Home | Comment & Analysis    Friday 17 December 2010

South Sudan post-secession options of governance: lessons and experiences


By Dhieu Mathok Diing Wol

December 16, 2010 — This is an attempt to expose views, which are helpful in policy-making in Southern Sudan to enable decision-makers plan for good future of the newly emerging state. I am not sure whether the SPLM Task Force on post-referendum arrangements, especially, the sub-committee for Governance in Southern Sudan in 2012 chaired by H.E Kosti Maniba the GOSS minister for the Cabinet Affairs is mandated to explore constitutional options of the governance, or there is another small group assigned secretly to do the job, as NCP besieges SPLM leadership for working on separation in a broad day.

The post-secession options of governance are equally important as post-referendum issues for which, if the South seceded without such options its fate will be clumsy, and it may be disputed between politicians and the army like many African countries, which their independence became a tragedy to the citizens. Having options of governance ahead of time is necessary as to enable each government institution prepares its own task with clear position and roll after the secession immediately without creating another long interim period, which creates a vacuum for ill-intentions.

Basic principles of good governance, political stability, economic development, security preservation, peace sustainability and prosperity of a young nation need critical examination and exploration. Those models of governance which are relatively relevant are to be matched and picked the most reliable and flexible one for the application. In the process of the selection, many factors are considered, among these; cultural background of people of Southern Sudan, political history of this great nation, naive rate of literacy, availability of natural resources, vastness of geographical distance of the area, ethnic homogeneity of the tribes and religious diversity (which is actually not a problematic in the South until this moment).

The topic will meanly concentrate on the likely types of governance (Centralization or Decentralization), types of Republic (Presidential or Parliamentary), types of economy (Liberal or Social Economy) and types of the political system (Liberal Democracy or Guided Democracy). Many lessons and experiences are to be drawn and cited from other countries with the similar situation to help understanding and support the argument.


The discussion on this issue of Centralization Vs Decentralization will not go deep in exploration of its theoretical aspects as well as options applicable to Southern Sudan for the fact that, the citizens have already resolved their preference, and the existing federalism is believed to be an acquired right which nobody would attempt to abandon it, otherwise he/she will be inviting problems. Hence, the possible options are classified within the framework of decentralization.

In a very simple term centralization is a system where policies and decisions are made top-down. That is to say, the vision of leadership is the one guided the future of a nation. Changes regarding this type of governance are made according to will of leadership hence, the accountability rest on their hands. In contrary, decentralization is a system where policies and decisions are bottom-up made. Decisions are taken democratically and changes come through interaction of people’s ideas. Many scholars criticize decentralization for it’s lose control that if unity among people is friable then it can be easily fragile.

Within a federal system, a country can exercise centralization or decentralization. Some people think mistakenly that if a country is divided up into many states or regions then there is decentralization. Federalism is a dynamic system which actually sometimes introduces to solve political crises. It is politically oriented type of governance. Some countries with the federal system of government have more centralized powers than those states seen as having a centralized system of government in their structural framework, particularly if the head of state is an authoritarian. The availability of numerous states or regions in any federal structure cannot justify effectiveness of decentralization. The devolution of powers to lower level(s) is a matter of constitutional arrangements and not a terminological perception. There are countries, which devoted more powers to grassroots to enable specialized units of administrations like education, health, veterinary, agriculture, do their duties in the grassroots without declaring themselves as federal states.

Within decentralization, there are three types, which are varied according to a degree of conferring powers to people; the first type is “deconcentration” where powers are given to lower level(s) in a weak constitutional form; the second is known to be a “delegation”, which is a more extensive form of decentralization, and the last form of decentralization is “devolution” where the authority is completely transferred to autonomous organizations. Each system has its own merits and demerits, which are equally important. The choice is usually based on suitability of each system to people and how it can enhance their living conditions. Sometimes the conferral of powers can be made to more than two levels as the case in the Sudan.

