Bundesprasident)—though his post is largely ceremonial. The president represents the whole of Germany and does not have the power to make political decision. The Germany president is elected for five years by the (Bundesversammlung ), the special federal assembly convened of members of the federal parliament( Bundestag ) and an equal number of representatives from the Germany states. The Germany parliament (Bundestag) the lower house its membership consists of elected members. Germany’s electoral system is a mixture of majority voting and professional representation known as the Additional Member System (AMS). Half of the seats in parliament are to be elected by direct voting by the citizens, the other half are given by lists of candidates drawn up by the political parties in the 16 federal states. About the Upper House Parliament (BUNDESRAT), is the federal body in which the sixteen (Lander governments) are directly represented. Members of the (Bundesrat ) are not elected by the public, but are appointed by their respective states of governments. The leader of Germany government is the Federal Chancellor like a Prime Minister Angela Markel, elected in 2005, is the first female head of government in Germany history. The Chancellor and her cabinet minister forms government. By law the Chancellor defines the guideline for the government policies. The ministers represent their areas of responsibility independently within these guidelines. To elect a Chancellor, a majority vote of members of parliament is needed.


(Do we up grade rural areas to urban by assembling professionals in the central government Juba to host powers and responsibilities, or such responsibilities and powers are transferred to states and local governments to attract professionals?

Is it true president Kiir has refused powers to be transferred to his home Warab state and preferred republican centralized system he hosts? I think he has not. Because former Vice president of the Republic of Sudan, Police Brigadier General George Kongor would have not fought hard to convince President Elbishier to include Warab into the General states list of Sudan Democratic Republic under Republican Presidential degree No, 12, Feb.1994 to exercise powers and responsibilities. Warab completed the twenty five states of former Sudan, and is now one of the 16 states of South Sudan which should claim federalism.

Of course, the administrative and political theory in creating ten (10) states government is the transfer of powers and responsibilities to people to exercise such power by themselves within their own jurisdiction. With themselves and by themselves, vital relation between the states will automatically emerge among neighboring states to attract unity and NOT unity to be indirectly ENFORCED on them from the palace. But are the present ten states governments cooperated in principal since the time when THREE YEARS central republican government was establishment? Or the central republican has caused enmity by the on going fighting among SPLA forces killing its people as witnessed by Juba incidents on the 15th of December 2013, which resulted to the massacre of Nuer citizens? Why the national army, the SPLA were killing themselves in thousands in the national capital city Juba, between 15th December 2013 and March 2014? What about today? Whose benefit? Is it for the benefit of a tribe or person? Is it the state pushing the war or central power in Juba? Can the ten states have the union in this bloody canny war? “

“In U.S of America, the Constitution laid the ground rules for relationship among states by listing the reciprocal obligations the states owed each other. The states were represented in the national government itself by equal representation in the U.S Senate, the Upper House of Congress”. “The national government also has judicial authority to resolve controversies between two or more states and between the citizens of different states”.

Who endures political and administrative problems that always break the country into pieces? Is it the central government or the state that bears the pain because of its people?

(1) As I said earlier, the world and especially the British that ruled, and wrote about us, are keen in following up our footsteps. No southern Sudanese could deny, whether Nilotic or an Equatorian, that we have not descended from an African traditional culture of communes (tribes). Each tribe has its own traditional culture, kinship, norms and belief governing its community. It includes art, moral, pride, customs, knowledge and any other capabilities and habits required by man as a member of society. Culture is human nature. Who has the right to decide or change people’s culture?  Can culture be centralized? Who does not promote or mixes his culture with others is denying his culture and values.

(2) Who denies that land does not belong to community? For an example, if the size of the country is 647,095sqkm, it is the total calculation of local people’s land usage, the tribes, whether in farms, gardens, grazing pastures and hunting zones(state wild reserve ), belongs to community, the local people.? During British Rule in 1927 and before 1937 Native Courts Ordinance, construction of roads, bridges construction and repairs within district’s boundaries according to tribes, was the responsibility of tribal Chiefs. These devolved powers from the central government Khartoum continued under 1951, 1961,1971,1981 local government Act, were the responsibility of tribal chiefs according to district’s boundaries all over the country. They were the supposed roads engineers as well as local surveyors with their registrar at the right hand, their court clerks. The demarcation of 1937, 1949 and even 1956 Sudan maps, were made by District Commissioners through tribal chiefs (D.C) e.g. Captain Ferguson, Romilly, Coriat and Maxwell (please look at their names at the right margin of these maps). Therefore, chiefs were given devolved powers of THIRD CLASS magistrate to see tribal cases whether civil or Criminal, as they had been empowered to see cases having connection with their territory.  

