Federalism Base on Geographical and Regional System: a peaceful solution to the conflict in South Sudan

Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Mathew 5:9)

By Rev Bafel Paul Gak Deng,

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Oct 15, 2017(Nyamilepedia) — The Federal Democratic Republic of South Sudan shall be similar to the United Arab Emirates, a Federation of Seven Emirates. To permanently end the ongoing conflict, South Sudan should be divided into 3 Regions. Before I dive into this article, let’s me bring us face to face with major milestones that brought South Sudan to where it is today.

First Peace Agreement:

The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between Sudan and South Sudan was signed on January 9, 2005 in Nairobi Kenya between the Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army (The SPLM/A) and the government of Sudan. This accord was witnessed by renounced international personalities as well as Colin Powel, the former Secretary of State for the United State of America. On April 11, 2010 a national election was held in Sudan following the terms of the agreement in which the president, the vice president, state governors, members of the national legislative assembly, members of the State Legislative assemblies, and Counties assemblies were elected.

Referendum:

On January 9, 2011, a referendum was held in South Sudan to determine if the South would want to separate from the North and constitute an independent Country. The People of South Sudan voted overwhelmingly for the separation of South Sudan from the North to become an Independent country on its own rights.

Independence:

South Sudan then became independence on July 9, 2011. With the independence of the South prayers and hopes, the people of South Sudan were for the grace of the Lord to be bestowed on this young nation and for peace to reign on South Sudan and Sudan as well. Unfortunately, this young country in Africa went back to war again on December 15, 2013. The fighting that erupted on December 15 in the capital of South Sudan, Juba, started as a political conflict within the ruling SPLM party. This conflict quickly transformed into an ethnic conflict with people being killed along ethnic lines. The conflict soon engulfed the national army splitting the army into two factions, the faction supporting the current president of South Sudan, Mr. Salva Kiir and the faction supporting his former vice, Dr. Riek Machar. The conflict that started with disagreement between leaders of the ruling party soon spread to the states with devastating consequences in the three Regions that are the Greater Upper Nile region the Greater Equatoria and Greater Bhar-Elgazal. Today, it is estimated that about 2.5 million people have been forced to flee their homes and 90,000 are currently sheltering in UN bases and compounds across the country and 460,000 are displace to the neighboring countries and 100,000 are hiding for safety in the bushes of South Sudan.

Second Peace Agreement:

Eventually the compromised peace agreement accord has been signed on August 17, 2015 by the warring parties of South Sudan.

On Friday July 8, 2016, an intense fight broke out in capital of South Sudan, Juba. The fight prompted first vice president Dr. Riek Machar to flee the country and traveled to Congo for his safety. The first vice president traveled for 37 days by foot toward UN base on the border of Congo.  This fight has dismantled the peace implementation process.

Peaceful solution to the conflict in South Sudan

United Regions of South Sudan similar to the United Arab Emirates

Brief background:

The United Arab Emirates ( UAEArabic: دولة الإمارات العربية المتحدة‎‎ Dawlat al-Imārāt al-‘Arabīyah al-Muttaḥidah), sometimes simply called the Emirates (Arabic: الإمارات‎‎ al-Imārāt), is a federal absolute monarchy in Western Asia at the southeast end of the Arabian Peninsula on the Persian Gulf, bordering Oman to the east and Saudi Arabia to the south, as well as sharing maritime borders with Qatarto the west and Iran to the north. In 2013, the UAE’s population was 9.2 million, of which 1.4 million are Emirati citizens and 7.8 million are expatriates.

The country is a federation of seven emirates, and was established on 2 December 1971. The constituent emirates are Abu Dhabi (which serves as the capital), AjmanDubaiFujairahRas al-KhaimahSharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Each emirate is governed by an absolute monarch; together, they jointly form the Federal Supreme Council. One of the monarchs (traditionally always the Emir of Abu Dhabi) is selected as the President of the United Arab EmiratesIslam is the official religion of the UAE and Arabic is the official language (although English, Urdu and Hindi languages are widely spoken, with English being the language of business and education particularly in Abu Dhabi and Dubai).