In Kenya and Uganda for example, decentralization is operating through two levels; that is the central and provincial level. County Commissioners exercise extensive powers over local issues with necessary intervention from the central government when major issues affecting national interest are under threats. The decentralization system in these two countries is opposed to the Sudanese system, where there are three levels in the North and four levels in the South, creating duplication in functions, duties and responsibilities. For example, in Juba County (JC) nobody knows whose task of collecting waste materials lies upon! Is it a responsibility of GOSS, Central Equatoria State (CES), JC or a particular Payam?

The current system of decentralization in Sudan which was actually believed to be ranking on the first type of decentralization (deconcentration), generated its existence from political deception to the people of peripheries of Sudan in order to silence the voices who were loudly calling for participation in the central government in Khartoum and not a necessity dictated by condition of life in the Country. This theory of throwing bones to the marginalized people in the peripheries works a lot and managed to rally-up popular support to NCP after a very serious opposition upon their arrival to power in 1989. This continued until CPA was signed and the Agreement confirmed the system with little improvements by suggesting changes in the clusters/tables of those powers delegated to the states, shifting the decentralization system of government from the first type “deconcentration” to the second type “delegation” in the North and put in place a symmetric system of government in the level of GOSS, leaving states in the South at mercy of GOSS and its president. Some State’s Governors ran their daily affair activities through unnecessary continuous consultations with the President either through phone calls or traveling to Juba to seek an advice. Meanwhile others are making their own dangerous decisions that contradict State’s powers without going back to the President. Some have decided to deal with Khartoum even without notice from Juba. With the newly elected governors in offices, the future of federal and semi-federal institutions in their states is at stake, each governor begins to formulate his/her own state’s structures without referring to the State or GOSS Constitutions. It is a chaotic situation which needs an immediate ratification by the newly emerging state in South Sudan. Some ministries in the GOSS like the Ministry of Legal Affairs and Constitutional Development resisted the idea of devolution of powers to the states claiming that the states have no ability to run such an important task of providing legal services, creating a rivalry situation over powers between the state ministers responsible for legal affairs and the legal counselors in the state which normally reported to their Head Quarters.

The weakness of the current federal system in Sudan is not on matters of degree of powers conferred to the lower levels, but it is a problem of inapplicability as far as the South concerned. The system itself was based on Islamic philosophy of governance where certain powers are retained by central government and ready to be passed to those states willing to enact Sharia’s laws not even by constitution or decree but in most cases through green-light from Imam/Amir. In Islamic system of governance, judicial and security powers are reserved by the head of state to be only delegated to Muslim fellow within a contact of the same sect and not everyone. This made decentralization in Sudan a failed one and not wining the trust of the people and consequently, becomes a loose nature of governance.

In the process of the newly emerging state, South Sudan should explore its own system of governance rather than imitating the model which doesn’t comply with its reality. Few questions that need exposition and answers are; do we really need decentralization? What are necessary justifications for the forthcoming system of the governance in South Sudan? Is there any necessity for three or more levels of decentralization? Do all conditions that necessary to decentralize powers to lower level(s) are favorable? Some conditions like availability of local resources, vastness of geographical areas that make the administration uneasy, cultural diversity of the population that makes it impossible to be governed as one unit, all these and other similar ones are to be properly met before taking any decision on a model of governance in South Sudan. It is very crucial to South Sudan to take a confidently step rather than rushing into a system that requires high expertise on the lower level(s) at the end of the day the result is a repentance. The current model exuded many weaknesses on ground, especially in South Sudan; this is clearly seen in the areas of community security where sometimes the disputes between tribes/sections are stopped by the SPLA forces, incompetence of administration in Counties, Payams and Bomas is in a tongue of NGOs and donors, lack of proper coordination and loose federal linkages is even realized by the President, a situation made him to appoint the adviser to fill the gap. However, this system could be appreciated for the fact that it managed to absorb many politicians and power seekers in its numerous structures, which made it contributing effectively in the reduction of political conflict and ethnic disputes over constitutional and ministerial positions in the States and Counties.

