Politics of South Sudan

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The politics of South Sudan concern the system of government in the Republic of South Sudan, a country in East Africa, and the people, organisations, and events involved in it.

History[edit]

Southern Sudan was an autonomous region of the Republic of Sudan from 2005, after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement between the government of Sudan and the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army,[1] to 2011, when South Sudan gained independence.

After several decades of a civil war that was one of the longest lasting and deadliest wars of the latter 20th century (the First Sudanese Civil War and the Second Sudanese Civil War) between the primarily Muslim and Arab government based in the north, and black Christian and animist people of the south who were demanding more regional autonomy, a peace agreement[2] known as the Naivasha Agreement was signed on January 9, 2005, giving autonomy to the state.

On January 9, 2005, the Government of Southern Sudan was established after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement. John Garang, the former rebel leader of the Sudan People's Liberation Army/Movement, became President of the Government of Southern Sudan and Vice President of Sudan.[2] A constitution was adopted in December 2005.[3]

On July 2005 Garang died in a helicopter crash in Uganda, and was succeeded in both posts by Salva Kiir Mayardit, with Riek Machar as Vice-President of Southern Sudan.

Independence referendum, 2011[edit]

The voting form (ballot) used in the referendum.

A referendum on independence for Southern Sudan was held from 9 to 15 January 2011.

Voting on the referendum began on January 9, 2011. On 12 January, after three days of voting, representatives of the SPLM announced that, according to their estimates, the 60 percent turnout threshold required for the referendum's validity (corresponding to around 2.3 million voters) had been reached. Official confirmation came later the same day, when the referendum commission released a statement announcing that turnout would "exceed" the required 60 percent threshold.[4]

Mohamed Ibrahim Khalil, chairman of the referendum commission, said 83 percent of eligible voters in the south and 53 percent in the north had voted.[5] Over 90% of those who voted supported independence, which was officially granted on July 9.

2013–2014 civil war and reform[edit]

In July 2013, Kiir dismissed all his ministers, including Vice President Riek Machar, with the official aim of reducing the size of government. However, Machar said it was a step towards dictatorship and that he would challenge Kiir for the presidency.[6]

On 14–15 December 2013, an attempted coup d'état was put down. Intermittent fighting then continued amid ceasefire breakdowns during the ensuing civil war[7][8][9] and international concern grew over more than 1,000 deaths,[10][11] a humanitarian catastrophe of over a million refugees,[12][13] and man-made famine.[14][15] In the meantime, the SPLM factionalised into the SPLM-Juba led by President Salva Kiir and the SPLM-IO led by former Vice President Riek Machar. Kiir told the sixty-ninth session of the United Nations General Assembly that Machar was to blame for the conflict.[16] Amidst a party power struggle, the government was blamed by Pagan Amum for not allowing the unarmed opposition group Political Parties Leadership Forum and its leader Lam Akol from taking part in the negotiations.[17] Kiir also dismissed his ethnic colleague Rebecca Garang, widow of the SPLM's founder John Garang, in August alleging her criticism made her anti-government.[18] Relations with China, South Sudan's largest foreign investor, and Uganda also improved after the SPLM-IO visited Beijing and opened a liaison office in Kampala and accepted an Ugandan troop presence in Juba,[19] in a move away from criticising Uganda's initial support for the government.

Following sanctions against some of the leadership on both sides,[20][21][22] including an arms embargo that was unknowlingly violated by China's NORINCO until the sales were then canceled by the government who called for an end to hostilities,[23] an IGAD-mediated resolution in Bahir Dar, Ethiopia[24] under U.S.-led international pressure[25] was finally agreed at the end of September 2014 that would institute federalisation in the country,[26] a move that even less involved regional leaders in the country had suggested but the government had initially rejected.[27] The talks were led by Nhial Deng Nhial and Deng Alor for the government and rebels, respectively. The rebels' lead negotiator was then due to be replaced by Taban Deng Gai. At the same time, the government expressed optimism at the resolution.[28]

