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NCAC Statement at the Sixth SPLM-IO National Conference in Juba,

By. Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino (NCAC)

GOOD MORNING;

Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, SPLM-IO member of the National Amendment Committee(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)
Hon. Oyet Nathaniel Pierino, SPLM-IO member of the National Amendment Committee(Photo credit: courtesy image/Nyamilepedia)

Dec 5, 2020(Nyamilepedia) –— Your excellency, distinguished delegates, ladies and gentlemen; allow me to take this opportunity to congratulate you and the leadership of SPLM/SPLA (IO) for deciding to hold the 2020 SPLM/SPLA (IO) annual National Conference in Juba, the city that we all left seven years ago at the heat of political violence and destruction;

This National Conference with its theme “Building and Sustaining Peace through the Implementation of R-ARCSS”, convening in Juba has reinvigorated once again our resolves to peace as we prepare to face the realities of the new political dispensation;

My tribute to those who fell along the way, relatives and friends who lost their lives; to our civil population affected by this war, the IDPs and refugees who remain trapped in the UNMISS PoCs around the country, and those in other countries in the refugee camps. Your movement and the leadership is not waiting to return you home so that you can rebuild your lives;

YOUR EXCELLENCY, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

  1. To enhance its legal competence, the Agreement must be fully incorporated into the Constitution and consequential amendment to relevant laws must be made so that together they constitute the legal framework for the Transition Period;
  1. Reforms will never come unless the Agreement is made part and parcel of the law of the land. This will bear impact on legislation and policy of the government;

(1) BACKGROUND

  1. The NCAC was established under ARCSS 2015 and reconstituted by IGAD in October 2018 pursuant to Chapter 1, Article 1. 18 of R-ARCSS;
  1. The NCAC is a representative committee of persons with legal and other relevant competencies. It is composed of 15 members representing IGAD (Chair and Deputy Chair), ITGNU, SPLM/IO, SSOA, FDs, OPP, Civil Society, Women and Youth. The Committee is a technical and political Committee. I and Dr. Riang Zour Yer were appointed by the Chairman to represent SPLM/SPLA (IO) in the Committee;
  1. On the 5th November 2018, the Chairman under pressure from IGAD decided to send us to Juba to commence the process of incorporating the Agreement into the Constitution which was to be done within 21 days. I and my colleague in the Committee, Dr. Riang Yer Zour arrived in Juba two days after the national prayers for peace organized in Juba attended by H.E. Dr. Riek Macher Teny;
  1. The task of incorporating the Agreement had not been easy because our partner did not want some provisions of the Agreement to be incorporated in the Constitution; they use threats, intimidations and bluffs;

(2) MANDATE OF THE NCAC:

The mandate of NCAC is provided for under Article 1.18 and they include to;

  1. undertake tasks necessary to prepare for Transitional Period and formation of RTGNU;
  2. Draft new or revise as appropriate other legislation as per the Agreement;
  3. Draft within 21 days Constitutional Amendment Bill to incorporate the Agreement;
  4. Review and complete relevant national security legislation to conform with the Agreement as well as ensure radical reforms;
  5. Amend other legislation to incorporate reforms and best practice and
  6. Receive list of nominees to TNL from respective parties;

(3) METHODOLOGY:

The Committee uses the following methods to amend laws;

  1. Undertaking relevant Literature review,
  2. Preparing regional and international comparative analysis
  3. Incorporate the R-ARCSS and produce marked-up copies,
  4. Convening expert / stakeholder forums,
  5. Consultations with relevant Government institutions,
  6. Review and collating of submissions from parties and stakeholders and
  7. Drafting of legislation.

LEGISLATION TO BE AMENDED BY THE NCAC:

(3.1) DURING PRE-TRANSITIONAL PERIOD:

The tasks and legislation to be reviewed during the Pre-Transitional Period includes;

1) The incorporation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), 2018 into the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended).

2) The SPLA Act, 2009;

3) The National Security Service Act, 2014;

4) The Police Service Act, 2009;

5) The Prisons Service Act, 2011;

6) The Wildlife Service Act, 2011;

7) The Political Parties Act, 2011

8)) Receiving a list of nominees of respective parties for the appointment of members to the reconstituted TNLA and submit the same to the President.

(3.2) DURING TRANSITIONAL PERIOD

The mandate of the NCAC extends up to a maximum of twelve (12) months into the Transitional Period to draft new or revise as appropriate, other legislation as provided for in the Agreement.

As per the R-ARCSS, the Fifteen (15) laws to be revised by the NCAC during this period include the following:

  1. Public Financial Management and Accountability Act, 2011
  2. Southern Sudan National Audit Chamber Act, 2011
  3. Petroleum Act, 2012
  4. Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2013
  5. The Bank of South Sudan Act, 2010;
  6. Southern Sudan Anti-Corruption Commission Act, 2009.
  7. National Elections Act 2012.
  8. Investment Promotion Act, 2009;
  9. Banking Act, 2010;
  10. Telecommunications Act, 2010;
  11. The Transport Act, 2008;
  12. The Mining Act 2012;
  13. National Pension Fund Act;
  14. National Revenue Authority Act 2017 and
  15. NGO Act, 2016.