Back to our topic, decentralization can take steps before highly implemented, starting from less extensive to more extensive in a time when people believe all factors are in favor of the system. It is worth mentioning that the philosophical perspective of the notion of decentralization existed in the SPLM literatures of governance. The philosophy of “taking towns to people” instead of “taking people to towns” is a highly civilization method of serving an average person in rural areas, which represents 80% of the Southern Sudanese population. Nevertheless, the mechanism on how this ideal philosophical proposition could be implemented remains a big challenge to the SPLM. Because taking towns to people can be in many ways, either through taking government units and services to grassroots, which is very expensive in terms of cost or through privatization of economy such that the private sector can lead the public sector by taking basic services to the people, which will be only advantageous to those who can afford to buy these goods and services, which may also be another problem to the low income earners of rural population. Good example is Dubai, a desert land which its growth came as a consequence of economic booming after privatization and adoption of liberal economy policy in The United Arab of Emirates.


For the sake of reality of our nation many models and types of state, like Monarchy and Sultanate are completely dismissed in our discussion and concentrated only on two models that are Parliamentary and Presidential. The Parliamentary system also known as a prime ministerial system is a system where a political party with majority members in parliament elects to head of government. This head of the government is called Prime Minister (PM), good example is the system in Great Britain. Meanwhile, the presidential system is a form of government where the president is a head of state and directly elected by people; we refer here to the system in USA. Some countries combined both presidential and parliamentary system, which means political powers are divided-up between the two institutions. However, this dual system of government introduced as to solve the problem of check and balance in powers within the executive. It isn’t all situations that the powers of president overrule the prime minister; there are cases that the presidential office is a ceremonial with the powers of state in hands of prime minister. In this case, the president is elected by committee or group of people or sometimes inside parliament. Israel is a good example of those countries which is having the presidential head of the state with the ceremonial powers. In a process of formation of a cabinet the PM is restricted to appoint his/her ministers from Honorable Members of Parliament (MPs). This is contrary to the presidential system where the president appoints individuals believed to be capable of running offices and not necessary MPs. Usually, PM needs support of party and MPs; meanwhile, the president rarely requires political support from Parliament to pass policies in the House. In a parliamentary system, one political party can control both executive and legislature if it could manage to score a majority of seats, otherwise looks for coalition to form a necessary majority that enabled it runs a country. Furthermore, it is essentially noted that in a presidential system, there may be two different parties sharing government. Thus, the parliament might be controlled by one political party, and another party controlling the executive of the same government due to the failure of the former not won the presidential seat. In this case, the relationship over government policies is characterized by high political tension and the political cooperation between the two institutions is brought to minimum level especially the issues concerning national interest.

Narrowing our topic to a reasonable size and bringing it to Africa continent and the region by comparing and contrasting features, similarities and differences between styles of governance in some member states and take examples from Horn and East Africa, where Southern Sudan is widely conceived to be a part of that community by focusing attention on the situation in Ethiopia and Kenya without questioning integrity and sincerity of the democratic processes of the governance in these two countries along the history as this will be treated in the next topic of our article (type of political systems), we can now see what do the systems in these countries look like:

In Ethiopia for example, the system is a parliamentary were prime minister assumes office after the parliamentary race with the president elected by two houses; House of Federation (Upper House) and House of People’s Representatives (Lower House). The presidential position in Ethiopia is run for six years, and it is a symbolic post that only can exercise ceremonial powers. Mr. Girma Wolde-Giorgi who served two terms since 2001 is still as the President of Ethiopia. The Prime Minister Meles Zenawi is a patron of both the executive and the legislature due to his party overwhelmingly won the 2010 elections in the Country. His party “The Ethiopia Peoples’ Revolutionary Democratic Front” (EPRDF) has never lost elections since the inception of Ethnic Federalism Constitution in the Country.

In Kenya, politics takes place in a framework of a presidential representative whereby the president is a head of state and government. However, in 2007 elections where the results were conceived to be widely rigged by the ruling party, the current dual system of governance in Kenya came to exist pursuant to bloodshed ethnic conflict by the two major ethnic groups in the Country, the Lou and Kikuyu. The international community through a committee headed by Hon. Kofi Hanan the former UN/SG initiated the amendment of the constitution as to accommodate the opposition. Little executive powers were/are delegated to the prime minister. It was a conflict resolving model, which needs improvements before being regarded as well system of governance, because the choice was influenced by foreigners and UN to resolve the political crisis created by the elections in Country. That is why the president has more powers over prime minister and can veto out the decision of the prime minister even on policies related to the coalition within the Orange Democratic Movement (ODM). We give an example of an ODM minister who differed with the Prime Minister Honorable Riala Odinga over party’s policies and the later asked for his immediate relieve but refused by the President Mawai Kibaki. This type of system will take the country nowhere since it is only for the political accommodation. Kenyans in the last plebiscite on the aspects of the new constitution had decided to go back to their old model of governance, which was widely believed to be a right option by many political analysts.

