By PaanLuel Wel, South Sudan
The gov’t has passed into law a controversial Security Bill despite stiff protest from members of the official opposition party–SPLM-DC (and curiously, some SPLM members from Equatoria) who stormed out of the House.
MPs from the gov’t side simply went ahead, voted and passed the bill into law (probably pending presidential signature). One opinion is that democracy (the majority) carried the day against intransigence from a belligerent minority.
Another opinion is that the majority (gov’t, but not necessarily democracy) has bulldozed its way into law, much as Khartoum used to do against South Sudanese.
Pick your opinion and supporting evidences. You may call it an arm-race between the “constitutional gov’t” of President Salva Kiir Mayaardit in Juba against the “democratic rebellion” of Dr. Riek Machar in the bushes.
See below a comment from Dr. Lam Akol:
The official opposition in South Sudan Parliament today stormed out of the sitting debating the National Security Service Bill. This followed the refusal of the Speaker to allow time to study suggested amendments to the bill. The Minority Leader had invoked the Conduct of Business Regulations that stipulate that 72 hours should be allowed for studying any amendments tabled before the House. The SPLM caucus had just concluded a meeting and one of them was reading suggested amendments to the bill when the Opposition raised the point of order. The Speaker rejected the demand causing the opposition MPs to walk out. They were followed by the MPs hailing from Equatoria. Despite the lack of quorum, the Speaker went ahead and the controversial bill was passed. It is now abundantly clear that the government wants to ram this repressive bill down the throats of the South Sudanese.
Full Text of the Enacted NSS Bill:
Republic of South Sudan: Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
Washington DC, USA – 4 August 2014
H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit, President of the Republic of South Sudan, arrived in Washington DC today, where over 50 African Heads of State and Government are converging for the US-Africa Leaders’ Summit themed “Investing in the Next Generation.” The Summit will Focus on discussing ways of stimulating growth, unraveling opportunities, and creating an enabling environment for the next generation.
On 5 August, the US Department of Commerce and Bloomberg Philanthropies will co-host the first US-Africa Business Forum, which will focus on strengthening trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa. The Forum will deepen efforts to strengthen trade and financial ties between the United States and Africa and seek to create partnerships that will promote trade, accelerate job growth, and encourage investment.
The Forum will also focus on US private sector engagement in Africa in the areas of finance and capital investment; infrastructure; power and energy; agriculture; consumer goods; and information and communication technology.
And finally on 6 August 2014 and in line with the theme of the Summit, the host President Barack Obama will engage the African Leaders in dialogue in three action-oriented sessions, which is meant to address issues of shared interest and mutual concern including (I) Investing in Africa’s Future, (II) Peace, Security and Regional Stability and (III) Governing for the Next
In the margins of the US-Africa Summit, H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit, is likely to meet the host, President Obama, to discuss issues related to the rebels’ negative activities in the region and their violation of the May cessation of hostilities and the urgent need to resume the IGAD-led peace process.
The Trio: President Uhuru of Kenya, President Museveni of Uganda and Prime Minister Dessalegn of Ethiopia are also likely to meet President Salva Kiir Mayardit to consolidate peace, security, stability and good relations especially in solidarity to good neighbourliness.
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Every year for the past 10 years, The Fund for Peace, in partnership with the Foreign Policy Magazine, has released an index of the world’s most fragile states, based on the analysis of mountains of data.
“The reason for South Sudan’s position has much to do with its increasingly fractious politics among the leadership,” Messner said. “And, perhaps even more importantly, the growing ethnic element to the violence [there].”
Press Briefing on the Visit of H.E. James Wani Igga, the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan and the Deputy Chairman of the SPLM to Uganda, 13-17 June 2014