Southern Sudan

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S. Sudan parliament declines to approve justice minister-designate

August 7, 2013 (JUBA)- South Sudan’s parliament on Wednesday approved the new cabinet formation presented by president Salva Kiir but notably rejected the minister of Justice-designate and demanded more information before they can give their blessings.

JPEG - 85.2 kbFILE – Ex-Presidential advisor on legal affairs for the government of Southern Sudan, Telar Ring Deng (ST – File)

Speaking to reporters after the endorsement of the new cabinet, Joyce Kwaje, head of parliamentary committee responsible for Media, Culture and Information
congratulated members of the new government and urged them, together with the president, to serve the nation as one team.

“We are very happy as the house, because we have today approved the new cabinet. This is because the country has not been having a cabinet for a long time since it was dissolved. The house has approved 18 names. These are the people who will be sworn in this afternoon”, Kwaje told journalists on Wednesday at the assembly.

However she stressed that the house will still have to conduct a thorough background check on the candidates for Minister of Justice and the deputy minister of Youth, Culture and Sport.

“The special select committee formed by the house to vet credentials of the two ministers did not include the names of the two ministers. It is still conducting the background check and will later present the report for deliberations. It will be later. For now they are out of the list”, Kwaje told reporters without elaborating on the causes for withholding vetting of the two candidates.

Kiir in a previous presidential decree appointed Telar as the new minister of Justice while at the same time keeping him as presidential advisor on legal affairs.

But South Sudan leader later relieved him from his post as the presidential adviser on legal affairs following a meeting with SPLM caucus.

A report seen by Sudan Tribune signed by 10 of the 11 committee members has indicated that they are not satisfied with the information of the minister-designate Telar Deng.

“Out of the 19 national Ministers and 10 national Deputy Minister vetted, 18 ministers are approved by the committee. The committee needed more information from one appointee, the national minister of Justice”, the committee’s report reads.

“The committee also approved nine national deputy ministers out of the 10 vetted; the committee needs to further investigate one deputy minister, the deputy minister for Information and Broadcasting”, the report adds.

Integrity and the degree of competence were some of the criteria used by the lawmakers to vet the appointed ministers.

“Some of the benchmarks used to measure integrity were personal and professional background checks against corruption, tribalism and nepotism”, the report stated.

It points out that most of the appointed ministers are qualified and experienced.

The report also praised the president for his efforts to balance the composition of the new government and picking ministers from the 10 states but underscored that Upper Nile state got the Lion’s share in the cabinet.

The new minister of information and broadcasting, Michael Makuei Lueth, told journalists after taking oath that the new team had expressed readiness to work together.

“The new cabinet had just taken oath of office before the president. We have had congratulations from the president and directed the minister of cabinet affairs to draw up an action plan and get to work immediately.”, Makuei told reporters.

PUBLIC REACTION

Garang Mawien Dut, a native of Northern Bahr el-Ghazal state commended the house for showing seriousness in the vetting process of new cabinet members. “

At least the house had shown sense of independence this time. Rejection of those who did not pass the vetting will now restore trust from the public in the house”, Mawien said Wednesday.

He said that he attended the session because he wanted to see how the members would vote to approve the new ministers after conducting proper background check.

Subek Alfred, a native of Central Equatoria, blamed the parliament for allowing the country to be “messed up by the clique” while it is the House of Representatives.

“Had the house stood up to its roles and functions, this country would not have been messed up by the cliques of merciless people. The citizens blamed this mess on the house but it is not too late to wake up. This situation can still be rectified if the members show independence and do what they were elected for”, Alfred told Sudan Tribune at the council of minister premises.

Alfred said the country was suffering “while individuals had amassed huge sums of public money and failed to deliver services. This country was made to look poor by our own people”.

“Our resources are being squandered by a few who are not ashamed of the suffering of our people. Look now, the roads have been washed away. Luri Bridge is now down. The people of Western Equatoria cannot come to Juba because this strategic road is cut. The citizens should be complaining every year and no attention is paid. How much money is required to construct this bridge and how much has been stolen. A lot has been stolen”, he asserted.

(ST)

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47585

Abyei: A test of African solutions for African problems

By Luka Biong Deng

June 30, 2013 – Abyei is one of the issues that dominated the quality of relations between Southern Sudan and South Sudan since the independence of Sudan in 1956 and it will continue to do the same after the independence of South Sudan. The transfer of the Ngok Dinka by the British colonial administration in 1905 from Southern Sudan to Northern Sudan with the good intention of protecting them from the barbaric slave raids by the Arab nomads has turned into misery and suffering that will continue to haunt the Ngok Dinka. Despite the effective participation of the Ngok Dinka in the first and second civil war that ended with peace agreements that addressed the issue of Abyei, yet the final status of Abyei remains to be concluded.