The Sudanese experience since independence was a continuous rivalry over political power between politicians who prepared parliamentary system and the military juntas which liked to rule the Country in a presidential form of governance. The current system of the government in Khartoum came to power through the military coup replacing an elected government which arrived at power through the parliamentary system. The incumbent president of the Republic Field Marshall Omer Hassan Ahamed al Bashir when arrived into the Republican Palace, among first decrees he issued was abrogation of the constitution and banning of activities of various political parties and trade unions except National Islamic Front party (NIF) which was operating secretly in the capital of the Sudan to feed the new government with the ideological philosophy. The evident that the coup was a mere conspiracy from the NIF is the famous statement by Dr. al Turabi, which was reported to be told to al Bashir during the coup “go to the Palace as President and I go to the Prison as a Detainee". This was done deliberately to blackmail the Sudanese people that, the coup has nothing to do with the NIF but a group of patriotic military officers who have had decided to take over power. Upon their arrival to power, they set their priorities in a sequential way that between the periods 1989-1991 the Country should be run by a military council called National Salvation Military Revolutionary Council (NSMC) of which General Omer Hassan was the head of this council. In 1992-1996, the Country passed through an interim period where the interim institutions were created including interim parliament and the powers of NSMC transferred to the state, and its chairman became president of the country. In April 1996 the first elections under the unilateral-party system, the National Congress Secretariat (NCS) was conducted to test the political atmospheres, and Dr. al Turabi was elected as the speaker of the National Assembly (The Federal Parliament) for the political and the constitutional transformations. His main task was the preparation of a permanent constitution that could take the country to the stage of a multi-party system of democracy. In 1998 two important events happened, Dr. al Turabi was elected as Secretary General of the newly registered political party, the National Congress Party (NCP) and the so called Sudan Permanent Constitution was enacted and passed in the parliament under auspices of an idea Dr. al Turabi should now be ready to wage presidential elections as next president of the Country in an immediate next presidential term. All powers were placed in hand of one person the president, who became the head of both the state and the government. The enactment of the constitution was done before the party divided into the Palace and Manshaia groups due to the struggle over political power, the former was headed by the Party’s Chairperson al Turabi. It was a battle on who deserves more powers in the party as to control the government later. General Omer al Bashir, meanwhile the later was led by Secretary General Dr. Hassan.

During the deliberations on the draft constitution of 1998, Southern Sudan Parliamentarian Bloc, an association of the Southern members in the National Assembly, objecting to the idea of assembling all powers in hand of one person. The group headed by the author of this piece submitted in proposals to reduce powers of president by creating a position of prime minister who will be logically filled by a southerner as a mean of power sharing. Unfortunately, the opposition over the issue of creating the prime ministerial position came from al Turabi himself before reaching the House in the inner committee set to look at proposals and constitutional amendments, because of his (Turabi) prior aspiration to become the next president of the Country, and for him the presidential powers should not be ceiling. In the NCP, he managed to defeat the chairperson’s group and assembled all party’s powers in his hand. The situation was preempted by some of his boys and rigid military elements and conspired against him by kicking him off from both the party and the parliament, and he was arrested in December 1999 before general elections in April 2000. When he came out from the detention, he formed his own party the Popular National Congress (PNC) which later changed to Popular Congress Party (PCP).

In 2005, the internal and external pressures among others made the regime signed the peace accord in Kenya. Dr. al Turabi was set free with other political detainees as a condition from late Dr. John Garang to come to Khartoum. The regime managed to maintain the status quo as far as the government institutions concerned with the exception of the head of the state that became a head of the presidency composed of three people, the president, the first vice president and vice president.

