Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Guarantee of basic human rights

All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. They are endowed with reason and conscience and should act towards one another in a spirit of brotherhood — Article 1 of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Universal_Declaration_of_Human_Rights

In the previous features, "Integral" discussed the lack of democratic principles in South Sudan and how such disunite the people of South Sudan. It observed the values or pillars of democracy: sovereignty of the people; government based upon consent of the governed; majority rule; minority rights; guarantee of basic human rights; free and fair elections; equality before the law; due process of law; constitutional limits on government; social, economic, and political pluralism; values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise, (

It promised to examine each one of these pillars. It has already examined "sovereignty of the people"; "government based upon consent of the governed"; "majority rule"; and "Minority rights". Today, "Integral" is looking at "Guarantee of basic human rights" and observe whether or not basic human rights of the people of South Sudan are guaranteed by the government of South Sudan (GoSS) as stipulated in the Interim Constitution of South Sudan (ICSS). But first, let us see the meanings of each one of the words forming the basis for this argument: guarantee; basic; human; and rights.

Guarantee as a word has many meanings but for the purpose of this column, assurance – one of those many meanings – will be used. Basic, also with many entries in the dictionary, but for the purpose of this column, central – one of those many entries – will be used. Human, on the other hand, means manlike or that which is mortal – subjected to death. Rights mean those which are central in human need and deserved, especially in civil and political life. (Collins, 2000:274; 51; 298). Therefore, the phrase, guarantee of basic human rights could be rephrased as: assurance of central or pivotal desires of all South Sudanese.

Human rights refer to the basic rights and freedoms to which all humans are entitled. Examples of rights and freedoms which are often thought of as human rights include civil and political rights, such as the right to life and liberty, freedom of expression, and equality before the law; and socio-cultural and economic rights, including the right to participate in culture, the right to food, the right to work, and the right to education; free and fair elections; and the right to live free from discrimination on the basis of sex, race and religion

Every culture and major religions of the world recognise human rights in some form. For example, the Christian religion's Ten Commandments: "Thou shall not kill", is an expression of the right to life that is also recognised by all religions and governments of the world. South Sudanese have the same human rights entitlements; men, women and children, rich and poor, powerful and weak, beautiful or ugly, able or disabled, all tribes, all nationalities and faiths.

To respect someone's human rights means that you value another person as a fellow member of the human race rather than judge them on their appearance, background, race or gender, tribe or region. To respect human rights means that you believe everyone should live free from discrimination and have equal opportunity. This does not mean that differences among people should be ignored; but that we agree to treat people equally and the problems that exist, fairly and reasonably, regardless of the differences that exist.

In South Sudan, some individuals within GoSS have been seen to discriminate the people on the basis of which tribe does one come from; political parties does someone belong to; and phrases like; 'if you are not with us then you are with the enemy.' Tribalism and nepotism have both been seriously used by some individuals within the GoSS to draw lines between who is loyal to SPLM/A and who is not. Tribalism and nepotism have both frustrated the efforts of many South Sudanese who are seeking and continue to seek employment.

Tribalism and nepotism are making few individuals in GoSS acquire a new understanding that states: 'since others did not participate in the liberation struggle, they should not expect to get jobs, own lands and even have the right to live'. "Integral" will try to examine origins of tribalism and nepotism and their impact on the basic human rights of the people in South Sudan; and how such widens rather than closes the gap of disunity in South Sudan.

Tribalism is a noun that means "loyalty to a tribe." It originates from another noun: tribe, which means a "group of clans or families believed to have a common ancestry", (Collins, 2000:635).

"Integral" had made its views on tribalism very clear in one of its features which dealt with tribalism. It categorically stated that tribalism is an important organizational setup in societies because it ensures unity of a tribe. It eases common difficulties in achieving unity of purpose in a tribe. It secures the tribe from any dangers in case it is threatened. If led by wise people, it could generally work towards ensuring universal peace and establishment of law and order within a larger community of people or state. "Integral" added that, for tribalism to achieve universal peace, it has to explore newer horizons like looking beyond the tribe. Social Contract theorists would understand this perfectly well as Thomas Hobbes states here bellow:

"Men can be expected to construct a Social Contract that will afford them a life other than that available to them in the State of Nature. This contract is constituted by two distinguishable contracts. First, they must agree to establish society by collectively and reciprocally renouncing the rights they had against one another in the State of Nature. Second, they must imbue some one person or assembly of persons with the authority and power to enforce the initial contract. In other words, to ensure their escape from the State of Nature, they must both agree to live together under common laws, and create an enforcement mechanism for the social contract and the laws that constitute it" – Thomas Hobbes.

However, it should be understood that by all the readers of this column that it is human to practice tribalism but not nepotism for the general welfare of mankind. Nepotism is the true origin of tribalism. Some of the readers would certainly beg to disagree with this notion. However, they should hear out this argument.

Nepotism means favouritism in business shown only to relatives and friends (Collins, 2000:409). Given the extension of families in African households and knowing the fact that the first friends anyone from a particular tribe would tend to make are people from his/her own tribe, it is obvious that the bond of friendship is greater at the age set levels. In most cases, age sets grow up in a village and as such tribe binds them more than anything else.

Language, which is the main binding aspect in tribal existence, plays a greater role in provoking memories of childhood. Once provoked, the bond between those friends would grow stronger and stronger to the extent that one would be excited and do almost anything to the other friend without necessarily realizing it. This cannot go without stepping on a few toes; and it is the continued stepping on other people's toes, which increases in degree that eventually turns out to become tribalism.

