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constitution

Date Snippet Page
2014/07/03 The Governors of the Equatorian states insist that the debate on federalism should continue, despite apparent attempts by the central authorities to stifle it. Snippet: The Governors of the Equatorian states insist that the debate on feder....
2014/05/13 The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announces President Kiir. This, he says, is to allow time for national reconciliation and the creation of a permanent constitution under a transitional government, following preliminary agreements to end the current rebellion/civil war. Snippet: The general election due in 2015 will be postponed until 2017, announc....
2014/04/17 National elections can still take place in 2015, says Telar Deng, the legal advisor to President Kiir, even though an official at the US Institute of Peace has said this is not realistic. Deng is optimistic that the constitutional review can be completed beforehand, but says the elections can go ahead even if it is not. Snippet
2014/04 Riek Machar claims that adoption of federalism (stronger autonomy for the states) in the 2011 Interim Constitution would have helped avert the current crisis. Riek says he and the state governors had been advocating this system in 2011, but President Kiir had accused him of running a parallel government. Snippet
2014/04/08 The speaker of the Jonglei State assembly resigns to allow re-establishment of the traditional balance in the high offices of the state between Greater Bor, Greater Fangak, Greater Akobo and Greater Pibor areas. Snippet
2014/03/10 At big youth rally attended by senior politicians in Juba, many call for the replacement of Hilde F. Johnson as UN Special Representative for a failure to maintain neutrality during the rebellion. Magel Ring Machar, chairperson of the Political Parties Youth Forum is applauded when calling for power to be contested by constitutional means, not rebellion. Snippet
2014/03 The state-level work of the Constitutional Review Commission has stopped, due to post-rebellion insecurity. Snippet 1530
2014/02 President Kiir countermands the creation of a state ministry of petroleum and mining by Upper Nile governor Simon Kun Puoch, on grounds that it was unconstitutional. Snippet
2014/02/01 A group of five diaspora intellectuals publishes a scheme for reformed governance in South Sudan, which they hope will inform the post-rebellion peace process. Authors: Dr Eluzai Hakim, Dr Mairi J Blackings, Dr Martin Mikaya, Prof Laura Beny, Prof Charles Bakheit. Snippet
2014/02 MATD (Minyori Agency for Transformation and Development) conducts a constitution review workshop in Tore Payam, Yei River County. Outcomes reported by Radio Easter focussed on participants' views of appropriate punishments for crimes, including dropping out of school. Snippet
2013/10/29 The speaker of the Lakes state assembly is replaced, apparently largely through the agency of the SPLM chairman for the state, Daniel Awet Akot, changing a previous decision of SPLM members of the assembly. In the end, MPs are asked to choose among candidates from one particular county: Cueibet. Snippet
2013/10 The National Constitutional Review Commission appeals for extra funds, as its allocation in the national budget remains at SSP 9 million for 2013-2014. It says this is only enough to pay salaries, and not to print copies of the transitional constitution for civic education purposes. Snippet
2013/10 36 members of the Lakes State assembly declare a 14-day strike (no participation in house business) in an attempt to remove the house speaker, who is accused of following too much the will of the caretaker governor (Matur Chut Dhuol) rather than the state constitution. Snippet
2013/10/02 The governor of Upper Nile State, Simon Kun Puoch, meets President Kiir, and reportedly gets a go-ahead to 'direct' the state assembly. This comes after the assembly impeached its deputy speaker against the will of the governor, and the governor suspended it. Snippet
2013/10/02 The acting governor of Lakes State, Matur Chut Dhuol, swore in a new set of state ministers without the approval of the state assembly. An MP said this was illegal. Snippet
2013/09/30 The parliament of Lakes State re-opens after six months of recess. Under the constitution, recess should not be longer than three months. The delay was partly due to struggle over the position of speaker. On a recent visit to Lakes, President Kiir directed that the existing speaker should remain in office. The parliament was originally shut by acting governor Matur Chuol Dhuol. In re-opening it he said that security had improved but did not present evidence. Snippet
2013/03/21 The 60-day deadline apparently required in law is broken, for the holding of gubernatorial elections in Lakes State, following the sacking of Chol Tong Mayay as governor in January. The acting governor appointed by President Kiir - Maj-Gen Matur Chut Dhuol - remains in place. Snippet
2013/08/14 At an official constitution review workshop in Aweil, most of the invited participants do not have a copy of the interim constitution. Snippet
2013/07/19 The Civil Society Resource Team (CSRT) on the constitutional review process completes a set of citizens' dialogues in all the states of South Sudan, and issues a summary of the views expressed. Snippet 994
2012/10 Oct 2012: Kiir orders army security in Juba amid coup rumours as he visits Uganda (ST 12 Oct). Warns that any coup will not be accepted internationally (ST 16 Oct). Snippet 790
2013/02/15 'South Sudan Law Society in partnership with the Civil Society Resource Team on the Constitution and with support from Justice Africa, Cordaid and IKV Pax Christi has concluded a three day dialogue on the constitution and the constitution review process in Bentiu, Unity State.' (SSLS 17 Feb 2013 via Sudan Tribune) Snippet 726
2013/02/15 A public hearing at the National Legislative Assemby hears that the National Constitutional Review Commission has made little progress, and its size and duration may be curtailed, due to lack of funding. The meeting was supported by Embassy of Germany, IFES South Sudan and IRI. Snippet 674
2011 'The 2011 transitional constitution dubbed English as “the official working language” but added that “all indigenous languages of South Sudan are national languages and shall be respected, developed and promoted.” With an estimated 64 tribes speaking different languages, the question remains how these will be promoted and developed.' (Abraham Daljang Maker/The Niles, 8 February 2013) Snippet 637
2013/01 The Governor of Upper Nile State, Simon Kun Puoc, orders the Secretary-General of the SPLM in Upper Nile, John Kor Dieu, to leave the state, on grounds of corruption and collaborating with SPLM-DC. (Sudan Tribune, 4 February 2013) Snippet 612
2012/09 International Foundation for Electoral Systems (IFES) in Sep 2012 Supports National Constitutional Review Commission (SCRN 10 Sep) Snippet 558
Reference Mini-review
Augustino Ting Mayai, 2014/06/01. Bibliography item: Augustino Ting Mayai (2014/06/01) "How the Federal System of Government is Misunderstood in South Sudan". (Report). The Sudd Institute. [Report] The Sudd Institute. Accessed online.