In Southern Sudan, symmetric system was established along aside the federal government to provide more powers to the region. The head of Government of Southern Sudan (GOSS) exercises wider powers in autonomous government, which go to level of the approval of the death sentence in the region. In the regional contact, the president is received as head of the state. GOSS managed to open Liaison offices in all continents of the World, for example, in US, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Arabs Countries. These missions are doing work of Embassies in serving people of Southern Sudan in these Countries.

In Juba Lt. General Slava Kiir Mayardit, although is a head of autonomous government in Southern Sudan according to the interim constitutions still believed by the people as a president of state. The administrative relationship that existed between him and his cabinet and the Parliament takes that line. As an example, the House didn’t change his presidential decree appointing the cabinet ministers, although there was a serious debate on inclusion of some candidates who failed to win the trust of people in the April elections. This was conveniently inline with laws, regulations and norms that the presidential decrees usually have powers of the legislature and are protected by the theory of “either leave it or take it”, but since the House is dominated by one party, the SPLM which is also the President’s party, the first option of the above theory becomes an alterative without choice and the Honorable MPs left it. It is an earlier recognition of the presidential system in Southern Sudan even before the region secedes.

In conclusion, and based on these historical facts presented on types of the republic in Sudan and the two neighboring countries namely Ethiopia and Kenya, it is very important to conduct a thoroughly research before taking any decision on the type of governance that Southern Sudan would like to take as far as the presidential and parliamentary models concerned.


In this particular topic, the central discussion will be on the types of political systems that are likely adopted in South Sudan after its secession in 2011. The problem of prosperous nation-building, especially in those countries aiming for higher standard of living, is usually correlated to the type of a political system applied in governing the state. Some systems are desirable but unattainable due to implications associated with their implementation on ground. There is no question about the western democratic system known as liberal democracy as the best option among those systems that could take a nation to a respectable stage of governance in a short period. However, the big challenge is on how these emerging young nations could balance its demand for prosperity with its quest for building-up a cohesive society which could not break in front of a wave of liberal democracy, especially those countries with a high degree of diversities. We had seen how many countries with towering history in the governance falling like sprays in winter upon their quest for the liberal democracy. Who knew one day that the Soviet Union will collapse? Even so, it has happened. Another living example is Kenya, which has been stable for more than two decades under authoritative government of one party system and eventually collapsed upon the second round of its democratic change in 2007.

The dilemma of any political system is that its virginity is highly associated with the type of ideology being followed by a country. It is hardly picked and implemented without following a certain direction. For instance, those countries that have chosen the capitalist ideology and managed to articulate its subsequences became easier for them to introduce liberal democracy as the best political system. Likewise, those states which have decided to stick on socialism/ communist go further on the principles of guided democracy known also as restricted democracy passing through the socialist economic model. What has been seen as dangerous to many states that have had experienced the downfall of their well-established political systems during the cold war era was their inconsistency in the application of a certain model of the political system without a serial incorporation of its supplementary packages. For example; it is perceived that; liberal democracy plus capitalist economy plus human rights preservation equal to the western bloc political style of governance, contrary to the notion of restricted democracy plus socialist economy plus human rights abuse equal to the former eastern bloc style. Of course, these have not been the case all the time because currently there are countries practicing liberal democracy meanwhile engaging in the state-guided economy. Many political analysts believe the success usually comes only through clear separation of powers between the elements of government that is; the executive, the legislative and the judiciary and not the style of the political system. The influences of the ideological conception haven’t been stable as many political parties with a central-left ideology are capturing ground nowadays in western communities. This perception can dispute the idea of the socialism being an absolute style of governance for the East.