Unlike the way the issue of Abyei was vaguely addressed in the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972, the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) addressed it with much clarity with Abyei having its protocol as one of the six protocols of the CPA. In fact the Abyei Protocol was mediated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). In particular, the Abyei Protocol provided for a referendum for the Ngok Dinka of Abyei to determine their final status and to establish Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) to define and demarcate the area of the nine (9) Ngok Dinka chiefdoms (not Misseriyia Arab nomads) that was transferred in 1905 from Southern Sudan to Northern Sudan. The CPA made it very clear that the report of the ABC shall be final and binding. The ABC presented its report to the Presidency of Sudan (Bashir, the President of Sudan, Dr John Garang, the President of Southern Sudan and Ali Osman, the Vice President of Sudan) on 14th July 2005. The report of the ABC clearly defined the area of the Ngok Dinka as approximately 18,559 square kilometers.

Bashir and his party rejected the final and binding ABC report and that marked the beginning of clear abrogation of one of the provisions of the CPA that was paradoxically signed by the government of Bashir. This dispute over this report lasted more than three years and resulted in eruption of war in the Abyei Area in May 2008 that caused massive displacement and loss of innocent lives. In an effort to save CPA and to maintain peace and stability after the invasion of Abyei by Bashir in May 2008, Bashir and President Salva signed on 8th June 2008 the Abyei Roadmap for the return of the displaced Ngok Dinka and implementation of Abyei Protocol. In this Roadmap, the SPLM as a signatory of the CPA and upon the request of the Government of Sudan accepted to take the matter of dispute over the report of ABC to the final and binding international arbitration. On 7th July 2008, the Government of Sudan and SPLM as signatories of the CPA signed the Arbitration Agreement on Delimiting (defining) the Abyei Area.

The Abyei Arbitration Tribunal under the facilitation of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration and after a process that took nine (9) months that involved the two Parties and almost the entire leaders of Ngok Dinka and Arab Misseriyia nomads passed its ruling on 22nd July 2009 and redefined the area of Ngok Dinka as approximately 10,460 square kilometers (almost 54 percent less than the area defined by the ABC). The Tribunal noted that its decision is meant to ensure the inclusion and participation of most members of the Ngok Dinka in Abyei referendum as its main targeted community. While Bashir welcomed the decision of the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal with emotional statement on 22nd July 2009 that they have won the case, President Salva on the same day described the decision as a victory for all Sudanese and reaffirmed the commitment of the SPLM to the full implementation of the decision as a final settlement of the issue of Abyei Area.

While the ruling of the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal was seen to resolve not only the determination of the area of the Ngok Dinka but also the eligible participants in Abyei referendum, Bashir insisted that the Arab Misseriyia nomads to participate in Abyei referendum and refused to establish Abyei Referendum Commission to be chaired by a nominee of the SPLM as previously agreed upon by the parties. Bashir invaded Abyei again in May 2011 and displaced about 150,000 Ngok Dinka from their home areas and the referendum of Abyei did not take place simultaneously with that of Southern Sudan on 9th July 2011 as stipulated in the CPA.

In order to rescue Abyei Protocol and to assist the return of Ngok Dinka to their home areas, the two parties agreed on 20th June 2011 on the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area. In particular the agreement provides for the process for resolving the final status of Abyei with a commitment by the Parties to consider, in good faith, proposals that the AUHIP shall make to resolve the final status of Abyei. The AUHIP made six proposals for resolving the final status of Abyei but Bashir and President Salva could not agree on any of these six proposals.

In an effort to put the two countries on track of peace, the AU came with a Roadmap that provides a framework within a time-bound of three months for resolving holistically all the pending issues between the two states including the final status of Abyei. When the Parties failed to agree on resolving the issue of Abye, the AUHIP came up on 21st September 2012 with a proposal on the final status of Abyei. This Proposal provides clarity and addresses fundamental questions of eligibility for Abyei Referendum (only residents but not nomads), the date of the referendum (October 2013), the chair of Abyei Referendum Commission (appointee of the AU Commission) and special status of Abyei area (status of state with oil revenue allocated to Abyei state (30%), national government (50%) and localities north of Abyei area in Southern Kordofan State (20%).

This Proposal was prepared by three prominent African leaders (former President of South Africa, former President of Nigeria and former President of Burundi). There is no any other African solution for African problem than the AUHIP proposal on the final status of Abyei area. As Bashir has been calling for the issue of Abyei to be resolved within African context, the AUHIP Proposal on Abyei is an African proposal prepared by African leaders without any influence from western countries. Abyei is a litmus test of how AU will stand by its commitment in resolving African problems by Africans themselves.

Luka Biong Deng is a senior member of South Sudan’s ruling party the SPLM. He is currently a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. He can be reached at lukabiong@kushworld.org. The article was originally published by the New Nation Newspaper.

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47125

Abyei: A test of African solutions for African problems

By Luka Biong Deng

June 30, 2013 – Abyei is one of the issues that dominated the quality of relations between Southern Sudan and South Sudan since the independence of Sudan in 1956 and it will continue to do the same after the independence of South Sudan. The transfer of the Ngok Dinka by the British colonial administration in 1905 from Southern Sudan to Northern Sudan with the good intention of protecting them from the barbaric slave raids by the Arab nomads has turned into misery and suffering that will continue to haunt the Ngok Dinka. Despite the effective participation of the Ngok Dinka in the first and second civil war that ended with peace agreements that addressed the issue of Abyei, yet the final status of Abyei remains to be concluded.

