Home | News    Friday 29 April 2011

Tempers flare as SPLM opposition discuss S. Sudan draft constitution


April 28, 2011 (JUBA) – A meeting, convened on Thursday by the southern leadership to address the outcries expressed by opposition parties on the country’s draft constitution, ended without consensus after its president, Salva Kiir reportedly dared discontented opposition members to leave.

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Centre of constitutional outcry: President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir (AFP)

"You opposition parties are known for boycotting such meeting. The other time, you walked out of the technical committee and it still went ahead with its work. Again you are bringing the same issue. Whoever is not comfortable is free to leave this meeting," an emotionally-charged Kiir reportedly told the meeting.

The opposition, sources told Sudan Tribune, were mainly opposed to the draft constitution’s demands that a presidential election in South Sudan be held after four years from the time the country’s independence is declared in July.

Previously, members of the opposition threatened to boycott the meeting on Thursday, which was called by Kiir, less than a week after the draft of the country’s constitution was handed over to him by the technical committee that reviewed it.

Onyoti Nyikwech, leader of the opposition, said the boycott was justified given that most of the parties were “deliberately” left out of the review process after their walk out in protest over the south ruling party’s alleged violation of rules of procedure.

Nyikwech, also a member of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement – Democratic Change, a breakaway faction of the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) described the draft constitution as a “one party document compiled to cater for the interests of SPLM members.”

The technical committee, which was comprised of members of the SPLM, representatives from other political parties, civil society groups and the religious fraternity was initiated to transform the current interim law, into an independent state constitution, address gaps within the legal framework and provide a road map that will guide the new nation.

Reacting at the release of the draft constitution, John Luk Jok, the committee chairperson remarked, “We shall embark on a broad-based constitutional review process after the July independence declaration. This process will involve the active participation of all stakeholders including other political parties.”

His remarks come almost a month after the review process suffered a serious setback, following a boycott from nine members of the 11 political parties on the technical committee. Those who withdrew accused the SPLM member violating the procedures that had been established for the review. The SPLM has 41 members on the committee.

However, the chairperson of the committee rubbished these claims as “baseless and lacking ground”. He accused the members who boycotted the committee of interfering in the constitutional review process.

“Rules of procedures were not changed at all during the process of reviewing the interim constitution. As members, we were all required to vote and come to consensus. What members of these political parties were alleging was not true,” he added.

South Sudan is due to become independent after the population overwhelming chose separation in the region’s self-determination referendum held in January. The vote was a key part of the Sudan’s 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), which ended over two decades of a bloody civil war between north and south.


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  • 29 April 2011 06:45, by Hero

    Haa, slow down Sir! Anyway, you’re on the right track, and there’s no reason why anyone or people want to spoils the whole broth yet it’s clearly put in place.You must deals with them, there’s no mercy, not anymore.

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    • 29 April 2011 06:46, by rebelson

      The constitution doesn’t even include the views of the rebels. It is worthless.

      rebelson, son of a rebel

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      • 29 April 2011 07:01, by Mr. Truthteller

        Mr. President, sir,

        Preparing to run an independent state for the first time and in political civility which should be guided by the pressing need to unite our people and political forces doesn’t need tempers to flare.

        Seek to achieve consensus in the discussions of the draft constitution. That is how democracy works. Keep away the tempers.

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        • 29 April 2011 07:57, by Dinka Dominated SPLA

          don’t cry yet the Benydit is opened his eyes and atart doing his job and that is why you have seen some nyagateen surrendered their asses to Him oyeeeee Kiir mayardit oyeee,
          I mean Dr John Garang Oyee follow by Kiir mayardit Bor Oyee Bhar el gazal oyee other good poeple oyee,
          death to nyagateen everwere in the south,

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          • 30 April 2011 04:15, by kulea

            Mr Dinka domminated
            I don’t see any Victory that could being made by Dinka alone when u said Bor oyee Bhar oyee G&K oyee my advice to u dear u betraying Dinka Community to the others

            the word Nyagat its something obviouselly even u know yrself u re the first nyagat u still calling other Nyagat if u know every well the definition of Nyagat it had been from Bor first in 1985 before anybody rebellout from Dinka ass becareful Dinka weren’t a south Sudan Victory and u knew

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        • 29 April 2011 12:02, by Mr. godfather master of reality

          This is nothing
          But purely Dinka’s constitution
          We will put together very soon southern Sudan constitution

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          • 29 April 2011 15:28, by kuac Agol

            Dear Mr. godly father.

