Dear Dr. Costello Garang: What you demonizes as “Tribal Federalism” is our objective reality

Posted: January 18, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Acuil Malith Banggol, Commentary, Contributing Writers, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

By Acuil Malith Banggol, Juba, South Sudan

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January 18, 2017 (SSB) — Greetings and thanks for correctly noticing and acknowledging the different types of federation and federalism in Germany and Switzerland amongst others. Your problem is that you seems to have tendency to cut-paste. Please look into our reality with objectivity. What you demonizes as Tribal Federalism, “Salva Kiir’s Destruction of South Sudan through Tribal Federalism“, is our reality but these are not tribe. They are nationalities. But let me give you SPLM view on federalism:

Historically, culturally, administratively and demographically, South Sudan federation is perceived within the values, norms, beliefs and mutual collaboration of Greater Regions, Greater States, Greater Counties, Greater Communities, Greater Extended families and homelands of 72 Peoples and elders; each with distinct culture and a living language noticeable in thousands of Traditional Communal Federal Systems (TCFS) known as chiefdoms of several ethnicities or communities or kingdoms of a People or a nationality. In Dinka we call it WUD.

A TCFS is headed by elected or selected spiritual or secular Traditional Authority Leader (TAL).

Recognized by the Constitution; a TCFS in accordance to Customary Laws, is mutually identified with mutually recognized territorial integrity with natural resources of water points, forestry, hunting, grazing land, farming land and places of worship and burial, Peoples, Communal ethno-cultural, political and economic coping mechanism identified with beliefs, norms, values, morals, spiritual, judicial and administrative jurisdictions whose sovereignty is explicitly recognized by article 2, 33, 36(4) and 166(6)(c) and (i) of SSTC 2011 and ACRISS 2015 V article 1.1 on Supremacy of Peoples of South Sudan and 1.2 to initiate [articulate] federation.

The Agreement on Conflict Resolution in South Sudan (ACRISS) 2015 Chapter V:1.2: Mandate all levels of Transitional Government of Transitional Unity to: Initiate [Articulate] a Federal and democratic system of government that reflects the character of South Sudan in its various institutions taken together, guarantees good governance, constitutionalism, rule of law, human rights, gender equity and affirmative action.

Article 166(6)(i) of SSTC 2011: Acknowledge and incorporate the role of Traditional Authority and customary law in the local government system.

Article 33 of SSTC Rights of Ethnic and Cultural Communities: Ethnic and cultural communities shall have the right to freely enjoy and develop their particular cultures. Members of such communities shall have the right to practice their beliefs, use their languages, observe their religions and raise their children within the context of their respective cultures and customs in accordance with this Constitution and the law.

TGoUN Political Objectives: Article 36(2)(c) of SSTC 2011: Inculcate in the people a culture of peace, unity [in diversity], cooperation, understanding, tolerance and respect for customs, traditions and beliefs of each other;

Article 36(4) of SSTC 2011: The composition of governments shall take into account ethnic, regional and social diversity in order to promote national unity and command national loyalty.

Democracy and Governance in accordance to SPLM Manifesto

Section IV.10: Decentralization system of governance that would bring power closer to the Peoples, and is characterized by popular participation, transparency, accountability, responsiveness, consensus-seeking orientation, effectiveness and abidance by the rule of law, so that the Peoples of [South] Sudan are provided with necessary conducive environment for accelerated socio-economic development ad increased happiness.

Section IV.11: This system of governance will be premised on

(a) restructuring of the power of the central government in a manner that would take into account the interests of all the [South] Sudanese, especially those of marginalized regions, [small population nationalities], and impoverished socio-economic groups, and

(b) a decentralized power structure redefining the relation between [Capital] and the regions [states] with a view to devolving more federal powers to the regions [states] and, where and when necessary, full autonomy.

Thanks for correctly mentioning that a federal state should be able to finance itself. Your state is very rich. The challenge is your contribution is missing. Citizens of a federal state should produce, trade and create wealth to be able to pay taxes, insurance and health levies.

Let is engage in eradicating vulnerability of lack of production. We shall be richer than Germany and others.

I am happy with my Twic State. I shall make sure we produce and trade to create the needed wealth.

Try to bring technology to Ayat and to us the neighbor. Ask yourself of the level of your contribution to your state and South Sudan. South Sudanese are disadvantaged but not poor. Each of our wud is only missing a United Nations recognition as a sovereign. There is no wud in Dinka that is a subsidiary of another wud. We are united in diversity.

Why Unity in Diversity

SPLM principle and aims in accordance to SPLM Constitution 2008 states the following:

Article 5.8: Committed to justice and equality for all irrespective of [nationality], religion, social status or gender.

Article 5.10: Committed to respect of diversity of [South] Sudanese cultural heritage, values and beliefs.

Article 6.18: Aimed at ensure justice and equity for all irrespective of [nationality], religion, social status and gender

Article 6:20: Aimed to encourage and promote respect for diversity of [South] Sudanese cultural heritage and beliefs.

You can the author via his email:

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

  1. Costello Garang Ring Lual says:

    Dear Acuil Malith Banggol
    as a friend I know for a long time and during the time of our struggle I need really not mention to you my humble contribution to the liberation of our country. Starting from being the second eldest representative of the SPLM/A after Benjamin Bol who was murdered in cold blood to the formation of NilePet together with Riek Machar and Kuol Manyang after being authorized to do so by Dr. John Garang to bringing Huawei to South Sudan and handing it over to Gerchuong to form Gemtel as ordered by Dr. John Garang.
    Most of the points you have mentioned are theoretically valid but are not found implemented anywhere.
    South Sudan is not a „One Party State“ and is not intended to be, so I would rather therefore refer to the constitution of the Republic instead of that of our political party. I was representing the whole nation in my activities and not the chiefdom of my father, Paramount Chief Riiny Lual Dau, or the Malual Dinka or my state of Northern Bahr El Ghazal. This is exactly what my article reflects. You are confirming what I called „tribal Federalism“. We could also call it „Wut- Federalism“ if you prefer it to be termed so. The problem, my brother, is that this is a truly Dinka terminology. I doubt that many other tribes in South Sudan have this idea of „wut“. My fear is that if we were to follow „wut-federalism“ on all levels and by all tribes , we might end up having 200 states. The SPLM/A wanted to bring towns to the people and not the people to the towns. Dr. John Garang meant bringing services to the people, so as to remain in their areas and not go to live in slums in the towns. He also didn´t mean bringing salaries to the party cadres by creating endless states that cannot serve the people. As an economist, Dr. John would have been the first to reject such impotent states as I explained in the example of Germany. My main point has been the ability of a state to fund its own activities and not merely to respect the character of a wut as a wut.
    The 32 states don´t even reflect the numbers and the characters of the WUOT you are talking about.
    Astonishingly we shouldn´t have waited for internal conflicts and for the state to get bankrupt before raising the number of the states from 10 to 28 and from 28 to 32.
    The ideology of wut was already present before that.
    Let us wait for the coming generations for South Sudan to be much richer than Germany or Switzerland so as tob e able to fund their states. If necessary, they will create more states in peace and prosperity.
    I´m not principally against creation of new states if they carry the burden of financing themselves.


  2. […] Dear Dr. Costello Garang: What you demonizes as “Tribal Federalism” is our objective reality […]


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