The UAE’s oil reserves are the seventh-largest in the world while its natural gas reserves are the world’s seventeenth-largestSheikh Zayed, ruler of Abu Dhabi and the first President of the UAE, oversaw the development of the Emirates and steered oil revenues into healthcare, education and infrastructure. The UAE’s economy is the most diversified in the Gulf Cooperation Council, while its most populous city of Dubai is an important global city and an international aviation hub.[14][15] Nevertheless, the country remains principally reliant on its export of petroleum and natural gas.

The Republic of South Sudan needs a new system of local governance and administration which should be put into place immediately. This new system should be based on a Presidential, Federal Republic, and Representative Democracy ideals, similar to the United Arab Emirates and the United States of America. The United Arab Emirates is governed by a federal supreme council made up of the seven emirates of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, fujarah, Shajiah, Dubai, Ras-elkhimah, and Umm-Alqaiwain. All responsibilities not granted to the national government are reserved to the emirates or States. A percentage of oil revenues from each emirate are allocated to the UAE central budget. The capital is Abu Dhabi. In 1962, Abu Dhabi became the first of the emirates to begin exporting oil. The first president of the emirates focused on the development of the emirates and directed oil revenue into healthcare, education, and infrastructure. Today’s, emirates oil services ranked seven largest in the world along with the seventeen largest natural gas reserves. Emirates has a developed high income economy which enjoys a sizable annual trade surplus and ranks as the world’s nineteenth highest in term of GPD per capita (nominal). Its most populous city of Dubai has emerged as global city and a business gateway for the Middle East and Africa.

South Sudan is home to many tribes (64) and wide variety of ethnic and language groups that speak different languages or dialects. The only system that will bring the people of South Sudan together and rebuild the truth which has been destroyed by the ongoing ethnic war is the federation of independent regions of the United Regions of South Sudan with 3 regional administration units:

  • High Executive Council, of Greater Upper Nile Region (Malakal)
  • High Executive Council of Greater Equatoria Region (Juba)
  • High Executive Council of Greater Bhar-elgazal Region (Wau)
  • Presidency for the Federal Republic of South Sudan (Central Government- Ramshal)

States:

  • United Regions of South Sudan (URSS) consist of three greater regions: Greater Equatoria, Greater Upper Nile, and Greater Bahar Elgzal. Each region is composed of states. Below is a URSS mapping of states within the three greater regions:
  • States for Greater Upper Nile region:
  1. Jonglei State.
  2. Upper Nile State.
  3. Unity State.
  4. Other States will be discuss and establish later
  • States for Greater Equatoria region:
    1. Eastern Equatoria State.
    2. Central Equatoria State.
    3. Western Equatoria State
    4. Other States will be discuss and will be establish later
  • States for Greater Bahar Elgzal region:
  1. Western Bahar Elgzal State.
  2. Warrap State.
  3. Lake State.
  4. Northern Bahar Elgzal State.
  5. Other States will be discuss and will be establish later

The national arm forces in each region should be combined together and create an equal atmosphere. No soldier should be judged by their ethnicity or by tribe because we are all from the same country and have same color of skin and culture connection. Moreover, each region should recruit 100,000 soldiers and train, and educate them equally. Additionally, the state’s forces in each region should also be trained and educated equally (police, prison, wildlife, fire brigade, etc.). Both national and station force should be educated to respect the law and the URSS constitution.

We need to share and develop these suggestions in upcoming revitalization of peace agreement of 2015 to make them useful for the new federation, the United Regions of South Sudan. We want to deliver to our beloved citizens the services that they need in term of hospitals, schools, water sanitation, roads, and agriculture. We want to see our children playing sports competing with other countries and our women enjoy their freedom in social activities. We want to see the three regions of South Sudan living in unity and cooperating with one another. We want to see our churches praise the Lord and the Muslim brothers enjoy the same privilege in unity and love in the United Region of South Sudan.

Finally, we are here by passing our condolence to all people including me, who may have lost a love one that died during the ongoing war. God bless their souls and rest in peace.

Author: Rev Bafel Paul Gak Deng Chairperson of Peace and Reconciliations Commissions of Upper Nile Region/ USA

Email: bpdeng@juno.com

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