H.E. Dr. Riek Machar Teny Dhurgon,
Chairman and Commander-IN-Chief of SPLM/ARMY,
Appreciation and support from Nuer Elders on your firm stand for a fair and lasting peace.
July 21, 2015(Nyamilepedia) — As Nuer elders we appreciate and support your strong and firm stand, on behalf of the aggrieved Nuer people even though the comprehensive peace agreement was dishonored by the regime influenced by his cronies who do not know how to rule a country of many tribes. The graves that stand like pyramid in the midst of the national capital city Juba and the ongoing killing of innocent citizens, the deadly castration of Nuer young boys, the brutal raping of young Nuer girls by Salva Kiir’s government troops, and the complete destruction of infrastructures – schools, hospitals, private houses, can only be designated as criminal conspiracy, to commit an offence. Such actions never happened since we were under the Arab’s centralized government in the old Sudan.
It shall not be easily compensated nor recovered as no lost soul is returned to live. Between 16th and 20th of December 2013 the alleged coup cost lives that we shall never see again. It is a burning shame for which we call upon IGAD, AU, TROIKA, UN, and UNSC to take prompt and efficient measures for the total and final suppression of this execrable situation. As humanity is concerned, the initiative today is focused on dividing the cake and relegating accountability. Our firm support behind you is to see into it that the peace initiative by IGAD under “Give and Take” should not be accepted unless the objectives you enumerated in your position paper on the 6th of July 2015, Nairobi-Kenya “IGAD plus Mediated Peace Process for Sustainable Peace in South Sudan” are incorporated into that peace agreement.
1. Regarding your comments of June 11th 2015 on the “Key Provisions and justification for the Agreement on the Resolutions of the conflicts in the Republic of South Sudan”, we strongly support:-
- Implementation of Federal System of Governance:-
During the Transitional Period the country should be run on federated states under a dual system-parliamentary and presidential. The relationship and authority of states and the federal government shall be clearly spelt out by “The Federal Constitution of South Sudan” such as exemplified in the Constitution of the USA. This constitution spells out the powers of the federal government and of the “several states”. South Sudan must strive to become a nation of laws anchored on its diversity.
- Security Arrangements:-
We strongly support the Security Arrangements that sets the two fighting forces cantoned apart for (3) years. While remain under their separate commands, this would be an ample time to prepare them for amalgamation. These cantoned forces should be under the United Nation supervision for the three years. The rationale for three years is to prepare the forces to become unified federal army. Professional training and reorientation can erase the current tribal prejudices as a result of the war atrocities. The 18 months period of amalgamation proved a fiasco during the 1972 Addis Ababa Agreement. It re-ignited the second rebellion in 1975. That was a bad experience we should not ignore but safeguard against in the current peace arrangement.
- Cessation of Hostilities Agreement of 23rd January 2014:-
While we bargain a lasting and sustainable peace, we support that it would be conducive if the foreign troops and other allied militias fighting alongside Kiir’s government are immediately withdrawn from the country. We specifically refer to the expulsion of Uganda People’s Defense Forces (UPDF), the four Sudanese rebels and the Chadians out of the country to give peace a chance.
- We strongly support the Demilitarization of Juba town and States capitals. We view this as safeguard against unnecessary military maneuvers or provocations.
2. Humanitarian Situation:–
We strongly appreciate the role of the international community in providing humanitarian assistance – food and shelter, to our displaced people all over the country and also refugees. A flood of people live in UNMISS camps in Unity State, Upper Nile State and Jonglei state. Those are victims of Kiir’s troops and militias. Therefore, we appreciate and also demand that the international humanitarian assistance be increased to reckon with the latest (April-July 2015) displacement of 100,000 people in Unity State.
3. The AU Commission of inquiry Security Report:
We strongly support the publication of this report to serve its purpose. We feel that its delay may distort the facts, downplay the magnitude of the atrocities or condone impunity of the culprits. They should not underrate the feelings of the aggrieved Nuer people.
4. Compensation and Reparation:
We strongly support the compensation of the 20, 000 Nuer people massacred between 16-20 of December 2013 as well as those recently killed in mass in Unity State, Upper Nile State and Jonglei State between April and June 2015. Their destroyed private houses, businesses and other properties should be compensated for.
5. Institutional Reform.
The ultimate aim of the reforms is to improve the quality of governance because the status quo is inefficient and optimally unsuited to the current need for a proactive, responsive, accountable, sustainable and efficient administration for the country at all levels of the government. The South faces immense challenges:- the need to maintain peace and harmony, to alleviate poverty, to sustain a healthy and inclusive economic growth, to ensure social justice and achieve a transparent and participative governance. Those challenges necessitate that the current structures be redesigned to ensure transparency in government, public order, federalism (decentralization) and empowerment of local bodies. These reforms take priority and so should start with the transition.
To become a federal state from the first date of transitional government, the country shall have its constitution amended to delineate the separation of powers between the federal level, the states and local governments. Each state government shall have its own constitution to regulate its operations in response to the needs and aspiration of the citizens. Youth activities would be expedited under a federal system. Each state powers and responsibilities shall be entrusted to the three branches of government:-
- The Executive consisting of Governor and the State agencies.
- To establish a well-functioning Legislature, each State shall have a bicameral Institution. It consists of two Chambers. The Lower Chamber is the House of Representatives with just only 30 members and the Upper Chamber, the State Senate with 20 members, we propose.
- The Judiciary consisting of the Supreme Court and the Lower Courts.
Each state has different number of Counties with Municipalities in term of state’s Headquarters or industrial areas. The function is the same, but whereas some states use a three tier system of decentralization, State, County Township and Payam, and some use- County, Payam and Buma without Municipality. These prescribed levels are institutions in terms of local councils and decision making is taken not at the higher level but by majority votes.
In conclusion, at this moment of extreme problems, we appreciate your full attention in detailing problems for solution and foreseeing bottlenecks that should be avoided. You have spent the last 19 months defending human and people’s rights while maintaining the position of a certified peace under federalism to prevail in the country. That is your trademark you contributed to satisfy our people. God bless you.
Signed By :-
1/ Dr. James Mabor Gatkuoth
2/ John Juan Dong-Retired Local Government Officer
3/ Hon. Peter Charleman Chawach
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
July 19, 2015