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South Sudan’s Kiir says citizens should decide on federalism

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June 3, 2014 (JUBA) – South Sudanese should be allowed to decide on how they want to be governed and federalism should not be imposed onto them, president Salva Kiir said Monday.

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South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, addresses the media in Juba on 2 May 2013 (Photo: Reuters/Paul Banks)

"The issue of federalism that is seems used by Riek Machar on pretext that he wants to divide the internal front is not really viable at all because federalism has been the demand of people of South Sudan for a long time even before the independence of Sudan,” Kiir said while opening the National Legislative Assembly.

He observed that a federalism system was what southern Sudan demanded for from north Sudan during the Juba conference, held in 1947.

"South Sudanese politicians also asked for federalism in 1955 in Torit and 1963 during a Khartoum meeting", said the South Sudanese leader.

“It was not Riek Machar who tabled it. It is the people of South Sudan who should decide sort of governance that they want. It is not individual. I cannot do it by decree as the president,” he added.

It was the first time president Kiir was publicly addressing the the issue of federalism put forward by his former deputy-turned rebel leader Machar.

Last month, however, the country’s vice-president, James Wani Igga openly opposed the federalism proposal, cautioning his fellow Equatorians against buying the concept.

“Many Equatorians saw that this idea of Riek on federation will rescue them. Equatorians, no, Riek is a liar. So please the few of us who think they must join Riek in order to get federation, please you are on the wrong road”, Igga said at a conference of politicians and intellectuals from the greater Equatoria regions.

He accused the country’s ex-vice president of allegedly stealing from the Equatorians the idea of federalism, which was proposed at a similar conference in Juba last year.

“This federation here is not the creation of Riek, we all know that Riek actually stole this renewed call for federalism in this hall here – Nyakuron – during a Equatorian consultative conference like this, because he knew the resolutions of it then he said yes, I am also for federation,” he further added.

The framers of South Sudan’s 2011 transitional constitution avoided mention of federalism and instead opted for a nominally ‘decentralized system’.

However, the rebels under Machar’s leadership have demanded restructuring of the country’s states on the basis of a new peace agreement and a federal constitution in order to end the current five-month old crisis in the world’s youngest country.

(ST)

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  • 4 June 10:13, by Paul Chadrack

    you bhar el gazel don’t like to hear anything about federal system of governance but it will be enforce on you by other majority of south sudanese whether you like it or not.

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    • 4 June 11:23, by machar

      Paul chadrak
      what is the meaning of federalism do you talk about?,federalism is good in the country when people are educated otherwise we will remain UN friendly.yr complain is fair anyway but now.

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      • 4 June 18:30, by Joseph Canada

        Machar, so you would like the present regime of law? People in South Sudan are actually educated more than you think. The federal system is the only system that we south Sudanese need so that each state have control of its resources rather than juba who in turn give it to Uganda for personal benefit or individual gains . Let the citizen decide as he said and we will for sure

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    • 5 June 08:22, by Gatkuoth

      Liar!!! in drafting of the interim constitution, majority of the parliamentarians were supporting federalism....they are the Representatives of the people. Did you hear them? you instead intimated them. Both Dr. Riek and Wani were supporting federalism. Here is the reminder http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article39318

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  • 4 June 10:21, by thomas

    We’ve already decided, like you said, in 1947, 1955, 1963, 2011, and again in 2013! You are the one in the way. Decrees are the only thing you know? You never took the Constituitional Review seriously. Let them do their work, we have a referendum on a a new constitutiom, do a census, and have democratic elections. It’s that simple, that is what you were supposed to do. If you refuse, we will find

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    • 4 June 12:40, by Philosopherking

      Mr. President, as you already hinted, South Sudanese have been saying we want federalism for so long, why then is it so hard to allow it to happen. We have already spoken, a thousand times but have been denied by you. On top of a federal government, South Sudanese are tired of your incompetence. Go retire in Uganda.

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  • 4 June 10:23, by thomas

    ...someone who will, even Dr. Machar.

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  • 4 June 11:00, by Jubawe

    President Kirr you are the biggest liar with ur VP Wani Igga, since you realize that majority of people include Equatorian demand federation, you trying to twist the your word, you will fail to buy Equatorian with Your VP and will never happen Equatorian history is well known, too late for you Kirr Telar, we heard you felt sick we Equatorian disagree with VP Wani Igga regard idea of federation,

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  • 4 June 11:10, by Jubawe

    President Kirr and Telar you realize that things are bad against you, Game is almost over, soon interim Government install in within this year, all of you will be found death of heart attack or run to Uganda even start changing his polices by offering southerner students fair fee. Since Equatorian start turning their back to Kirr Government, things become worst.
    Kirr killed 20 Nuer & missing head

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  • 4 June 11:19, by Jubawe

    President order his guards to capture any Nuer’s coming out from UN compound, people found 20 Nuer’s citizen been killed and cut their heads off then throw in the bush, things still going worst in Juba, Equatorian leader final decided to stop Kirr regime from killing innocence soon they order Equatorian defences force may take arm if talks in Ethiopia not going accordingly it’s the only solution.

