Archive for November 25, 2018

By Ngoi Thuech, Dodoma, Tanzania


Do Not Confuse a Camouflaged Call for Confederation for Call Federalism

Sunday, November 25, 2018 (PW) —- What do South Sudanese confuse federalism with? Merriam Webster defines it as “the distribution of power in a federation between the central authority and the constituent units (as states) involving especially the allocation of significant lawmaking powers to those constituent units.” In the 1970s Jaafar Nimeri turned the former Northern provinces into decentralized regions. Joseph Lagu and his followers saw this as an opportunity to get rid of the Nuer and Dinka in the Equatoria region who they saw as job grabbers.

This political sensation later popularly became known as ‘Kokora.’ Kokora means to divide or division in Bari. It means ‘re-division’ to its antagonists. “In practice, ‘Kokora’ meant expulsion of non-Equatorians from government and civil service positions in the regional capital of Juba and elsewhere, and their reposting to their home regions” (Douglas H. Johnson’s quote from his Rift Valley Institute Research Paper 1: Federalism in the History of South Sudanese Political Thought).

Today when non-Equatorian people hear the call of federalism from the Equatorian people they probably confuse it with another chauvinistic regionalist call to send them to their home regions. If we dare look again at our governing system, what we have in place is federalism. We have federalism, but it is sort of a car that is taken out of the road and use for something else altogether, let say, its owner uses it as a bath shelter instead of using it to drive himself/herself to work or all sort of social gatherings. We inherit federalism from North Sudan. We have 32 governors and 32 state governments all subordinating to one central government in Juba; if that isn’t federalism, then federalism has lost its true meaning. (more…)