Upon its emergence as an alternative to communist ideology in 1950s, the social democracy which advocated free and fair elections through a parliamentary system with the state-guided economy couldn’t manage to survive longer because of the confusion that it had experienced in the process of implementation. The system is standardized to many eastern values of governance that would make it difficult rather to be modified. So it is either acquired with the entire addendums or completely abandon for the benefit of other rivalry models. Now, nobody can question the progress realized by China due to its insistence on the left direction without looking to the right. It has fully succeeded to adopt all requirements and necessities of communism and above all insisted in its implementation, despite criticism on its records on human rights. Some African countries which adopted western style of democracy like Ghana managed to transform their living conditions within a short period and became an exemplary in the continent since it has enacted the new constitution in 1992 changing its style of governance from the parliamentary system to the representative democratic republic where the president is the head of both the state and the government. There are other models seen as stable in terms of security and economic growth but their records on governance, especially the human rights, gender equality, child rights and religious tolerance, are serious criticized. Sometimes these countries accuse the western human rights organizations as behind the move for the political bargaining, that is why many states with bad records of governance but friendly to the West are considered as moderates in the index list of the failed states by Fund for Peace; an American institution of governance assessment. Many political analysts, especially from the former eastern bloc club believed on economic interest of the west as a sole reason for the classification. Whole region of the Arab Gulf has not taken an inch in democratic transformation and gender equality, nevertheless, is currently regarded as moderate states according to American criteria of the failed states. Some countries have developed recently what is known as a republican kingdom system to enable their children inheriting the leadership of the state. This was experienced in Syria and Democratic Republic of Congo and expected in Egypt and Libya.

There is a big debate, whether democracy and welfare society would be a necessity for the good governance in expense of other important functions of state like maintenance of security and keeping order, because initially the basic functions of any government are a preservation of security for the people and their properties. Hence security is a top priority if contradicting with democratic transformation; government must resort to the special measures that could restore security and order in its territory. This has been the excuse used by the leaders to enable them ceiling the human and citizenship rights. However, balancing is needed here for the national interest; the formula shouldn’t be used as a scapegoat to suppress the opposition, likewise, the opposition shouldn’t twist around these rights for destruction.

In Sudan there hasn’t been a sound constitution since independence in 1956. All attempts to enact the country’s permanent constitution had been a failed exercise. The best attempt made was during Nimiri regime in 1973 after the Addis Ababa accord, yet the system was operating under one party system the Sudan Socialist Union (SSU). In 1998 the NCP tried the so called Sudan Permanent Constitution not only in the absence of the South but the rest of the northern political parties.

The interim constitution which was agreed for by the CPA partners is coming to an end in January 2011 after Southern Sudan referendum on self-determination to choice either united Sudan or secession of Southern Sudan, which means in all cases people will prepare the new constitution(s).

This time, it will be up to the North to opt for the type of a political system that could suit its reality and interests without complaints that the South has been trying to deny its rights of ruling itself accordingly and the same theory applies to the South, no quarrel “insha allaha”. However, in Southern Sudan, many internal and external observers are worried about the fate of infant democracy in the region. The April 2010 elections were criticized badly that the electoral procedures were incompatible with the international standards. Additionally, the civil society organizations which were involved in monitoring the elections began to fear that the virus of the post-liberation movements’ attitude that rarely allowed a change or a removal of top hierarchy from power would infect the SPLM. Good examples of these long-lived heads of states are; Robert Mugabe of ZANU-PF in Zimbabwe since the independence of the country before four decades, Mamar al Ghazafi of Libya since 1969, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni of NRM in Uganda since his arrival to power in 1985, Meles Zenawi of EPRDP in Ethiopia since 1991, Idris Debby of PSM in Chad since 1990, Muhammad Hosni Mubarak of NDP in Egypt since 1981, Omer Hassan Ahamed al Bashir of NCP in the Sudan since 1989 and many African leaders.


In this last and final part of this article, we will critically emphasize types of economic systems applicable to South Sudan despite our knowledge that economic system is a complement to a political system in a country. In the previous topic on type of political systems, it was clearly stated that any model adopted in a political ideology has a correlation with; or a direct effect on an economic system of particular state.

We are not going to discuss experiences of other countries rather. Our concentration will be on Sudan generally and South Sudan, in particular.

The current Sudanese economy is based on Islamic model where the circulation of monies in markets to generate interest is strictly prohibited by law. Those financial institutions not adhered to this system and decided to operate under the classical banking system. Their wealth is confiscated and regarded null and invalid. In the Islamic economic system, the stock market/stock exchange is solely based on what is known as speculation/broker where the trader brow monies from a bank and purchase commodities/goods, either sell these goods immediately or store them to be sold in a reasonable time with the payback price being calculated in advance by the credit institution. This arrangement is known as consent or acceptance in the Islamic economy.

