December 30, 2012 (RUMBEK) – A member of South Sudan’s Lakes state Council of Traditional Authority Leaders (COTAL) has urged both the central and state governments to ensure the council participates in decision-making processes.
Recdit Anyieth Recdit, the paramount chief of Yirol East County in Lakes state said participation of traditional leaders would assist government in addressing political and development issues.
“[The] difficult thing is decision making [and] to release the fact. Do not involve your interest in the decision-making. Forgiveness is the key to governance,” Recdit told Sudan Tribune in an interview.
He added, “During our time, children used to listen to their parent, but nowadays, children cannot listen to their elder [and] this is dangerous. This generation has many changes in traditional norm, which will affect future.”
Recdit, 75, said the present generation is responsible for the “bad” governance the country experiences today because everyone of fighting to rule, without backing one another.
The Yirol East paramount chief, who is also a member of regional county court, took over the crown after his brother died in the early 1970s.
He said all citizens in the young nation should be given a chance to rule, if given opportunity without alienation.
“Let us avoid power struggling among our leadership. We are decision makers [but] we can [only] serve [the] people of South Sudan if we [are] united together for the interest of the [people] of South Sudan,” said Recdit.
"Let us avoid divide and rule policy, which is ongoing now," he stressed.
In June 2011, Lakes state government in collaboration with the US Agency for International Development (USAID) officially opened the first COTAL center in the provincial capital, Rumbek.
The facility was earmarked to assist chiefs in resolving local disputes through existing customary laws. In the past, however, USAID, in partnership with local government has assisted state authorities to construct or complete COTALs in Jonglei, Unity, Warrap, and Northern Bahr el Ghazal states.