Did the recently concluded South Sudan’s fifth Governors’ forum address the elephants in the room?

Joseph-Geng-AkechAuthor: Joseph Geng Akech
South Sudanese human rights lawyer and PhD candidate, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Garang-Yach-JamesAuthor: Garang Yach James
South Sudanese Political and security analyst and PhD Student, University of Juba, South Sudan

 

Summary

The government of the Republic of South Sudan recently organised a week-long conference of its 10 State Governors and Chief Administrators representing the three Administrative Areas. The aim was to discuss the role of States and local governments in the implementation of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS). After a week of intense deliberations, the Forum released resolutions and recommendations on various aspects of peace, governance, social services and economic reforms. This paper critiques the Forum’s outcome arguing that the Forum failed to address the ‘elephants in the room’. For instance, the resolutions and recommendations did not articulate and in some instances, failed to mention, as priorities, aspects of the transitional security arrangements, transitional justice, permanent constitution building, humanitarian assistance and the return of internally displaced people and refugees as well as institutional and law reforms.

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The transitional national legislature is to be transformed into a constituent assembly to adopt the ‘permanent’ constitution of South Sudan, but what does this mean?

Joseph-Geng-AkechAuthor: Joseph Geng Akech
South Sudanese human rights lawyer and LLD candidate, University of Pretoria, South Africa

Introduction

The Republic of South Sudan embarked on its ‘permanent’ constitution building process which is a critical part of the peace process. The Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) puts forward mechanisms and institutions for achieving such ambition. These institutions include the Constitutional Drafting Committee (CDC),[1] National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC), Preparatory Sub-Committee, National Constitutional Conference (NCC) and the reconstituted transitional national legislature (Council of States and Transitional National Legislative Assembly) acting as a constituent assembly. The R-ARCSS establishes the above institutions with varying powers and degree of influence on the constitution building process.

This article focuses on the role of the reconstituted national legislature – bicameral chambers composed of Council of States and Transitional National Legislative Assembly. According to the R-ARCSS, these two houses of parliament are to be transformed into a Constituent Assembly to adopt, in a joint session, the Draft Constitutional Text passed by the National Constitutional Conference.[2]

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