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    • 4 June 14:30, by barbayo

      Jubawe
      Bari, defend force do it,people waiting that to happen ,even Nuer will not allowed you Bari the issued of Kakora it still in heart , but you are talking under Bar in Uganda

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  • 4 June 12:43, by Philosopherking

    Kirr has signed more than 1000 decrees in his life time....none of them have made any difference to the common South Sudanese. Keep your useless decrees to your self. We want division of powers where every state and every country can make decisions according to their own needs and aspirations. We do no need decrees telling everyone what to do...South Sudanese are capable of ruling themselves.

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    • 4 June 12:48, by Philosopherking

      Police, Prisons, Local Taxation, Land Titles, Vehicle registration, Health, Education, Environment, wild life, agriculture, social welfare, local laws, vehicle registration, local elections are all functions of state and local governments. Why do you think every decision has had to be made in Juba by some one who has no idea what every local community needs?

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      • 4 June 12:55, by Philosopherking

        Kirr is a democratic coward...if he really wants to give the people of South Sudan a choice, the question whether Kirr should lead a federal republic of South Sudan or not. This motion should be moved in parliament through secret ballot....by then he would have learnt,South Sudanese are tired of his war addiction, paranoia, tribalism, incompetence and dictatorship.

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        • 4 June 12:58, by Philosopherking

          What SOuth Sudan needs is to remove the stumbling blocks of democracy; Kirr and his group of incompetent kleptomaniacs. We need a vote of no confidence moved against Kirr and his cabnet, after all they have various cases to answer, from genocide to corruption. Kirr must Go.

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          • 4 June 13:33, by Bentiu son

            Under incompetent Salvatore Kuethpiny’s genocidal regime we South Sudanese shall only experiences,intimidation, harassment,embarrassment,authoritative rule,useless monotonous presidential decrees,overwhelm insecurities,rampant corruption,inequality,lawlessness,cycle tribal revenges,mass genocides,splits and lack of sustainable developments across the country. Therefore,Kiir must go!!

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  • 4 June 16:50, by Mapuor

    Who stands to lose from federal system of government?Since the demand for federal system is tribally motivated,which tribe will lose to federal system?I think Dinkas who are targeted by some will benefit alot from federal system,Dinka region will take 90% of oil and will contribute small part to the Central government.Taxes that Equatorians make lot of noise on will shift to Sudan and Chad.

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    • 4 June 16:55, by Mapuor

      Minorities will be given administrative areas and any resource that is found in their areas will be shared out only with central government.Kiir will remain president so long majority vote for him and I am sure majority will always vote for him.Nuer region will only have Tharjath oil field which is only 10% of South Sudan oil.

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  • 4 June 17:18, by Fact Nonsense

    I’m sick of federalism. Lets go for it. However, I want Yirol to be a state on its own before any vote for federal government!

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    • 5 June 05:30, by Bentiu son

      Dinka boy why r you sick for federalism which of the best governing system where by powers are delegate between federal Government,States government and Local Government.Federalism provides autonomous Constitutions,Judiciary and Legislature to all above types of government levels.Hence,I know ur fear is meagre resource in your poor Bahr el Ghazal region with only Aweil rice scheme. What a shame!

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      • 5 June 05:33, by Bentiu son

        Sorry, I mean which is not of above.

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  • 4 June 21:48, by Jubawe

    Mapouir
    Equatorian does’t need no one Oil, we rich with our resources that we have, South Sudan was living on our revenue when oil shut down, if you Dinka can pack your cattles and Kirr leave Equatorian, South Sudan will be the best country ever, Dinka with no brain pretending they know nothing than corruption, ministers doesn’t know how to write shame. People sick of Dinkas u spoil ur future vot

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  • 4 June 23:19, by Jubawe

    Fact Nonsense
    No wonder why all Dinka doesn’t like the idea of Federation because they got nothing and they can’t leave by themselves, regards your village Yirol who cares about it go to your fail leader Kirr, no matter whatsoever Dinka can’t leave by themselves, just following people everywhere and they don’t admit that they’re village people include include kirr with his Cattles what a Leader

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  • 5 June 11:03, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    Federalism isn’t the vehicle to solve all inequalities, as the debate over new constitution &federalism based on ethniticities let’s put it this way new sudan shouldn’t make a distinction, let’s have a sudan which belong to all of us, nations are form as result of people movement, therefore a social modern geographical will be form. it is very wrong anybody campaigning for federalism or enforce...

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  • 5 June 11:33, by Don-Don Malith Rual

    It is very wrong for anybody to enforce or campaign about federation moreover is advisable to sit down to negotiate the rule of living together,even in the western world there is an arrangement for people to stay together without arrange married,why don’t we exercise this in our country,the fail of dialogue to have this arrangement is the course of the conflict, Even gays do have an arrangement st

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