Both sides then agreed to the government's 30-month proposal for rule by a national unity government but discussions continued over the authority of the prime minister in the interim period. While the interim period was agreed, the pre-transitional period was still in dispute with the government wanting three months and the rebels asking for a month. SPLM-IO's Taban Deng said the negotiations were suspended, while the government's Michael Makuei confirmed this adding that it would resume on 16 October with the prime ministerial sisue being referred to an IGAD heads of state summit for discussion.[29] Foreign Minister Barnaba Marial Benjamin criticised the rebels for allegedly not signing the protocol but also said of the break:

What has happened is that the negotiators have been asked to go back to their principals to consult on some of the issues where there is some concurrence. Some people seemed to agree on certain points. So they have to go back and consult with the principals. The interim government will be formed once you have a political solution. There must be a political agreement so that you have an interim government to implement what has been agreed upon. In principle that has been accepted by the government."

It also followed IGAD giving the groups 45 days from August to work out a transition agreement.[30]

Fighting continued in end-October un Unity with expectations for fighting in Upper Nile, with both sides blaming each other;[31] The Guardian claiming preparations were being undertaken for further fighting.[32] At fighting near the compound of the United Nations, Juba, dozens of civilians were reported injured by UNMISS.[33]

In mid-November, despite an agreement to unconditionally end the fighting, hostilities took place in three provinces with each side blaming each other.[34] Further, the government rejected a proposal to abolish the post of vice president and replace it with a prime minister. Cabinet Affairs Minister Martin Elia Lomuro said: "The government delegation did not receive such proposal from IGAD. We only read it from the media reports attributing statements carrying such suggestions to the rebels, and I don't I understand the basis of the proposal."[35]

Federalisation[edit]

The resolution, as announced by IGAD, entailed structures and functions of a transitional national unity government that was "mostly agreed on." However, the "in principle" breakthrough after months of discussions on instituting a federalised structure of government was held up by the time frame for implementation. The SPLM-IO called for immediate implementation, while the governing SPLM-Juba asked for a 30-month transitional period prior to the formation of a new administration.[26] This would entail bypassing the scheduled 2015 election.

Constitution[edit]

The Transitional Constitution of South Sudan (TCSS) was drafted in 2011 as a temporary document in place of a permanent constitution.[36] It is the current constitution of South Sudan until a permanent constitution can be ratified. Because of the transitional nature of the TCSS, it favors a decentralized governmental system. Prior to the 2011 independence referendum, the Interim Constitution of South Sudan was the constitution of the then-autonomous Southern Sudan.

The National Legislature of South Sudan, the country's legislative body, is composed of the National Legislative Assembly and the Council of States.

The executive branch of government is headed by the president. Under the TCSS, the president's term can last two consecutive 5-year terms. However on April 2015, South Sudan's parliament voted to extend Kiir's term to 9 July 2018.[37] A new vote held in July 2018 further postponed South Sudan's first election until 2021. The president has vast powers in creating and dissolving state powers during times of emergency. Kiir demonstrated this power in the dismissal of his entire cabinet in 2013.[38]

Ministries[edit]