This 4-page report points out that the current transitional constitution of South Sudan uses a kind of federalism, although without the name. Hence the current debate about adopting a federal system is often confused. In the view of the author, the debates should focus on more detailed questions like curtailing the power of the national president to dismiss state governors, and of the finance ministry to control all tax collection, and the central regulation of the judicial system. But he also points out the heavy immediate economic cost of decentralization.

Jack Lino Wuor Abeyi, 2014/06. Bibliography item: Jack Lino Wuor Abeyi (2014/06) "South Sudan: Federalism And Prisoner’s Dilemma". (Article). Gurtong. [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online., Accessed online., Accessed online.

Three-part article presenting a temperate and thoughtful collection of arguments against federalism in South Sudan.

John Adoor Deng, 2014/05/28. Bibliography item: John Adoor Deng (2014/05/28) "Rush to Federalism is not the Panacea to South Sudan’s Chronic Tribulations". (Article). PaanLuel Wël. [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

This 1,500-word article explains that federalism comes in a wide range of strengths, but generally opposes it for South Sudan at present on three grounds: (1) that South Sudan lacks enough common bond of unity to hold it together under a federal system; (2) the present lack of democracy does not provide a suitable basis for a federal system and (3) the present culture of corruption at the national level would be transmitted to the separate parts of the federation.

Jacob Akol, 2014/05. Bibliography item: Jacob Akol (2014/05) "The Need for an Ethnically Rooted Constitution for South Sudan as a Foundation for Democracy and National Stability". (Article). Gurtong. [Article] Gurtong. Accessed online.

This article (originally a conference paper) revives the idea of a 'House of Nationalities' - a permanent forum representing each of 60 or more defined ethnic groups in South Sudan - which had been developed between 2000 and 2004 (see here). The article suggests this should be a chamber under the constitution, possibly an upper house of parliament. The author links this to the radical recognition of sovereignty for all nationalities under the state which is professed in the Ethiopian constitution of 1994.

Civil society members, 2014/03/26. South Sudan Civil Society Declaration on Civil Society Engagement in the IGAD-Led Peace Process for Sustainable Peace and Development [Operating document] Gurtong. Accessed online.

This document signed by representatives of various civil society groups currently in Addis Ababa during peace talks, calls for: (1) a stop to the war between GRSS and rebels; (2) humanitarian corridors; (3) immediate amendment of the Transitional Constitution to curb executive powers, increase the independence of the Judiciary, and strengthen the process for creating a new constitution; (4) restructure the SPLA with ethnic diversity and a central command; (5) enhanced role of civil society; (6) peace talks to include a well-reasoned economic vision (7) civil society to be included in talks.

Kevin Cope, 2014/03/21. South Sudan’s Constitutional Bait-and-Switch [Article] PaanLuel Wël. Accessed online.

Argues that over-centralization in the national (interim) constitution may be a cause of the current crisis. Also that this over-centralization was largely created in the process of converting the Southern Sudan constitution of 2005 into the interim national constitution of 2011. While the former adopted a principle of decentralization (which supported Southern Sudan's autonomy within Sudan), the latter was more influenced by concern about internal security threats, and the SPLM's instinctive response was to move toward 'unrestrained central executive authority'.

J4J4 Campaign, 2014/03/16. ‘Juba four’ trial inherently flawed [Article] Radio Tamazuj. Accessed online.

This article - by a campaign supporting the 'Juba Four' (Pag'an Amum, Oyay Deng, Majak D'Agoot and Ezekiel Lol Gatkuoth) - lays out the ways in which their detention and current trial have been unconstitutional and unjust. Principally these are that: the four were detained without being properly charged; that they are being tried at a Special Court which has not been convened in accordance with the national consitution; that they have not been given proper opportunity to prepare a defence. Accordingly it calls for their immediate release.

Ban Ki-Moon, 2014/03/06. Report of the Secretary-General on South Sudan [Report] United Nations Security Council. Accessed online.

Covering the period from 2013/11/08 to 2014/03/06, the report narrates the rebellion, its humanitarian effects, and the actions of UNMISS. It blames South Sudan's leaders collectively for letting power struggles 'spiral out of control' and envisages a need for 'fundamental systemic reform' in the country.

Eluzai Hakim and others, 2014/02/01. Unleashing the Potential for Good Governance in the Republic of South Sudan [Report] South Sudanese Professionals in Diaspora. Accessed online.

This paper by five diaspora intellectuals is intended to influence post-rebellion settlement discussions. It affirms widespread principles of good governance and makes many more specific recommendations such as: having a federal system of three regions rather than ten states; gradually demobilize the SPLA and replace it with a systematically trained national army with soldiers drawn equally from each of the three regions; re-draft the national constitution ensuring independence of the executive and judiciary, and limiting the President's use of decrees.

AWEPA, 2013/12. Background to Decentralisation and the Local Government System [Book] Association of European Parliamentarians with Africa (AWEPA). Accessed online.

Published as a manual for training local councils in South Sudan, this book provides a useful outline of the institutional structure of local government.

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