Quote “Those who opposed to the idea of Federalism will and cannot not be allowed to deny Equatorians their call for Federalism” Clement Wani Konga, Governor, CES.
June 12, 2014 (SSNA) — The people of Greater Equatoria Region deserve thousands congratulations for having openly in a broad day light declared their embracement for a Federal system of governance. Many people took Equatorians for granted that they are just the kind of human beings in South Sudan who would never ever say NO for any tabled idea even the one which isn’t in their interest. Particularly, in a sensitive or threaten atmosphere like this. Unpredictably here they are, openly saying NO at the watch of the destroying machine. Ironically, it is not a lightly burden as I said, nowadays in Juba for one to express his/her dire need bravely in front of sitting individuals. Squarely, the three states’ Governors of Greater Equatoria region together with their governments’ officials and all grassroots have anonymously declared to go for federalism. By summing this up, Greater Upper Nile region is for federalism. Approximately, 50% of Greater Bhar el Gahazal region has also decided to go for federalism. Then South Sudan is here for Federal system of governance. There should not be question about that. Clearly, a need for federalism is not necessarily an expulsion of other citizens from Equatoria or ways for certain region to control own resources.
It is for the reason that federal system of governance had been a grave demand by all South Sudanese for years of struggle. So, Equatorians cannot be categorized as rebels just because they demand Federalism. It is not even the first time for Equatorians to favored or call for Federalism. Vividly, after Independence Equatorians held regional conferences in late 2011, 2012 & 2013 consecutively and called for federalism. Alas, their call had always been turned down by the government of South Sudan. Because, some people within the bureaucracy call it a new-kokora (division) or regionalism.
However, during the closure of the last Equatoria conference in 2013 it was accepted by the government for the first time. Dr. Riek Machar, the then Vice President accepted the call but implementation was not made. Afterward, the bureaucracy had to oppose itself on how South Sudan can be governance peacefully. And it has embroiled itself alone into present abyss, promptly led to peace negotiations in Addis Ababa. This is also a golden and last chance for other South Sudanese and Equatorians to forward their demands that had been turned down by the self embattled bureaucracy. Greater Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile and fifty percent of Greater Bhar El Ghazal region are for federal system. This was an accessed fact.
More so, Federalism isn’t a means of dividing the people of South Sudan as it has been misinterpreting. Rather, a means of dividing the powers, functions of government between a central government and a specified number of geographically defined regional jurisdictions. A federal system falls somewhere between the unitary and confederate forms in the method whereby it divides powers among levels of government. It has a minimum of two governmental levels, each of which derives its powers directly from the people (not from person or clique) and each of which can act directly on the people within its jurisdiction without permission from any other authority. Each level of Government is supreme in the powers assigned to it, and each is protected by a constitution from being destroyed by the other. Thus federalism is a means of dividing the powers and functions of government between a central government and a specified number of geographical defined regional (state) jurisdictions.
So it is not a call that divides the South Sudan according to tribes or regions. Instead it is a way of drawing a clear separation of powers or protecting constitutions of different levels of government from being destroyed by other. Even in one region, Greater Bhar el Ghazal, for instance; the powers of NBG State will be divided with that of WBG state. Each of these states government is supreme in the powers assigned to it. Mr. X or Y cannot interfere within the jurisdiction of one of these two states for the simple reason that they share Greater Bhar el Gazal Region. No! Again, if the people of NBG state have elected Gen. Paul Malong as their governor in elections, Paul Malong must not be removed by Dr. Dhieu Mathok the President of central Government, for example, who would be seated in Ramciel, the National Capital. There will be no interference from other level of government at all. This is how federal system works/separates powers. And that is why it is being demanded by majority of South Sudanese. Hence, it should not be twisted as Kokora—division or something else. It is the same federal system South Sudanese have been searching for, since 1950s.
Therefore, to the best of my knowledge Equatorians are not demanding it because they want to target or eliminate particular region/tribe based on proposed interim constitution. Nor it is a mechanism to join rebellion. Australians are not Americans but both nations use or share an ideology of federalism. Likewise, rebels shouldn’t be seen as Equatorians and Equatorians shouldn’t be considered as rebels—Greater Upper Nilians for reason that they both demand Federalism. After all, Equatorians are human beings in a democratic country, so they cannot swallow their dire need simply because somebody is opposed it/somebody is demanding it somewhere. IGAD led peace process in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, must be utilize by all stakeholders of South Sudan to settle and achieve what our bureaucracy failed to implement, right after independence in 2011. That is, an equitable sharing of national resources; federal system of governance and genuine devolution of powers.
“How many of South Sudanese need federal system of governance to be installed in up coming permanent constitution?” This question was accessed by IGAD—mediators and the result was a populace need to install federal system of governance in South Sudan. All Greater Equatoria and Greater Upper Nile are the leading regions in favor of federalism. Additionally, Greater Bhar El Gahzal favors the idea with about 50%. Moreover, with this statistic in mind, South Sudanese people by majority have declared support for federalism. Paved by Equatorians, for if Equatorians had decided to side with the opposite party, ideologically; federalism would have failed legally/democratically. Because, Greater Upper Nile alone plus 50% of Greater Bhar el Gahazal could only give us less than 50+1 of the (majority) whole country population needed. BRAVO EQUATORIANS FOR YOUR BOLD DECSION!!
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