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South Sudan legislators warn of tribal war over 28 states constitutional amendment

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November 20, 2015 (JUBA) – South Sudanese members of parliament under the leadership of president Salva Kiir have warned of imminent tribal war in the country due to the constitutional amendment which seeks to impose 28 states against the will of the people of the newly founded country.

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President Salva Kiir Mayardit speaks to the National Legislature on the occasion of the inauguration of the three years extension of his mandate, on July 8, 2015 (Photo Moses Lomayat)

66 members of parliament in South Sudan who have been loyal to president Kiir have declared objection to a parliamentary vote seeking the approval to amend the constitution to allow expansion of the constitutionally recognized 10 states to 28 states in the country as ordered by the president, saying this would bring another boundaries war to the already war-ravaged nation.

37 members of parliament from Equatoria region and 29 members from Upper Nile region, mainly from the Nuer ethnic group in government issued three separate statements rejecting and condemning the manner in which a section of members of parliament have sought to amend the constitution to give the president more powers to dissolve and appoint members of parliament and state governors during the interim period.

They asserted that the move violates the terms of the peace agreement and warned that it would be a recipe for a tribal war if it is implemented.

James Kueth Chuol, chairperson of Nuer parliamentary caucus in the national legislative assembly said in a statement his group decided to keep away from participating in the vote which would authorize giving away a land of their ancestors to other community in the area.

“We shall not accept to be part of the parliamentary resolution that gives legitimacy to other community to take away our land. Therefore, we opted to distance ourselves from any imposed act that contradicts with parliamentary procedures and impinged the ancestral rights of our community,” the 18 November statement extended to Sudan Tribune reads in part.

The legislators, according to the statement whose authenticity was confirmed by the Nuer caucus chairperson, Chuol, himself during an interview with Sudan Tribune on Friday, said the establishment order of the president has violated not only the peace agreement which president Salva Kiir and the leader of armed opposition signed in August to end more than 20 months conflict in the country but also undermines peaceful coexistence of the people.

“We believed the order is untimely for the sake of restoration of terribly broken social fabric among our communities and unity of people of South Sudan and their peaceful co-existent. We gravely believe that creation of administrative areas out of conflict along ethnic lines is a recipe for tribal war,” the statement signed by the Nuer caucus members from Unity, Upper Nile and Jonglei states further warned.

However, nine Nuer members of parliament, including Riek Gai Kok, decided to succumb to the presidential pressure and voted in favour of the constitutional amendment despite rejection by the majority of the Nuer members in the caucus including their chairperson, Chuol.

Thomas Wani Kundu, head of parliamentary committee on information at the national legislative assembly, representing the Equatoria caucus, also said in a statement his group of 37 members from Equatoria decided to walk out of parliament because they believed it was not the competence of the national legislative assembly to change territories and name state capitals.

The group earlier in a statement called on the minister of justice to withdraw the bill which sought amendment of the constitution to insert 28 states, saying this was a violation of the peace agreement and the constitution of the country.

“In view of the foregoing (2(a),(b) it is clear that the issue of the establishment and approval of the number of states in Republic of South Sudan is the competence of the Council of States,” partly reads their statement in protest of the parliamentary procedure.

The parliament was also accused of violating the procedures when the two-third majority needed for the sitting was not attained in the process as the 66 MPs who walked out were also included in the declared quorum of 189, which was also did not reach the required quorum.

The 28 states is seen to be redrawing boundaries between communities and taking lands away from some communities and giving them away to other communities, particularly the ruling Dinka community from which the president hails.

The 28 states proposal is widely criticized by the opposition faction of SPLM-IO, former detainees, civil society organizations as well as by regional and international countries and bodies as a violation of the peace agreement signed between president Kiir and opposition leader, Riek Machar, on the basis of the 10 states.

A mandate to amend the current states per the agreement is a competence of the constitutional amendment committee and the future transitional national legislature that will be formed under the provisions of the peace agreement.

(ST)

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Kind regards,

The Sudan Tribune editorial team.
  • 21 November 2015 06:31, by Mi diit

    "Tik yual kuoth bi mac de bool."

    "The fire flames of the long-bearded man shall be wide spread," foresaw Prophet Ngundeng Bong.

    This Salva Kiir is a curse to South Sudan, used by the devil to destroy this nation.

    He will die with very, very bad legacy. He has successfully destroyed the little he could have got.

    Actually he was driven by others to succeed, not his vision.

    repondre message

    • 21 November 2015 06:40, by Mi diit

      Kiir is on a suicide mission to die like Hitler, Gaddaffi, Saddam Hussein and Idi Amin Dada.

      He wants to leave South Sudan in deadly chaos and leave his Dinka tribe hated and cursed forever by every South Sudanese living and dead.

      He and his Dinka council of elders are putting the future of Dinka community in uncertainly forever.

      A failed community-led leadership!

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      • 22 November 2015 04:50, by Khent

        Mi diit

        You really are a primitive child. Your obsession with the ramblings of a man that was supposedly a ’prophet’ a hundred years ago, is beyond ridiculous. Embrace the 21st century and shake off such laughable superstition. There is nobody [now or ever] that foretold the future. There is no such thing as a ’prophet’.

