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Jonglei state officials differ over youth union constitution

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March 16, 2013 (BOR) – A ceremony that South Sudan’s Jonglei Youth Union organised to mark the signing of its constitution and inauguration of newly-elected leaders was cancelled on Sunday, after an official queried the legality of the document.

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Jonglei state local government minister Diing Akol speaks to journalists in Bor, 16 March 2013 (ST)

John Aluong, a legal advisor to the state ministry of youth, sports and culture, said the youth constitution needed to be taken to South Sudan’s ministry of justice for registration, before it could be signed off on as a recognised law.

“As a lawyer, I am not part of the signing, and I will not preside over it. I don’t even know what the constitution looks like. [The Jonglei] Youth Union is a civil society [organisation] and its constitution doesn’t need signing here to become a law. It is illegal”, Aluong stressed.

The youth union’s council passed the draft constitution following three days of deliberations, prompting its chairperson and executives to invite state officials, including the governor, to witness the signing into law of the document.

However, on 16 March the youth ministry’s legal advisor wrote to members of the union, asking them to follow correct legal procedures required before a constitution can become law.

Formed in 2012 as an independent body, the union comprises of 66 members drawn from each of the 11 counties in South Sudan’s largest state.

Meanwhile, state minister of local government Diing Akol, has insisted that under the current decentralisation policy citizens no longer need to seek recognition from Juba.

“Can we really run to Juba just to have our constitution signed? What if we do it here in Bor [Jonglei’s capital]? I don’t see the reason why people from far Western Bahr el Ghazal in the west, Renk in the far north can run all the way to have such things done in Juba”, said Akol. “I am not for that idea”, he added.

In the absence of a recognised legal framework to guide the youth fraternity, Jonglei governor Kuol Manyang called for the postponement of its constitution signing and inauguration of the newly elected members until the matter was resolved.

“I am not going to give my official speech because I have been informed that the constitution is not signed by the ministry of justice in Juba”, said Manyang.

However, the youth union’s secretary of legal affairs and constitutional development - himself a lawyer - said he was surprised by the claims from his counterpart from the youth ministry.

“What happened has let the union down. This constitution will not be legal if it is not signed by the union into law with our stamp”, said Biar Gatluak.

“If we cannot make laws for ourselves, who else can come and make them for us?” He asked.

South Sudan, which became independent in July 2011 is currently guided by a Transitional Constitution, signed into law by its president Salva Kiir on the day it become a new nation. A 45-member committee was last year formed to review the constitution.

(ST)

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  • 18 March 2013 08:40, by Gabriel Ajak

    There is nothing smooth in Jonglei State even between child and his/her parent.

    repondre message

    • 18 March 2013 08:57, by Xeno

      You got it pal. Bunch of confused mfs

      repondre message

    • 18 March 2013 11:24, by Lotodo Awino Odug

      call them bylaws and abide by them,stop embarassing our state for your foolishness.

      repondre message

    • 19 March 2013 07:09, by Pinyin Gatkuoth

      Diing Akol ur not fit to cotrol jongei youth while u do not control ur ministry of Local Government.
      first of all clear ur office difference and u will go to jonglie later.

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  • 18 March 2013 09:57, by sudani

    Jonglei is not independent country but state under the republic of south sudan and they should not make their own with out the knowledge of the president of the republic. what the youth is doing is not lawfull and must be stop. instead to correctly call the document, rule & regulations that Governed their activitiies in theirs organization, they blindly call it a law. what a shame?

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  • 18 March 2013 10:19, by Wiyual

    Any civil organization legal documents is called Bylaw; not constitution. I bet Mr. Aluong is right to question the legality of that documents.

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    • 18 March 2013 11:21, by Tribe

      Wyual,
      you’re right.Organisation and fraternity as such are governed by the bylaws that’re aligned with state’s law.All it needs is a blessing from state authority. No need of running with it to Juba.I hope these kind of lawyers are not the one entrusted with our to-be national constitution. We have long way to go if simple things are confused as such.

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  • 18 March 2013 11:03, by majok akol

    hahahahaha..,.......unless if you are mad the jonglei state youth union constitution have nothing to do with the signatures of state gov’t or s sudan. it is an internal constitution for the union only enforceable to the members of the union.it cannot affect s sudan gov’t in any way. And if it will be as the way you claim, How many constitutions do you want to be in south sudan ? Am argueing that y

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    • 18 March 2013 14:27, by aguotwany@live.com

      Mr. Akol, I think that lawyer who wrote this what they called " Constitution " has an agenda behind and that man should be investigated by the state government & involve the federal government if there any South, Sudan violation of it’s constitution . They should have called it Bylaw constitution . Now the issue gone farther. Hope this Youth Union can learn from their mistake .

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      • 18 March 2013 14:44, by Tutbol

        It would be like a local jonglei union of traders would want a federal govt blessing of their internal working arrangements! Those lawyers would need their certificates check. What does jonglei local youth working arrangements have to with the federal constitution? Greedy trölls!

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        • 18 March 2013 19:35, by Peacocktail

          By Laws are for Union or Association, Jonglei did well but shouldn’t invite the Governor to endorse or bless their by-laws, draft it and keep it in your offices as reference. Why take it to Juba of what, Does it need to be incorporate into state constitution or National constitution..I don’t understand, Please stop abusing Laws,it governed people and at the same destroy the society if bylaws misus

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  • 19 March 2013 05:03, by marie

    No wonder Jonglei is in a chaos. Even the governor does not know the difference between a constitution for a group and what needs to be endorsed by the government. A constitution of a group is an internal document that govern the daily activities of the group and should be passed by the members. Bylaws would be some articles that govern adhoc committees, etc that are not in the constitution.

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