            The constitution you talked to be purely for Dinka is not so brother.

            It is for south Sudan not for Dinka communities as you people are foolishly putting it ever time and then.

            What i know is that you need Lam Akol the traitor to be the president of South Sudan and put you there as vice president to him and this could in anyway happen to be so,now that Bashir used lam Akol once again to go against his own brothers by saying that the current constitution is like the bakery constitution in 1950 which according to him lasted upto 1975.

            You are like hook which catch the owner unknowing,however your being used against Southers is known and you can either died or join Bashir otherwise your Lam not be president of South sudan anyway let him bark.

            Allow me to ask you one question ,where re these parties in South Sudan which complain of being not part of constitution when it was amended.

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      • 29 April 2011 10:43, by Mawa Alson

        Why KIRR and his SPLM planting seeds of conflict. why too soon to forget the words from the founding president(Garang) that ’this protocals excludes none but opens the political space wide to accomodate every body. why opening the space to accomodate only SPLM puppets of Kiir and Pagan Amum? i justify any attempt by political parties to seek regime change.
        sorry SPLM for establishing Dictatorship of freedom fighters instead of freedom of freedom fighters.

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      • 29 April 2011 16:19, by Akech

        Who will talk with rebel group? Let them fight for 21 years then a gov’t will call for peace talk in Kenya again.

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      • 30 April 2011 10:15, by Paul Ongee

        Truthteller, rebelson and the likes,

        If you don’t know how to make constructive criticism, read the reviewed constitution first. Does it meet the current aspiration of Southerners and guarantee freedom, security and the right of every Southern Sudanese or not? Will it not need amendments in the future as time goes by? This is just a transitional constitution.

        Of course, some clauses need to be critically reviewed and amended because we’re approaching the end of interim period. When the time came for the formation of the committee of the constitutional review, every opposition party nominated its representative but it appeared that they came with a different agenda and decided to pull out before reviewing or discussing which articles really require amendments that fit the new nation.

        The issue here is not the claim that SPLM’s representatives outnumbered them or review procedures are not followed, it is their lack of ability and political will to contribute, review, analyze, discuss and make a meaningful amendment. They want to tune the constitutional review to their partisan interest first instead of guaranteeing independence, freedom and security of South Sudan so that one of their party leaders may be the First Vice President or Prime Minister of the New ROSS on July 9, 2011 regardless of track record and failure in elections of April, 2010. Get me clear and loud.

        In this case, do you expect SPLM, the ruling party to beg them for presence or contribution as if they know more about writing or amending the constitution than SPLM? We don’t have time to dwell on one thing. So long as southern Sudan and its political parties exist; the constitution is subject to change or amendment over time.

        Even the US Constitution was written by ten people only but reviewed by thirteen representatives from the colonies. The head of the committee was Gouverneur Morris of Pennsylvania. However, the person most associated with authoring the US Constitution was James Madison, the fourth President of the United States. Can you imagine how the fourth President of the United States became known as “The Father of the Constitution”? He wrote the constitution in 1787 and later passed by Congress in 1788. We don’t just need to complain but make a meaningful contribution to frame South Sudan constitutionally.