“In Germany, about the Land, however, the magistrate system is used, whereby the Mayor presides over Magistrates appointed by the council to act as an administration. Common responsibility of this tier of local government include planning, water management, social welfare and the building and maintenance of schools, some councils also engage in cultural, economic development and energy-related activities related on the land. This tier engages in the construction and maintenance of roads, some aspects of social welfare and waste management, though some are also able to engage, in tourism promotion, libraries and higher education."      

Life and Environment: In creation, all southern Sudanese people are pastoral. Their life depends on cattle and domestic farms now have become agricultural mechanized schemes. Our traditional communities, the majority population in the country depend on the natural environmental climate. They value cattle much as their source of income and depend on rain falls. Climate is their life hope. The Nuer tribe before harvest cut some few maize or bundle of sorghum tided and put at the top door of the house as an offer to God. “Honor the Lord with your wealth, with the first fruits of your crops” Proverbs 3:9 BIBLE RANKS.

The region, filled with a sometimes barren landscape that is replaced with long grass shoots grown after the monsoon attributed to the Nuer cultural life style, in that they have to plan for potential effect the monsoon will have on their tribe and cattle.

Therefore the meteorological department and environmental nature are important aspects of local government, the local people and anywhere in south Sudan.

(3) Who is to be educated? And how many levels the education has? If the chain is separated or scattered from where it originated, will it give any encouragement to the base? Since those who are to be educated are rural people, education must be entirely under state government.

(4) Who owns land and who deserves to utilize it better economically? Is it the central level or the state government? And what is the economic potential of land to the country?

(5) (a) Who commits a crime and where do we commonly find them? Do we usually get them in the presidential office or in towns and cities? Of course who commits a crime is obviously a citizen who is commonly found in an area of the community jurisdiction. It is local Council, town or municipal council. No more. If in a plane or air or sea that is international. States also have their common laws established by legal bodies, as there are local laws. Both Civil and Criminal cases exist in a jurisdiction, urban and rural, state and local government, where the magistrate system operates perfectly.

(b) In case of land disputes or land laws, the magistrate system is required, whereby he/she shall be appointed by the council to act as an administration on behalf of federal government, or in their own responsibility. The Attorney General, the Jerry and the police are state and local functions.

“Federalism has a long tradition in Germany history. The Holy Roman Empire comprised many petty states numbering more than 300 around 1800AD”. After the second War (11), 1949, Germany was made of sixteen states, known as “Lander” (Singular Land). Since Germany has a federal constitution, the constituent states retain a measure of sovereignty.

As you may know, Just after war 11, the creation of the Federal Republic of Germany in 1949 was through the unification of the western states (which were previously under American, British, and French administration). Federalism is one of the entrenched constitutional principles of the Federal Republic of Germany. According to Germany constitution, some topics such as foreign affairs and defense, are the exclusive responsibility of the federation (i.e. the federal level), while others fall under the shared authority of the state and the federation, the state retains residual legislative authority for all other areas, including “culture”, which in Germany includes not only topics such as subsidies for the arts but also most forms of education.

Through international relations including international treaties are primary responsibility of federal level, the constituent states have little powers in this area in matters that affect them, the states have the right to representation at the federal level (i.e. through the Bundesraf, state Assembly) and in areas where they have legislative authority they have limited power to conclude international trade with the consent of the central government.

In conclusion, being people who have been ruled for over 55 years under different types of depressed (suppressed) central rules, I see no reason why our leaders who are exercising powers and responsibilities in the central level are still rejecting federalism. One is prompted to think whether the government has adopted the imperialistic method of ruling or that people of South Sudan are still backwards and must be governed from the core. It’s therefore not surprising that some muddled groups have also digested the concept wrongly that, the transfer of power from Khartoum to Juba just ended with General Salva Kiir at the time he was made the president of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 and no more. Never! Those who bear this concept in mind are misleading the president. It is now the president after being elected to show his political capability and career, integrity and values. This is the opportunity for the president of the Republic of South Sudan as well as chairperson of a big party (SPLM) to decide and declare the trust he had journeyed to freedom to be exercised by the state and local government, the area from where he rebelled. And with such, the journey to freedom is completed. However, has president Kiir like any presidents in the world allowed to establish an acceptable model of a system not only for his country, but for his own political credibility and memory?  I feel it is an inhuman and uncivilized policy to mislead the president to seek for general elections now when the country is still at war. The war has since claimed many lives of innocent people that elected him to date (4/1/2015) and displaced over two million people living without shelter. Nevertheless, hundreds and hundreds of soldiers from both sides, have been lost every month without due consideration to further the country’s defense.

