Articles and Analysies
President Kiir Did Not Act within the Law: A Response to Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba by Gordon Buay
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Jan 25, 2011 - 5:53:02 AM


 President  Kiir Did Not Act within the Law: A Response to Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba


Gordon Buay

In his response to my public statement entitled “President Salva Kiir’s Decree Violated South-South Dialogue Agreement”, Dr. Peter Adwok Nyaba argued that Lt. Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit “acted within the law”. I am not sure whether Dr. Nyaba read the Final Communiqué of the South Sudan Political Partiers’ Conference of October 2010 or he was writing to defend his boss to please him, knowing quite well that most South Sudan ministers in the Government of National Unity (GONU) will lose their jobs after February, 15, 2011. I heard that South Sudan ministers in the North are concerned about their future because the coalition government that will be formed in the South after July will not accommodate all SPLM’s ministers from the north because half of GOSS portfolios will go to other political forces as agreed last October by all political parties.

To refresh the memory of Dr. Nyaba, in case he didn’t have time to read the Communiqué last year due to the well-known resentment between him and Lam Akol, I would advise my dear uncle to pay attention to article 3 of the said communiqué which stipulates that in the event that separation is the winning option in the referendum, a conference shall be reconvened as a National Constitutional Conference within one month from the announcement of the result of the referendum to carry out a constitutional review on the Interim Constitution of Southern Sudan in order to draft a permanent constitution for the new independent and sovereign state of South Sudan. What this means is that President Salva Kiir cannot appoint members of the SPLM party as members of the so-called “Constitutional Review Committee” without involving other political parties. All the personalities appointed are members of the SPLM including Judge Muolana Gatwec Lul (ran during SPLM primary elections to be a candidate for Upper Nile State governor) and Muolana Kon Bior. None of the people appointed is a member of another party.

What is more intriguing is whether the need for the review of the interim constitution is a prime responsibility of SPLM party alone. Unless uncle Nyaba is advocating for one party state or he is relapsing to his communist tendencies of 1970s, President Kiir’s decree cannot be justified in a free and democratic society. One may hope that resentment between uncle Nyaba and Lam Akol should not override the will of the people of South Sudan to establish a democratic system. I hope uncle Nyaba is not advocating for what is called “choiceless democracy” where the affairs of the state are determined by one party only in a country that has more than one party. The people of South Sudan should keep praying every Sunday so that uncle Adwok Nyaba does not confuse President Salva Kiir Mayardit at the expense of building multiparty democracy in the South as it is now clear that majority of the people of Southern Sudan voted for secession.

One does not need to be a rocket scientist to understand that President Salva Kiir should have consulted with the leaders of other political forces as per the terms of last year agreement between political parties. Therefore, Dr. Nyaba needs to be educated about the terms that were agreed by all the political parties’ leaders last year unless he wants to introduce “Dukeson’s treatment” to issues of South-South Dialogue (Dukeson is a name of a guy called John Gatkuoth Dup, who, in the 1960s, threw Nyaba over the offence in Malakal because he was disturbing the party).

In conclusion, the people of South Sudan should call upon President Salva Kiir Mayardit to include other political parties in the committee that will work-out modalities for the future governance of South Sudan. One party’s monopoly of the constitutional affairs of the South is a clear introduction of guerrilla dictatorship.

NB: The author is a former Secretary General of South Sudan Democratic Front (SSDF) and the signatory of Washington Declaration between the SPLM and the SSDF in 2008.

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