        Paul Ongee
        Khartoum Watch

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    • 29 April 2011 15:44, by Jada Lotole

      So, this is the President of ROSS to be born 09/04/2011 !
      Too undiplomatic in approaching simple political issues !
      Shame on you Mr. President ! Shame on you Sycophants !
      All the Democrats in South Sudan and the World indeed, have already known that you are "a man who tolerates no constructive denunciation " the constitution is marred with loopholes and egoistic interests ! For example , John Luk said that, the Constitution shall be reviewed after 09.07.2011. but he never stated any timeframe which means " after 09.07.2011, boy Kiir will even remain head of ROSS for ages !! and yet we need a "Gentleman with BIG head" to put on the ROSS Hat which at moment is being put on by a boy with "Small head" who speaks in a childish manner. Furthermore, the constitution has empowered boy Kiir to remove any governor when he so feels to ! and yet in this same faulty constitution, governors are not appointed by the boy but voted for by the people ! too contradicting indeed ! I wonder has boy Kiir really asked himself that the cause of all the rebellions in the South today are partly because of imposition of unpopular leaders that the masses don’t like ! Dear readers , be assured that, after 09.07.2011, boy Kirr will sack/appoint and re-appoint leaders at will ! mark me well and you will one day bear me a witness ! "old wine shall be filled in new bottles, new bottles shall be broken and the list is endless ...

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  • 29 April 2011 07:19, by Bol Deng

    opposition parties has been obstacled for many years and during the war they have been used by Khartoum as militia against the South Sudan.

    Now, the SPLM has sympathy and those opposition parties who fought their Southerners has been welcome with the open hands into the SPLM whom they were fighting against but they seem insisting with their opposition works that they used against the SPLM for long.
    The issue of oppostion is so murky and we are not going to solved their demand because they are working base on self-interest and majority of their demand seem destructive.

    I beleived that these opposition do not want the South Sudanese to be free from suppresion which has deprived them for many years. The opposition leaders really love the Southh ro be in the hands of Jallaba or their hands so that they can play the dirty game that they have been using in favor of Khartoum during the war.

    I am happy that SPLM had understood these oppistion because i beleived they will not do any thing that will help in the development in our new nation.

    The man whom we all know as a mastermind of every defection must be monistor and we must let him leave the discusion if that what these oppistion really need throughout the entire demand of our new nation.

    Thes opposition in the South are full of destruction that will hinder the South’s development unless we take a look at them very carefully. SPLM/A oyeee

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    • 29 April 2011 08:14, by Nyieth-Aguthon

      Troubled and disgruntled government opposition parties are waging constitutional struggle in the South. Do not upset SPLM; let the people’s party enjoy its wonderful time.

      Many of you want to grab Assembly seats on the strength of your bogus academic degrees, (Lam Akol and David de Chand, but that’s not the case whatsoever. You want to win popularity at the expense of fuelling anti-SPLM sentiment.

      Opposition parties are not bad because they bring about good governance in some countries by exerting more pressure on ruling parties. But South Sudan opposition leaders are collaborating with SPLM dissents, for example “Mayom Declaration” manifesto was put together by David de Chand and Lam Akol against the SPLM.

      The principals are working hard day and night to dislodge the South Sudan government from power but that political move is unachievable because hearts and minds of Southern Sudanese have not been won yet.

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  • 29 April 2011 07:28, by Odingo

    To President Salva Kiir
    For your information, be a united leader and not a dividing leader. you can not drafted constitution based from the opinion of your party without other parties approval of the constitutional. Mr. President the constitution is for the country. It it not for your party alone.

    Mr. President your speed of telling the other parties to leave the counry or I will make you leave, one way or another,if you don’t like my constitution, is the declaration of war with other parties.

    Folks, this is a speech a President of the New Nation can not give, but the President Kiir did it because his advisers who are all Dinka misleading him.

    I believe that a constitutional made by one party is not a constitutional. Folks, this country gona run red with blood if Dinka keep continuing misleading their President untill they pay the big price like 1991.

    Folks, President Kiir is the good President, but his advisers including Philp Aguer, Pagan Amum, James Hoth Mai and John Luk whom the President listening to their advices, make him a worse president in the country. Folks, I don’t know what is wrong with the Minister of Legal affair and constitutional development. Yesterday he accused Nuer in General for claiming that SPLA is Dominated by Dinka. Then, Denied it and called it as baseless lacking ground evidence. Today again, the Minister of Legal Affair and constitutional Development accused the other parties calling their complain as baseless and lacking evidence. Folks, our country is in big travel.