The imposition of this type of economy in a country where its identity is seriously disputed, was a setback and constituted a blank Cheque to the separation attractive; it serves crucial position for the leaders in the both sides on negotiating table in the Naivasha peace talks and each trenched his positions without recalling the consequences of these tough stances over unity attractive philosophy. Southerners insisted that the classical model of the economic system was the best in addressing the Sudanese reality. Unfortunately, this national call was regarded by the Northerners as a betrayal to Islam and should not be tolerated.

Another setback position from the North regarding wealth sharing protocol was the distribution of revenues of the oil produced in the South equally between the North and South 50% & 50% respectively leaving the whole country’s income to be utilized by the North for its best interest. Nevertheless, the worst part of this scenario which was noted with great surprise is that the equal percentage resolved in the CPA didn’t work as Northerners denied their counterpart from the South right of partnership in the oil production, management and marketing. The reports leaking out from the federal ministry of finance stated that the whole amount of the oil revenues in the last five years is almost 50 billion of which the South deserves half of this amount. Notwithstanding, the total amount received by the region is almost USD 10 billion equivalent to %20. This was viewed by the people of southern Sudan as covetousness over their resources from the NCP, because they relinquished 50% of their wealth during the Interim period as price for their liberty and freedom together with the lives of over two million persons, yet the North demanded more and more. Again here the separation was made attractive.

Closed door information revealed that there will not be there a breakthrough in ongoing dialogue between SPLM and NCP about the referendum, unless the post-referendum arrangements indicate a percentage of oil produced in the South to be given to the North with unspecified period of time and for final and good or just say indefinitely, otherwise there will not be a recognized referendum for people of South Sudan and Abyei. This is a serious matter.

Although South Sudan suffered a lot from economic segregation in the Sudan, political marginalization overrides economic exclusion to extend nobody was calculating the damage incurred in terms of economic policies of the North.

All in all, the wealth sharing protocol didn’t serve the purpose of the South instead. It was regarded as win- lose situation to the people of Southern Sudan. The unity attractive projects worth USD 200 million initiated by VP of the Sudan Ali Osman Thaha in June 2010, which is even less than one-fifth of monthly revenues of the oil produced in the South, was perceived by the Northerners as a solution to their long economic deprivation. This little amount should be welcomed without creating a suspicious atmosphere to the separatists since it represents part of the wealth plundered by the North. My fear, the North will not fulfill its promises and financed projects in Southern Sudan since the South will opt for the secession in the upcoming referendum.

After the secession, a lot of the oil monies pillaged by the North expected to be re-instated to the South. There will be few commitments that South Sudan needs to deal with. These include; payment of fees for renting the port for exportation, hiring the routes of the pipelines from Egilige to Port Sudan and not the pipelines themselves because the prices of the pipelines were exhaustively paid already through monthly deduction of a certain percentage in the oil revenues since 1999 and hiring some expertise with trust to continue the operation up to time the Southerners will be ready to take over the responsibility.

The lessons need learning by the leadership in the South are; that the dependency on oil can cause destruction in the economic sector and need to be avoided as much as possible; that Southern Sudan is an agricultural country and the oil should be used as a catalyst to promote the Argo-industrial opportunities; that the geographical location of Southern Sudan in the middle of Africa is a big asset not only to the foreign trade which needs good business environment but as well as air investment that could even connect all parts of the continent; that Southern Sudan possessed huge human resources in and outside the region which to be attracted back to take part in the nation-building. This work force needs good labor policies to attract their return home; that the investment in social services like education and health is much important as to prepare the generation for next stage; and that the natural resources like water, forest, wildlife and cattle are the real backbone of the economy of which the concern ministries should work hard for their booming in a very near future.

Inclusion the form of governance, types of economic and political systems adopted by a country are responsible for stability, prosperity and recognition of a nation.

