Home | News    Sunday 8 June 2014

S. Sudan stakeholders debate federalism, leadership change


By Tesfa-Alem Tekle

June 7, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – A multi-stakeholders symposium on South Sudan is currently underway in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, as part of the ongoing IGAD-led mediation process to end nearly six-months of conflict in the young nation.

Seyoum Mesfin (L), chairperson of IGAD mediators, and Taban Deng Gai, the SPLM in Opposition’s chief negotiator, attend the resumption of South Sudan talks in Addis Ababa on 11 February 2014 (Photo: Reuters/Tiksa Negeri)

The all-inclusive dialogue commenced Friday after civil society organisations and the SPLM-in-Opposition delegates, who initially had logistical constraints, managed to make it to the venue of the talks.

As the symposium entered its second day, however, four thematic groups namely justice, reconciliation and healing, security sector reforms, transitional arrangements and constitutional development and reforms were formed.

The proposal on formation of a federal system of governance in South Sudan and change of leadership were the two most contentious issues during the discussions.

The government representatives rejected suggestions demanding for a federal system of governance in the country and change in its current leadership during the interim period.

The civil society, political parties and SPLM/SPLA-in-Opposition members have voiced support change in leadership and federal system as the basis of government.

Accountability and justice were also among some of the contentious issues.

With this regard, traditional, hybrid and international justice mechanism were proposed to address the impunity and crimes committed by all side to the conflict.

Corruption was another issue raised by participants to be address adequately so that it is not used as a political tool to victimise others.

The symposium brought together some 150 participants from government, SPLM-in- Opposition, political parties, faith based groups, civil societies and traditional leaders.

The team from IGAD, the regional block mediating the talks, said its mediators will use the three-day all inclusive meeting to determine possible areas of common ground on thematic issues in order to advance future negotiations.

A source close to the peace process on Friday told Sudan Tribune that IGAD will announce the timetable for next round of talks between the two South Sudan rivals based on the outcome of the ongoing symposium.


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  • 8 June 2014 14:50, by Ito

    Dear brothers and sisters, it is great to have such discussion for the interest of our country. Federal system is the only best way of governance for south sudan and I hope government politicians should not just play with it like a joke. This is peoples lives and future. Those against it are doing it for self interest and instead of for all. This is unacceptable.

    • 9 June 2014 06:45, by Tong dut

      That is the only way for south sudan problem, Kiir most go.

  • 8 June 2014 16:25, by magic

    Federalisim is good in countries which is very big and populated. USA is an exemplary country having well established federal system. S. Sudan is small country which can be easily administered well if the central government is strong. At least if south sudan implements federal system, it should not be ethnic system like Ethiopian Federal System. It has to be by region not by Ethnic.

    • 8 June 2014 17:27, by Ito

      It is impossible for it to be ethnic because under federal system, each state will manage its own affairs and only collaborate with federal parliament on matters such as foreign affairs and defense. How is it going to be ethnic when a state have many different ethnic groups living in it. This is just shallow thinking from those who are against equality and democracy in the country.

      • 8 June 2014 17:32, by Ito

        The government we had since 2005 till now is a one man dictatorship supported by his tribe who are sitting on the resources of all and using the same resources of all to kill, threaten, harass and intimidate those oppose to their interest. Where on earth can you live under a president who remove elected officials and replace with whoever he wishes, kill anyone at will, write cheques in millions

        • 8 June 2014 17:37, by Ito

          to any he wish, grab land by force, sleep with young girls an threaten parents, disrespectful to other states,for example issue of IDPs in Nimule who were ordered by Torit government to go to certain area and the order was reverse by force by Salva in disrespect to the people of EES. This is why we need federal system, because there will be no such thing in it. President kept saying he was electe

          • 8 June 2014 17:42, by Ito

            ed. But little did he know that the officials he remove were elected too. He was elected because all those he fire and wants to kill in the name of cooked coup were all campaigning for him otherwise he would have not won the elections. Even if government interpret federalism as being ethnic, it is still better than being rule by one tribe.
            Brothers and sisters, federal system is the option.

      • 9 June 2014 11:38, by Padiet Deng Alony

        Magic and ito
        the federal goverment will be based on Ethnic federalism not region federalism as follow. if am president i will issue presidential degree for Ethnic federalism like in Ethiopia.
        Dinka Region
        Nuer Region
        Shilluk Region
        Bari Region
        Murle Region
        Taposa Region
        Latuko Region etc
        that is absolute federalism Kiir should be unique

    • 8 June 2014 17:45, by Mapuor

      Dear Magic, why do we need federal system, we need federal system to combat tribalism. By putting the same ethnic group in one region like Ethiopia, India, Germany etc is the only solution to our problem. Take Upper Nile for example,Dinka,Nuer and Chollo will never live in one region again given atrocities they always commit against themselves.Equatorian do not want Bari speakers and Zandi do

      • 8 June 2014 17:47, by Mapuor

        - mination any more. Ethnic based federalism will solve issues like Madi issue.Madis will have the same region with their kinsmen Moro.Madi County will be part of Moro region since they share common culture and language. It was successfully done in India geographical proximity is not a barrier in bring language groups under one administrative system.Madis revenues will go directly to Mundri.

        • 8 June 2014 17:52, by Mapuor

          The problem in South Sudan is not skin color but tribalism.Ethiopian type federal system is the only solution now.Any body who advocates for federal system is tribally motivated.Ethnic languages and cultures will be freely developed and used as medium of instruction in ethnic regions schools,so that scientific knowledge percolated down to people easily,there will be no language barrier.

    • 9 June 2014 09:14, by DDooggaa

      magic or who ever you call your self.
      You said,"S. Sudan is small country which can be easily administered well if the central government is strong" Yes, to some point you are correct. But for now I disagree with you. Federalism is the best for S S now.First the Government has proved beyond that its not capable to run the Country. And this has been characterized by, Corruption, Tribalism and more

  • 8 June 2014 17:59, by Mapuor

    You are a bit confused,why reject ethnic based federal system which is proven the world over to be the best system of governance,minorities will be protected by the federal government and will directly be in charge of their affairs,current states have problems of ethnic domination,Lulubo in CES will never dream of governorship,their land can be grabbed if they are left under Bari speaker

    • 8 June 2014 18:05, by Mapuor

      Dragging people here and therer will only stop if we have ethnic regions:Dinka region;Nuer region’Chollo region;Moro region;Zande region;Taposa region etc.We are tired of tribalism and South Sudan must follow Ethiopian type of federal system.We can not transfer tribalism to states any more.

      • 8 June 2014 19:13, by Ito

        Tribalism is a word invented by Dinkas in south sudan and so be it. It is unfair to take others resources to enrich one tribe. This is unacceptable. It is even better for each state to become a country and each tribe will rule itself. People are tired of dinka domination and authoritarianism.

      • 8 June 2014 23:30, by Diversity

        federalism based on ethnic solidarity will not only solve the S, Sudanese political crisis, but shall enhance the full expreesion of our unity within our diversity.
        Mapuor is right here!

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