On 20 August 2011, President Salva Kiir issued a decree establishing 30 government ministries of South Sudan to constitute a cabinet:[39]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "A Country Study: Sudan". The Library of Congress. Archived from the original on 2 March 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  2. ^ a b "The Comprehensive Peace Agreement between The Government of The Republic of The Sudan and The Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Sudan People's Liberation Army". reliefweb.int. Archived from the original on 18 March 2012. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  3. ^ "The Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan" (PDF). United Nations Mission In Sudan. Archived from the original (PDF) on March 19, 2009. Retrieved 13 March 2009.
  4. ^ "Official: South Sudan Voter Turnout to Reach 60 Percent Threshold". VOA News. 12 January 2011. Archived from the original on 15 January 2011. Retrieved 13 January 2011.
  5. ^ "Sudan vote trend points at split – Africa". Al Jazeera English. Archived from the original on 18 January 2011. Retrieved 16 January 2011.
  6. ^ "South Sudan gripped by power struggle". Archived from the original on 5 February 2015. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  7. ^ "South Sudan Opposition Accuses Army of New Ceasefire Violation". VOA. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  8. ^ "South Sudan ceasefire violated, rebels and government say". BBC News. Archived from the original on 13 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  9. ^ "South Sudan rebels break ceasefire – Unmiss". BBC News. Archived from the original on 24 July 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  10. ^ Kulish, Nicholas (27 April 2018). "New Estimate Sharply Raises Death Toll in South Sudan". Archived from the original on 15 October 2017. Retrieved 27 April 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  11. ^ Sam Jones. "South Sudan atrocities amount to war crimes, report warns". The Guardian. Archived from the original on 8 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  12. ^ "OHCHR - Protection of South Sudan's one million internally displaced is eroding – UN expert warns". www.ohchr.org. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  13. ^ "US Pledges Another $83 Million for South Sudan". VOA. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  14. ^ "A Man-Made Famine Is Looming In South Sudan". Mother Jones. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  15. ^ "Concerns over South Sudan arms reports as famine looms: U.N." Reuters. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  16. ^ "Kiir tells UN assembly Machar's "impatience" to blame for conflict - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  17. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-06. Retrieved 2014-10-03.
  18. ^ Wudu, Waakhe Simon. "South Sudan President Fires John Garang's Widow". voanews.com. Archived from the original on 12 May 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  19. ^ Uganda, NTV. "HOME: NTV UGANDA". www.ntvuganda.co.ug. Archived from the original on 21 January 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  20. ^ Gordon, Michael R. (6 May 2014). "U.S. Imposes First Sanctions in South Sudan Conflict". Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018 – via NYTimes.com.
  21. ^ "South Sudan-related Sanctions". Archived from the original on 30 September 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  22. ^ "Embargoes and sanctions on South Sudan". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  23. ^ "China Halts Arms Sales to South Sudan After Norinco Shipment". Bloomberg. 30 September 2014. Archived from the original on 3 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  24. ^ "South Sudan's warring parties trade accusations of fresh attacks - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  25. ^ "U.S. warns South Sudan: Strike a peace deal or face UN sanctions". Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  26. ^ a b "South Sudan Factions Agree on Federal Government". ABC News. Archived from the original on 6 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  27. ^ "C. Equatoria governor: 'We stand for federalism'". Archived from the original on 10 August 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  28. ^ "South Sudan optimistic of peace deal with rebels". Sudan Tribune. Archived from the original on 1 October 2014. Retrieved 2 October 2014.
  29. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2014-10-07. Retrieved 2014-10-06.
  30. ^ Butty, James. "South Sudan Peace Talks Take Another Break". voanews.com. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  31. ^ Dumo, Denis. "Fighting erupts again in South Sudan; each side blames the other". reuters.com. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  32. ^ Copnall, James (27 October 2014). "South Sudan's armies gear up as fighting season approaches". the Guardian. Archived from the original on 19 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  33. ^ https://www.un.org/apps/news/story.asp?NewsID=49173#.VE-wR9JxnHY Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine.
  34. ^ "South Sudan clashes despite truce". 10 November 2014. Archived from the original on 5 January 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018 – via www.bbc.com.
  35. ^ "S. Sudan rejects proposal to scrap vice-president post - Sudan Tribune: Plural news and views on Sudan". www.sudantribune.com. Archived from the original on 18 February 2018. Retrieved 27 April 2018.
  36. ^ Gruss, Daniel (2010–2011). "A New Constitution for South Sudan". Yearbook of Islamic and Middle Eastern Law 16: 73 – via HeinOnline.
  37. ^ Dumo, Denis. "South Sudan parliament extends president's term by 3 years". U.S. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  38. ^ "South Sudan sacks entire cabinet". BBC News. 2013-07-24. Retrieved 2018-10-24.
  39. ^ "Kiir announces new South Sudan ministries". Sudan Tribune. 21 August 2011. Archived from the original on 29 August 2011. Retrieved 25 August 2011.

Further reading[edit]

  • Leonardi, Cherry (2013). Dealing with government in South Sudan: histories of chiefship, community & state. Eastern Africa series. Woodbridge, Suffolk: James Currey. ISBN 9781847010674.
  • Henneberg, Ingo (2013). "Das politische System des Südsudan [The Political System of South Sudan]". Verfassung und Recht in Übersee – Law and Politics in Africa, Asia and Latin America. Nomos. pp. 174–196. doi:10.5771/0506-7286-2013-2-174.

External links[edit]