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    • 29 April 2011 08:17, by Cibaipiath Junub Sudan

      The tiger is trying slowly to show its preys its sharpen claws. After July 9th 2011, oppositions will disappear from the Southern territory. South Sudan a photocopy of Uganda leadership style. "Rule by force" is going to be a motto of the SPLM.

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  • 29 April 2011 08:46, by Laat Ayie Jal

    Fellow southern Sudanese, without wasting time I would like to draw your attention to a very important matter: Regional capital of South Sudan. Our draft constitution is displayed; public, political leaders, civil societies and other activist reactions took the stages to either support or protest its contents. My little contribution however is not to either affiliate with opposite directions, but to put a little emphasis on key issue mention above.
    The time should have been now for the government of South Sudan to vigorously address with confidence the outstanding issue of regional capital in the constitution, the new draft indicates that regional capital will remain Juba despite the call to relocate the capital by Juba natives.
    Make no mistake; that natives have decided that Juba remain capital of Central Equatoria and home for its natives giving the government the choice to explore other venues to set nation’s capital. It is regrettable that the Government of South Sudan still considers Juba as nation’s Capital without a clear protest to announcement made during natives deliberations in which the same vary government was advice to seek other alternatives.
    What message would an ordinary citizen like me and you learn from this dogging? Is that means that native’s opinion is ignored by (Goss); in another word “dog barks and camel is going”. Or they failed to realize that other citizen are put in the state of uncertainties were their plans are disrupt. Majority of Southerners from other states came to Juba to work for the government, almost 80% of these population on rental basis while the other 15% lodged in hotels leaving the other 5% owns hoses in remote locations, is that really the capital for all (10) states?
    Southerners including Equatorians from West and East suffered from not having shelters, leave alone other southerners who are not even welcome: Central Equatoria embark and utters on land grapping all the time by SPLA and other high ranking officers in Goss, do these categories represents Southerners from different states? If the answer is NO, than why are they denied lands ownership since the capital belongs to us all?
    South Sudan is large, rich with countless of natural resources, I believe there is something special in other states that other states don’t have, for example, Equatorian states borders almost (4-5) countries which is good for our foreign trade, northern South Sudan states enjoys oil wealth and each of these states gets only 2% while other states shares 48% of its oil revenues.
    Goss needs to revise land rights protocols especially the one of capital, reach peaceful settlement with natives and distribute land like the way it handles oil such that every citizen have a piece, we don’t want to end up where Bentiu for example refuse to share their oil with the rest of the country. These facts could unfold any times if government is not attentive, country in the making such as South Sudan, everything almost sound right, but later appears to be chaos that may cost the nation a portion to re evaluate it.
    Our government needs to act timely and decisively to show the public where the capital of South Sudan would be, the upcoming stage is development and citizens need to start constructing their houses. Bill Gates have contributed 5million USD for Juba as nation’s capital, not to mention countless privileges that Juba enjoys in terms of priorities of being nation’s capital not because the good wishers felt in love with the locals and start pouring money there. If Juba is going to be capital, government can mediate to accommodate everyone or else lets all plans for Ramciel.

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    • 29 April 2011 09:13, by LOJUBA

      Bro, i want to inform you that you are worrying you are renting house, but even us we rent in other towns of south sudan, iI THINK BEFORE WE WERE RENTING IN KHARTOUM and Khartoum is our capital too, no question out of that.
      secondly I want to inform you that you don’t know why Juba still there, it is better to keep waiting till Mr. right time is out. let me alert you that , do you know the reason why demolition of houses around Juba going on???
      Equatoria need OTHER ONLY and you will not RENT for the rest of your life BRO.

