GOVERNORS, Do not appoint generals

By Nema Juma

For the citizens and the common-man to have their faith and trust restored, civil society, the mouth-piece of the public have called on all the parties to the Revitalized Peace Agreement to appoint only people with dignity and integrity to the governorship positions.

This came barely a day after the parties reached an agreement to break the long standing deadlock on slots of the States which had hindered the progress of appointing the governors.

The societies also called on the parties to avoid the appointment of Generals as the head of state government because some of them who had been there before did not perform to the public expectation. The group further pointed out that those who were charged with the management of the defunct 32 States had failed and should be “recycled” back in the system. “The parties should appoint only those who are capable of uniting the general public in their locality. Not otherwise.”

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday separately, Jame David Kolok, Rajab Muhandis and two citizens based in Khartoum, Malesh Munga and Ezekiel Joseph uniformly supported the end of the deadlock with different views.

The Executive Director for Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) Kolok welcomed the move taken by the parties in resolving the issues of the states.

He said it has been long overdue process considering the breakthrough on the state progress in ensuring that the states were established.  

“This is reasonable and I think considering that Upper Nile is seen as a strong hole to the SPLM-IO and in terms of consultations I believe SPLM-IO is prominent to the presidency, SSOA and other parties,” he said.

“As an activist I urge all parties to appoint governors who will be able to build confidence among the civilians in their various states that is measured by the three people; refugees, people in the protection of civilian sites (PoCs) and the communities in that particular state,” Kolok added.

He stressed that there was nothing much done by the governors of the previous 32 states in terms of social services provision. He said majority of them were army Generals who were mainly put their in the name of protecting their own parties and interest.

“So at the moment we are in the stage of peace and I think this mentality of saying that we need to appoint Generals because the situation we are in is the situation of conflict does not now come if we are very committed in implementing the peace process,” Kolok explained.

He said if they appoint governors who contributed towards the displacement, creating divisions in the states it was likely to threaten unity among communities. However, Kolok noted that there were many competent South Sudanese among the previous governors whom he thinks are capable of uniting the people.

“As civil society we recommend that we need to see new faces, people who are neutral, people who are able to unite and build confidence among the people of South Sudan and return to their homes,” he lamented.

 Mohandis, Executive Director Organization for Responsive Governance (ORG) reiterated that the responsibility to change things in the states was partially political, saying without a clear national comprehensive strategy the governors may not do much alone.

Rajab said the governors to be appointed need national political support and resources from the national government to enable them respond to some of the situation adequately.

“I have been to most of the states and engaged with some of the state governors some of them have been referring issues to the national government for their intervention and the national government have not been adequately responding to some of those issues for example in the Lakes states, there has been a lot of intercommunal violence,” Rajab said.

He requested the national government to establish mobile court that will come and address those issues so that we don’t engage in the violence as a revenge killing so the mobile court will address our grievances.

He said that the governors could not do much when the national government provided support to take the complementary role of the national government and governors.

“Some of the governors really tried, in fact most of the cessation of hostilities that followed the ceasefire were done by the governors, some of them directly engaged with the Opposition in their areas and built relations, built confidence and reduced violence which was very important,” Rajab said.

He stated that when they are appointing the governors the government needs to put people who can deliver services, to the people, and people with vision, governors who can bring Unity among people and people of peace and reconciliation among the community.

One of the citizens in Khartoum Munga said the appointment of the governors would help the situation on the ground and bring calm and stability in those conflict areas.

“I take this chance to remind the parties to R-TGON, to expedite the process and establish the legislative council as soon as possible,” he said.

The agreement requires a lot of constitutional reforms and these can’t be done unless there is parliament,” Munga said.

Joseph who hails from Lainya in Central Equatoria who has been in Khartoum for the last 15 years welcomed the state allocation among the parties adding that he would want to see the real peace and stability is back to the entire country so that they are able to return home.           

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