Date: 4 October 2015
From: Equatorian Leaders in the Diaspora
RE: PRESIDENTIAL ORDER FOR THE CREATION OF 28 STATES IN THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN
We, the Equatorian leaders in Diaspora (United States of America, Australia, Canada, and United Kingdom), speaking on behalf of our constituents and as stakeholders in South Sudan political situation, reject the Presidential order number 36/2015 AD issued by President Salva Kiir Mayardit on South Sudan Television (SSTV) on the night of Friday 2nd October 2015 for the creation of 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan. Currently, South Sudan has 10 states. The order has come as a surprise to most South Sudanese.
We reject the issuing of the Presidential order for a number of reasons, including the following:
1. Procedural matter: We consider that such an important matter of creating new states requires a democratic process to be followed. It should involve The Council of States as stipulated in the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan Articles 161 (3), (4). In addition, the people of South Sudan should also be consulted. None of these happened. Therefore, the President has undermined the expected democratic process and values, which he is supposed to uphold.
2. Unconstitutional action: The current constitution of South Sudan states that there shall be 10 states in the Republic of South Sudan, and that no one is above the law, including the President. The President’s action in relation to issuing an order to create 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan violates the constitution and it amounts to amendment of the Interim Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan, outside his power. The key extracts of the Interim Constitution states that:
(1) This Constitution derives its authority from the will of the people and shall be the supreme law of the land. It shall have a binding force on all persons, institutions, organs and agencies of government throughout the Country
According to the constitution “States of South Sudan“: Article 161
(1) The territory of South Sudan is composed of TEN states governed on the basis of decentralisation.
(2) The constitutions of the states shall conform to this constitution.
(3) State boundaries shall not be altered except by a resolution of the Council of States approved by two- thirds of all members.
(4) Names of states and their capital towns shall not be altered except by a resolution of the Council of States approved by a simple majority on the recommendation of the relevant State Assembly.
The President has broken his oath by not consulting the members of the National and State Assemblies that represent the people of South Sudan.
Therefore, the President’s action to create 28 states is unconstitutional. Any amendment to the Constitution for creating new states can only be carried out by the Parliament, and not the President.
3. Against the spirit of the current peace agreement: The unilateral action of the President to issue an order for the creation of 28 states in the Republic of South Sudan runs contrary to the current Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan. The power sharing formula of the Agreement Chapter 1 Articles 1.1.6, 15.2 and 15.3 is based on 10 states, and not 28 states. The action of the President can be interpreted to mean an act of derailing the peace agreement.
In conclusion, we reject the order by President Salva Kiir Mayardit for the creation of 28 States in the Republic of South Sudan, on the grounds of procedural and constitutional matter, and that it is against the spirit of the recently signed peace agreement.
We request IGAD plus to intervene in order to ensure the peace agreement is implemented in full, both in letter and spirit. No party should be allowed to undermine the peace agreement by unilateral actions that are not stipulated in the agreement.
We call upon the people of South Sudan to reject the order of the President. The people of South Sudan have not been consulted on such an important and major issue of creation of new states.
THE EQUATORIAN LEADERS IN THE DIASPORA:
Federico Awi Vuni
Chairman, Executive Committee, Equatorian Community in the UK
Chairperson, Equatoria Community & Welfare Association, NSW, AUSTRALIA
Kwaje M. Lasu, MPH, RCP
President, Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-USA (ESSCA-USA)
President, Equatoria South Sudanese Community Association-Canada (ESSCA- Canada)
For Correspondence: Federico Awi Vuni; firstname.lastname@example.org