June 24, 2014 (KAMPALA) – Calls for federalism in South Sudan continues gaining momentum with Unity state students’ union members in Uganda backing the proposed system of governance.
A resolution in support of federalism was on Saturday passed by up to 150 students from Unity state’s nine counties during a meeting held at Kampala International University (KIU), Uganda.
William Malek Bol, the chairman of the students’ union said federalism was the only choice for South Sudanese.
“Federal governance [system] would improve the country’s development”, he said.
Bol described South Sudan’s current transitional constitution as a “mess” stressing that federalism would strengthen the country’s 10 states through proper constitutional amendments.
"We came out with [the] resolution that what every South Sudanese is needed is a federal system, and we added our voice to the people of Equatoria, youth of Equatoria and other youths of South Sudan who are calling for a federal system", said Bol.
“South Sudan is composing of more than 64 tribes, but with current system of centralised power, others are denied good infrastructure due to one tribe dominating power”, added Bol.
The students’ union chairperson, however, believes that endorsing a federal system in the new nation would give other minority tribes the voice for representation in the national government.
He also criticised the current transitional constitution, which he said give the president too much powers, including removal of state governor who are directly-elected by the citizens.
"Our voters have been disappointed. In Unity state, we voted for somebody and granted him to go for up to 2015. It is the president himself who removed our governor, including the governor of Lake state. Now if we ask him [president] to leave his position, he says he was elected. Why is he removing elected people”? asked Bol.
Meanwhile, the secretary general of the students’ union decried what he referred to as one man’s rule, which did not reflect the will of all South Sudanese.
"Federalism is one of the means to solve tribalism in South Sudan. If you go back to the constitution currently governing the South Sudan, it is not being followed. They are just people working on their own minds, leaving aside the constitutions,” Tut Jock Chuat told Sudan Tribune o Saturday.
“I believe federalism will remove tribalism in South Sudan", added Chuat.
Samuel Majang Mut, a member of Unity state students union wondered why President Salva Kiir recently criticised the greater Equatoria people for openly supporting a federal system in South Sudan.
"As a leader, he was quoted [saying] that federalism will not be imposed on the people, but South Sudanese will decide. Now we have decided that federal system is the best form of governance for the people of South Sudan”, he said.
Mut further observed that federalism in South Sudan will ensure equitable resource distribution in all states.