Unlike the way the issue of Abyei was vaguely addressed in the Addis Ababa Agreement in 1972, the Sudan Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) addressed it with much clarity with Abyei having its protocol as one of the six protocols of the CPA. In fact the Abyei Protocol was mediated by Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD). In particular, the Abyei Protocol provided for a referendum for the Ngok Dinka of Abyei to determine their final status and to establish Abyei Boundaries Commission (ABC) to define and demarcate the area of the nine (9) Ngok Dinka chiefdoms (not Misseriyia Arab nomads) that was transferred in 1905 from Southern Sudan to Northern Sudan. The CPA made it very clear that the report of the ABC shall be final and binding. The ABC presented its report to the Presidency of Sudan (Bashir, the President of Sudan, Dr John Garang, the President of Southern Sudan and Ali Osman, the Vice President of Sudan) on 14th July 2005. The report of the ABC clearly defined the area of the Ngok Dinka as approximately 18,559 square kilometers.

Bashir and his party rejected the final and binding ABC report and that marked the beginning of clear abrogation of one of the provisions of the CPA that was paradoxically signed by the government of Bashir. This dispute over this report lasted more than three years and resulted in eruption of war in the Abyei Area in May 2008 that caused massive displacement and loss of innocent lives. In an effort to save CPA and to maintain peace and stability after the invasion of Abyei by Bashir in May 2008, Bashir and President Salva signed on 8th June 2008 the Abyei Roadmap for the return of the displaced Ngok Dinka and implementation of Abyei Protocol. In this Roadmap, the SPLM as a signatory of the CPA and upon the request of the Government of Sudan accepted to take the matter of dispute over the report of ABC to the final and binding international arbitration. On 7th July 2008, the Government of Sudan and SPLM as signatories of the CPA signed the Arbitration Agreement on Delimiting (defining) the Abyei Area.

The Abyei Arbitration Tribunal under the facilitation of the Hague Permanent Court of Arbitration and after a process that took nine (9) months that involved the two Parties and almost the entire leaders of Ngok Dinka and Arab Misseriyia nomads passed its ruling on 22nd July 2009 and redefined the area of Ngok Dinka as approximately 10,460 square kilometers (almost 54 percent less than the area defined by the ABC). The Tribunal noted that its decision is meant to ensure the inclusion and participation of most members of the Ngok Dinka in Abyei referendum as its main targeted community. While Bashir welcomed the decision of the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal with emotional statement on 22nd July 2009 that they have won the case, President Salva on the same day described the decision as a victory for all Sudanese and reaffirmed the commitment of the SPLM to the full implementation of the decision as a final settlement of the issue of Abyei Area.

While the ruling of the Abyei Arbitration Tribunal was seen to resolve not only the determination of the area of the Ngok Dinka but also the eligible participants in Abyei referendum, Bashir insisted that the Arab Misseriyia nomads to participate in Abyei referendum and refused to establish Abyei Referendum Commission to be chaired by a nominee of the SPLM as previously agreed upon by the parties. Bashir invaded Abyei again in May 2011 and displaced about 150,000 Ngok Dinka from their home areas and the referendum of Abyei did not take place simultaneously with that of Southern Sudan on 9th July 2011 as stipulated in the CPA.

In order to rescue Abyei Protocol and to assist the return of Ngok Dinka to their home areas, the two parties agreed on 20th June 2011 on the Temporary Arrangements for the Administration and Security of the Abyei Area. In particular the agreement provides for the process for resolving the final status of Abyei with a commitment by the Parties to consider, in good faith, proposals that the AUHIP shall make to resolve the final status of Abyei. The AUHIP made six proposals for resolving the final status of Abyei but Bashir and President Salva could not agree on any of these six proposals.

In an effort to put the two countries on track of peace, the AU came with a Roadmap that provides a framework within a time-bound of three months for resolving holistically all the pending issues between the two states including the final status of Abyei. When the Parties failed to agree on resolving the issue of Abye, the AUHIP came up on 21st September 2012 with a proposal on the final status of Abyei. This Proposal provides clarity and addresses fundamental questions of eligibility for Abyei Referendum (only residents but not nomads), the date of the referendum (October 2013), the chair of Abyei Referendum Commission (appointee of the AU Commission) and special status of Abyei area (status of state with oil revenue allocated to Abyei state (30%), national government (50%) and localities north of Abyei area in Southern Kordofan State (20%).

This Proposal was prepared by three prominent African leaders (former President of South Africa, former President of Nigeria and former President of Burundi). There is no any other African solution for African problem than the AUHIP proposal on the final status of Abyei area. As Bashir has been calling for the issue of Abyei to be resolved within African context, the AUHIP Proposal on Abyei is an African proposal prepared by African leaders without any influence from western countries. Abyei is a litmus test of how AU will stand by its commitment in resolving African problems by Africans themselves.

Luka Biong Deng is a senior member of South Sudan’s ruling party the SPLM. He is currently a fellow at Harvard Kennedy School. He can be reached at lukabiong@kushworld.org. The article was originally published by the New Nation Newspaper.

Article source: http://www.sudantribune.com/spip.php?article47125

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