      Sorry if I put wrongly
      Love to all Southerners

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  • 29 April 2011 09:04, by LOJUBA

    Dear Southerners, Constitution is a South Sudan, I think South Sudan is for all, means Constitution is for all, we respect you Mr. President and Ilove to see you as my President, but i want you to listen to our needs, we will listen to you too, and togetherly we will built a really DREAM Country South Sudan.
    Opposition I will love to see you , opposing things will benefit our country, you understand always there is Dis/Agreement any where, but don’t lost hope to behave un resposible, People of the Republic of South Sudan to be Love to see your Wisdoms Through Development, Peace and Leadership.

    Lets Avoid language of DINKA, NUER, OR BARI, lets be the United People of the Republic of South Sudan.


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    • 29 April 2011 17:49, by Marco A. Wek

      LoJuba, that is a good way to go and all Southerners follow the same route instead of tribalism that will take us nowhere.

      When any brother from any Southern Sudanese tribes become president, not all his tribe men and women will be presidents or live that luxurious live in the presidential palace and so I don’t see any reason why some sick minded tribalists are always crying on this website.

      They need to learn that whoever becomes the president in a president of a tribe but he or she will be a president of a nation. In old united Sudan, Northerners from different tribes became presidents including Omar Al Bashir and we in the South particularly those who are making noises now did not say a word to the tribe where they came from. What a joke are you people? All those good for nothing leaders we blindly support do not even know who we are nor do they care about us, they might stir some fools among to let them achieve their goals and any fool that follows blindly will always be used over again and again until that fool is taken out of equation.

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  • 29 April 2011 10:09, by Abikach Ayuel

    Ease Mr.president do not let ur tempers reach the mountain peak for u r a hero ! all u need to do is to respect ur pledges to people of Southern sudan and build strong nation for all of us !

    After declaration of independence and end of ur term in 2o15 u and your army officers[Generals] u need to retire to give young talented youths a chance to become next leaders and u will deserve life pensions together with ur generals for u r freedom fighters.

    I wish I were u, mr Kiir, i must do it like former UK prime minister who retires after defending his country against Germans in World War two to pave way for learnt people with talents to build a country !

    Am not saying u r not learned Mr. Pesident but talents and ability matter alot his excellency !

    rough aside all those complains and embark on development so that when u retires u will be praised for it but do not let it go beyond 2015 I emmphasize with u Mr. general of our freedom !

    u know what dear listeners to this article !What matter is not a constitution in its context, but the fact is respect for Rule of law where the same law judges us accoordingly without favour ! I know our current leaders are law as they assume in their little brains but not all of them anyway !

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  • 29 April 2011 10:20, by Abraham Majur Lam

    Dear South Sudan opposition leaders., you claimed elections in 18 months after 9 July.should we concentrate on the elections what of preparing South Sudan on global arena?. what we should consider are resources we have the arrangements for joining international treaties and all of them involves fee subscription. GOSS need to talk to militias and rebels how can we afford all these?,giving the time frame you guys claim. All southerners will mistake you to be having different agenda but not the isssue of 4 years for election period as per draft constitution. We are very aware that SPLM party will ushe in democracy if we allow ourselves to follow all proceses. just few years to go let us relax and be patience.

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  • 29 April 2011 13:53, by makuei

    Oh, Mr. President,
    This is a first test. Approach it with calm. Anyway, people who are not in power like our new opposition parties tend to act things up, forgetting the milestones ahead.

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  • 29 April 2011 19:44, by unityfirst1

    Mr.President! that’s a good idea to have all the opposition Parties voice out in our constitution,though you don’t have to loose your temper right away in front of the crowds during the convention.you’re no longer commanding the army,however you’re civilizing South Sudan citizens inwhole,so you’re fathering all our citizens whithin the South.i would like to point something out regarding about the other Parties that if there’s some slide mistakes that are being rejected by them,then there’s always a good time to call the Parties and negotiate it on the table,doing so can cool down the interior enemies for doing that.no body is 100% right,so find some ways to solve this issues which can sometimes fuel up the war within the South.those who like to seek peace are better than those who turn their guns against their own brothers and insisting fighting a worseless war for their own interest.

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