Dr. Dhieu Mathok is a former minister and author of Politics of Ethnic Discrimination in Sudan: A Justification for the Secession of Southern Sudan


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  • 17 December 2010 14:33, by Joseph Milla Simon

    Dear Dr. Dhieu,

    This is indeed an eloquent analysis of the current political situation in Sudan in general and Southern Sudan in particular. I am imprest the way you make the comaparative analysis of the past and present political situation, type of governmemts ( presidential vs parliamnetarian system of government, decentarlization vs centralization with reference to Sudan, Kenya, Uganda and Ethiopia), Communist,socialist and capitalist with reference to western and Eatern blocs. You also elobarated more on types of political styles and how each impact or dictate the type of economy to surface.I absolutely concured with your analysis and hope all the best brain that we have in this country is focusing on this direction specially at this particular time. This is the time to bring the best knowledge we have to transform this emmerging Country. Our top bras who are delegated with this task should borrow this kind of ideas and add to what they have but not sit there and pretent to be doing. This is not time to sideline any view as long as the view is geared towards the benefit Southern Sudanese.


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    • 21 December 2010 13:46, by Lokorai

      I doubt whether this writer has written anything new or add value to post referendum governance arrangement for Southern Sudan.

      He knew that his readers (say some/most) have gone through classes on what decentralization, centralization, capitalism, socialism, parliamentary system/presidential among other terminologies mean for the people, what makes him think that the leadership in Juba has no idea of what these terms mean for Southern Sudan.

      Now, Dr. Dieu started to moan, then critized and end up with inconclusive piece, what do you make of his drive?

      No wonder someone says he serves in the same government and attends parliamentarians debates or at least has access to corridor of power since he’s a Dinka close to the president’s advisor.

      The mentality of turn coats (NCP turned SPLM) is that those who came from the bush don’t know anything and therefore its the legitimate right for those who never experienced bush life to lecture to bush men. shush!!!

      Dr. Dieu, when did SPLA go to obstract justice or becoming a stumbling block to our laws? You has maligned your government and your very people for no reason.

      If Kiir reads this piece, he will question his judgement as to why he appointed you in his government. He has goaded Kiir inferently...

      But Dr. Dieu on what account did you base your argument that three layers of governance (County, Payam and Boma) are cumbersome and that its better the Arab one with less layers?

      Monyi jieng man mok! Down with NCP stooges!


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      • 24 December 2010 10:53, by Nhomlawda

        The current four levels of governance are not good for development of South Sudan. Government budgets pass through series of bureaucratic levels with their own administrative units that charge overheads leaving little or nothing to reach to poor who are our targets for development. Whether it is in term of providing health care, education, and security, they all suffered the same fade.
        So I am for the review of current system and favor introduction of less bearucratic option so that services reach intended people quickly.
        This current system is encouraging tribalism too. Each tribe wants to control state resources in expense of development and this is not going to be acceptable. Movement and employment of human resources across states are also restricted by this current state, county, payam and boma system of governance. An educated equatorian can hardly get job in Unity State or Warrap for instance when there is a lot of needs for those people in those states. Therefore, we need to revise workable solution for our people and country. We had already tested this system within the last six years and it is a complete failure.

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    • 22 December 2010 11:46, by Mike Mike

      Dr. Dhieu, You did a very great job by posting this beneficial prospectives article to those who do claimed for leadership, meanwhile they doesn’t know the types of government which are existing on this world of ours. Iam very exciting with the way Dr. Dhieu has clearly elobarated the symmetrical system of political idealogy that the rest leaders of African, Eatern and Western blocs were been applying for governing their people with in their respective countries. By the way you have said so many things in this an important article but i hope our leaders of South Sudan may not looked at and take what is helpful out of it for their later ruling experiences. They will be only turning their blind eyes to and instead for anyone of them to have a crucial looked at it and try to evaluate his/her leadership style whether he/she was been doing well in his/her task no. In such a situation, we need our leaders of the South to not rules us out of their minds without refering back to the constitutional laws. No Country that can be ruled through militarization administration if it happen to be like that here then most of the people will be suffering alot and no body will almost respect that government and also it will be have no credible at international level since they are the one to diagnose the credability of every new government in world wide. So in this regards we need our learders to put in consideration to include people with such useful and open brian to help and show to us the ways to bring the good governance to the people of South Sudan.

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