(4) THE LEGAL FRAMEWORK THAT SHALL GUIDE THE TRANSITIONAL PERIOD:

The constitution has been amended eight times as follows;

  1. Amendment number one. Extending the mandate of the NCRC (2013);
  2. Amendment number two: Incorporating the 28 states (2015);
  3. Amendment number three: Extending the terms of government (2015);
  4. Amendment number four: Incorporated ARCSS into TCRSS (2011) (2015);
  5. Amendment number five: Extended terms of the government (2018);
  6. Amendment number six: Incorporated R-ARCSS (2018) (2020)
  7. Amendment number seven: Reverted the country to 10 states (2020);
  8. Amendment number eight: Amended changes introduced to amendment number six. (2020) by TNLA;

YOUR EXCELLENCY, DISTINGUISHED DELEGATES, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN;

It is important to take note in this regard that the legal framework and the laws of South Sudan during the Transitional period are contained in the following six documents;

  1. The R-ARCSS (2018);
  2. The Cessation of Hostilities Agreement (CoHA) 2017;
  3. The TCRSS 2011 (as amended) (all the provisions that were inconsistent with the Agreement have been amended and repealed; while retaining those not affected);
  4. The Agreement on the number of States and Boundary;
  5. The Agreement on Structures and Allocation of Responsibility Sharing in the States;
  6. The State Transitional Constitution (as shall be amended)

5. TASK SO FAR COMPLETED

The Committee so far completed the following tasks of its mandate under the R-ARCSS 2018: as follows;

  1. The incorporation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), 2018 into the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, 2011 (as amended).
  2. The SPLA Act, 2009;
  3. The National Security Service Act, 2014;
  4. The Police Service Act, 2009;
  5. The Prisons Service Act, 2011;
  6. The Wildlife Service Act, 2011;
  7. The Political Parties Act, 2011
  8. Public Financial Management and Accountability Act, 2011
  9. Southern Sudan National Audit Chamber Act, 2011

6. ONGOING TASKS:

Amendments of the following laws are in progress;

  1. 1) The Petroleum Act, 2012
  2. 2) The Petroleum Revenue Management Act, 2013
  3. 3) The Bank of South Sudan Act, 2010.

7. CHALLENGES AND OUTSTANDING ISSUES IN THE LAWS:

System of Government: Disputes over system of government during the Transitional Period; Devolved or Decentralization, under Article 1(4) of the Constitution;

Devolution: Devolution of powers and resources as per the Agreement, this is a Pre- Transitional Activity, but vehemently rejected by our partner; R-ARCSS, provided that the actual allocation of resources to sub national levels shall be implemented within three months of the Transitional Period;

National Police Service Act: The structure and Command of the Police Services at a) National and b) State levels Section 7; our peace partner wants police services at the state level to be a unit of National Police;

Militarization of Organized Forces: De-militarization of ranks of the Organized forces being resisted by the officers of warring parties;

National Security Service Act: Disagreements over militarization of the Service and amendment of Sections 55 (powers of the NSS to arrest with warrant) and the ranks of the personnel of NSS (Section 36) of the Act;

We introduced a new Section (Section 14 entitled; “Restriction on Exercise of Power”) to reduce the powers of the Service and limit arrest under exigent circumstances, and also introduced another provision that criminalizes any illegal arrest and detention (Section(4); as a result, the draft bill of the Act is being rejected by the government

The SPLA Act: harmonization of command structures and slogan (viva or oyee) was referred to JDB for settlement;

Application of 35%; in representative, technical bodies and command namely, the National Security Council composed by virtue of office;

Composite Parties: failing to agree on a single list of nominees to the TNLA.

8. THE POLITICAL PARTIES ACT 2012:

1. Was amended to provide legal framework to regulate the establishment of parties, and Political Parties Council and all other matters incidental thereto;

2. The bill introduced new sections on Provisional Registration by application to the Political Parties Council to allow parties mobilize membership before registration within six months;

3. A new section (Section 8-has been added pertaining to rights and privileges of a political party to include holding public meetings, protection by security agencies to facilitate peaceful assemblies and meetings;

4. The bill restructured the Political Parties Council, ensured its composition complies with 35% gender requirements and ensuring its financial, personnel and institutional independence, including parliamentary appointment of its chairperson;

5. New sections were added to ensure public officials namely; diplomats, members of armed forces, justices and judges of the judiciary, civil servants etc, are restricted from being partisan and founding members of a political party;

6. New sections were added to provide for Political Parties Fund (Section 33) to be appropriated based on formula, among parties based on their numerical and geographical size including its performance in general elections;

7. The bill proposed the following qualification for registration as a political party;

  • – recruiting as members of at least 300 eligible voters (as opposed to 500 registered
  • voters in the old Act) from at least 2/3 of the states of South Sudan;
  • – ensuring regional and ethnic diversities as well as gender balance, representation of
  • minority or marginalized groups in its membership and governing body;

END

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