Now by the National Elections Commission declaring General Elections to be convened in May 2015 all over the country is a sign of no peace to be achieved in the coming negotiation for the New Year 2015. On other hand, it is another signal to intensify the war “A soldier will fight long and hard for a bit of colored ribbon” Napoleon. أتَدْرِي, مَا هِيَ بَعْضُ العِبارَاتِ التاريخيةِ التي خَلَّفَهَا الجيشُ الشعبي لزميله وَهْوَ يُوَدِعُ آخِرَ أنْفَاسِهُ في سَاحَةِ الوَغَىَ بعد معركةٍ شَرِسَةٍ إنتهت بينها بِشَرْذَمَةِ الجَيْشَيْنِ.

فُرِضَتْ لَنَا حَرْبٌ لعِيْنَةٌ دُوْنَ مُقَدِمَاتٍ:: فهَلْ مِنْ سُلْطَةِ شَعْبٍ تَحْصُدُ شَعْبُهَا طَمْعَا

وَمَا أقْبَحُ طَعْنةُ غَدَّارٍ شَارَكَ مَعِي تَحَرُرَاً:: فَهَلْ أخْفَيْتُ لَهُ كَنْزَاً أسْوَدَاً لاَ يَعْلَمُ مَثْوَاهَا؟                          

حَارَبْتُ الْعَدُوَ إحْدَىَ وعشْرِيْنَ عَامَاً:: لَمْ يَكُنْ الشَّمَالُ غَدَارَاً مُنْذُ أوْقَعْنَا سَلَامَا

حَارَبْنَا الشَّمَالَ شَرَاسَةً لِأنَّنَا نُرِيْدُ مِنْهَا أرْضَاً:: فَأيُّ أرْضِ تُرِيْدُ مِنِي يَا أخِي أنْ تَبْنِي قُبُوْرَا؟

 لَو أيْقَظَ الْدِكْتَورُ بُرْهَةً مِنْ نَوْمِه مَغْفُوْرَاً:: لَعَادَ أدْرَاجَهُ تَوَّاً إلى رَبِّهِ مُسَّبِحَا

 نَرَىَ سَلَامَاً يُصْنَعُ في شَرْقِ إفْرِيْقِيَا دَهَاءاً:: فالْيَكُنْ سَلَامَاً أبَدِيَاً يَعِيْشُ بَيْنَكُمْ حُبُورَا

فَالْتُرَفْرِفُ أرْوَاحُنَا في سَمَاءِ الوَطَنِ مَلاكَاً:: دَفَعَتْ بِهَا حُكْمَاً فَدْرَالِيَاً تُحْذَىَ بِهِ أجِيَالُكُمْ عُهُوْدَا

It makes hard to really understand, how some important Southern Sudanese politicians do read the history they have made. The ongoing war may continue owing to personal calculations and without reading its political outlook worldwide, this can destroy a rich political, socio- cultural and economic history they have built. Therefore, politics in war are waves without destination. It is better for the central power to correct the mistakes.  “A great war leaves the country with three armies---an army of cripples, an army of mourners, and an army of thieves—Germany proverb.” Shall our country look likethat, or we hurry to restore peace to our country and establish people’s power to bring trust.

Presidents of nations are the signals of putting things right. New Federalism in US was created in response to the power the state governments lost due to the enforcement of civil rights and President Roosevelt’s New Deal in the 1960’s. Roosevelt is one of the most badass presidents to ever step foot inside the White House. He was a policeman, cowboy, boxer and soldier, but a president.  This type of federalism returned rights to the local and state governments and turned federal government powers over to the lesser governments. Moreover, President Nixon prominently enforced this by returning the provision of block grants and revenue - sharing to the state and local governments.

In other development, Ronald Reagan has been consistent in his belief that state and local governments could do a better job in many social areas than the federal government. Perhaps this belief was most succinctly expressed by Dew Lewis, a deputy director of the Reagan Transition Team, who subsequently became secretary of the Department of Transport. In a statement to governor and legislators on 25 November 1980, he declared: “Whatever power, money and authority that can be returned to the state and local level will be returned. Governor Reagan strongly belief that things can be done in a better manner and more effectively and efficiently at the state and local level”

“Speak up for who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly, defend the rights of the poor and needy” Proverb31:8

“Open your mouth for the mute, for the rights of all who are destitute. Open your mouth, judge righteously; defend the rights of the poor and needy” Proverbs 31:87 ESV/257 helpful votes.

John Juan Dong is a Retired Local Government Officer. He can be reached AT This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it .

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