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        • 22 November 2015 05:03, by Khent

          The Nuer are lying, as usual. What Nuer lands have they lost as a consequence of this admittedly ham-fisted attempt by Salva Kiir to derail the peace process? I already destroyed their lies with documents affirming that the Dinka were settled in their current areas in Unity State since the 16th Century.

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          • 22 November 2015 05:08, by Khent

            The Nuer have actually benefited from this illegal decree. Their theft of Anyuak and Burun land has been legitimized by this ’government’. They’ve now been accorded all of Akobo and Longechuk even though these lands belong to the aforementioned tribes. The Burun lost Longechuk to the Nuer in the 1980s and the ANyuak are still losing land to the Nuer as we speak...

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            • 22 November 2015 05:23, by Khent

              When can you [Nuer] be expected to condemn your occupation of Akobo? The maps make it clear that Akobo belongs to the Anyuak; the Land Act of 2009 reaffirms it, the Nuer acknowledge it and the Anyuak bemoan it. When can you also be expected to return Longechuk county to the Burun?

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  • 21 November 2015 07:54, by Son of Ngundeng

    Good morning yaa balaad jinub.

    Dinka thieves of elders of looters, are the one destroying the country for sure, but kiir will die soon we will not take three months without hearing death of of kiir mayardit.
    And that will be the end of Dinka Kingdom I believe this war will touch warrap.

    Son of Prophet
    New location front line.

    repondre message

  • 21 November 2015 09:08, by jacob mayen ajuoi

    Am blaming the President Kiir, since u identify your enemy! why do you?wasting time instead to clear them out ur Goverment, those 37 MPs from Equatoria, we consider them as rebels. because went RIAK, creat 21state out of 10 state they were happen with the plane. And want the president, try to expand 21state to 28state they are now agains the creation.

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    • 21 November 2015 09:36, by Son of Ngundeng

      Jacob dog.

      Riek were followed the division of British colonize states not tribals state like your father Kiir did.
      We in the movement we are on behave of the future of all tribes of south Sudan not like Kiir who is on behave of Dinka tribe only.

      Son of Prophet
      New location front line.

      repondre message

      • 21 November 2015 20:31, by Dinka-Defender-General

        Son of Ngundeng, you will be surprised you see another Dinka takes over Kiir position such as making or Makuei. You will regret your wishes. Remember most nuer peoples used to hate Garang and than preferred Garang over Kiir after he died. Machar and many other Nuers are blinded by the word Dinka and that’s why you don’t see Dinka great works.

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    • 21 November 2015 15:20, by Stephen kuach

      In Democratical way people vote to figured out how many people voted in favor of YES or NO,but in South Sudan things are done differently,it doesn’t matter wether the majority choose to vote YES,certain groups will always vetoed,and cried out loud to the international community and indeed the intl-Com.. Always listen to them,what a corrupted World?

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    • 23 November 2015 07:10, by hamil

      @Jacob mayen ajuoi

      Your comment is one of the most idiotic and stupid I have come across. It is easy to say clear your enemies what about the consequencies? You know what you are the few mindless idiots who are making the decent Dinkas look bad when actually not all are bad. you are the curse to South Sudan that needs eliminaion to allow the county bear good fruits the likes of you are not needed

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    • 23 November 2015 07:11, by hamil

      @Jacob mayen ajuoi

      Your comment is one of the most idiotic and stupid I have come across. It is easy to say clear your enemies what about the consequencies? You know what you are the few mindless idiots who are making the decent Dinkas look bad when actually not all are bad. you are the curse to South Sudan that needs eliminaion to allow the county bear good fruits the likes of you are not needed

      repondre message

  • 21 November 2015 09:35, by Kenyang

    It was straight forwards defeat. But in South Sudan whether you’re down, you are actually the winner.

    Despite big mouth about democracy, they hate it. Here, they went for a vote and majority members favor the order but defeated party are threatening.

    I’d be on side of those calling to join pigs in the pit.

    repondre message

  • 21 November 2015 15:08, by Padiet Deng Alony

    Thum up majority vote for it legally, no more doubt

    the social fabric already between Dinka in the gone greater upper nile already destroyed when shilluk and nuer united against Dinka of Padang and Bor.those who talk of more tribal because of 28 states are lair, tribal fight already there before 28 states, u guys need to give genuine reason. bye bye parasite no more cry go and build your states

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    • 22 November 2015 15:48, by Son of Upper Nile

      You want to steal our land & call us parasite ungrateful. You are the parasite. You were welcomed into current locations in the 18th century, offered protection, taught civiliantion & how to wear clothes by hospitable & human caring Chollo, whom the likes of Padiet are calling parasite now. Ask yourself why Equatorians call you "arean Jenge" even those few handsome among you have Chollo mothers

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  • 21 November 2015 19:33, by Black Africa

    Kiir is representating Dinka interest only. As long Kiir is the President of South Sudan, there will be no peace.

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  • 23 November 2015 02:02, by Black Africa

    @ 62 tribes of South Sudan,
    Between Dinka and Nuer which tribe will you accept to live or you can welcome to your community ? I personally from Great Equatoria , I prefer Nuer tribes because you can look at their history, they haven’t kill, loot, destroy etc at Equatorians lands and the are most welcome people but Dinka nobody in this world want associated or be around them

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