In South Sudan, the Dinka were the first to be accused of practicing tribalism. This happened during the initial formation of the Anyanya Movement in 1963 when Sudan African National Union (SANU) split into two, This was not as serious as it became to be known later. After the Addis Ababa Agreement of 1972, the Dinka tribe was believed to be practicing excessive tribalism. Equatorians and other smaller tribes in South Sudan believed that the Dinka tribe had occupied almost all the sensitive position in the Regional Government of South Sudan then known as the High Executive Council. That was not tribalism but rather an overstretched nepotism, one would state.

When the South was divided into three provinces called regions, the Dinka went to the bush in mid 1983 to form the SPLM/A. In the three Southern regions tribalism was noticed by the minorities in each of these regions. In Upper Nile for example, the Nuer were said to be dominating. In Equatoria, the Bari tribe in Central Equatoria were said to be dominating the other tribes. These dominations were felt because nepotism was at its height but not tribalism as such. The further re-division of the South into ten states caused the accusation of tribes like Bari in Central Equatoria; Otuho in Eastern Equatoria, Nuer in Upper Nile, Zande in Western Equatoria; just to mention but a few; as dominating in their respective states.

If excessive nepotism that is now being practiced by almost every tribe in South Sudan has turned into tribalism, it is because the GoSS has failed to outlaw it. The author of "Integral" has made it clear to a few friends in the late 1980s of the last century that the SPLM/A had the opportunity to outlaw tribalism but it encouraged it instead. "Integral" now believes that the overstretched nepotism could be simply addressed by GoSS. GoSS is in a position to request for legislation from the SSLA that could outlaw nepotism and any symptoms of tribalism.

Having failed to address nepotism in the SPLM/A as a movement then and now SPLM/A as a government, the degree of nepotism has heightened. This heightened nepotism has caused the suffering of very many South Sudanese. Some individuals have used it to rob people of their properties such as land. Physically torturing innocent South Sudanese and detaining them in jails for years and years without trial. People have been killed as they tried to defend themselves from being robbed, raped etc; the list is long of the many atrocities committed against the innocent South Sudan in the name of this excessive nepotism, which in no doubt has now seriously developed into a fully-fledged tribalism.

Majority of the people of South Sudan, especially those who do belong to minority tribes have each seen the ugliness of tribalism and nepotism in South Sudan. Some of them have been made to believe that they in fact are in South Sudan by mistake. Equatorians for that matter have been told to go back to Kenya, Uganda, DR Congo and the Central African Republic. A few individuals from the SPLM/A have made this clear to many Equatorians in many occasions. There are many cases that could not even be addressed by the land commission in the state governments, let alone the GoSS because many senior SPLM/A officials – extremely powerful – are involved.

The security apparatus in South Sudan, including the ministry that is in charge of the security and that in charge of legal affairs have reflected the seriousness of nepotistic exercise. That is not a problem still but again a few individuals within the security and the ministries mentioned are not working for the general good of the people of South Sudan. This has resulted into the promotion of nepotistic interests and has been impacted on those killed, tortured and got their lands seized by none other than those individuals who have been employed through nepotism and are in their offices to protect nepotism.

There could be nothing more abusing to a person's basic human rights than being told that you are a foreigner in your own land; this is segregation on the basis of tribe. There is nothing more abusing to a human right than being protected by a tribal security, one which pays loyalty to a tribe and not the general public of South Sudan. There is nothing more abusing of human rights than taking the life of a countryman considered a traitor; torturing a countryman considered an enemy; and nothing could be more abusing when a person's land is seized by the force of arms.

All the above have been allowed to happen because the decision-makers in South Sudan are incapable of stopping them. It appears that anyone who intends to stop these ugly practices will have to note that s/he may lose popularity in the tribe and instead of stopping it; s/he would turn a blind eye instead.

The deliberate turning of blind eyes on things that are happening in South Sudan have seriously caused disunity between the people of South Sudan. Many minorities within the South have realised that South Sudan may not be a place for their survival and as such may choose to leave the South altogether. This is probably what the few individuals who are causing havoc in South Sudan want. But the serious politicians should really consider that they will be losers in a case like this? It is obviously he who intends to rule who must guarantee the basic human rights of all the citizens in the country. Because he who wants to rule will need as many countrymen as possible in order to win the elections. There can be no shortcuts in situations like these unless a politician is attempting a political suicide.

As mentioned earlier in this column, it is human to practice tribalism but a tribe that practices nepotism to the extent that it forgets the purpose for his/her being in a public office should be made to know that human rights of many are compromised by him/her. Thus, one would argue, that there is obviously no reason for any tribe in South Sudan to insist that it mainly fought the war and as such tribes X, Y and Z which did not participate in the war have to be physically abused, robbed of their belongings, tortured or even killed. It is the physical abuse of innocent citizens, robbing of their belongings, torturing and even killing them – in a nutshell: violating peoples' basic human rights in the name of tribalism and nepotism.

It is such violations of peoples' basic human rights which GoSS needs to know that amount to its failure to guarantee basic human rights of all South Sudanese. It will be very unfortunate if the GoSS cannot realise that her continuation to sanction practices such as that of excessive nepotism and allowing it to develop into a fully-fledged tribalism is the direct cause of disunity in South Sudan. South Sudan is disunited and this disunity has been caused by a mere misbehaviour of few SPLM/A officials who could have otherwise been controlled for the general good of the people of South Sudan.

It is not too late for SPLM/A as the party running the South now to address the issues that cause disunity in South Sudan. African National Congress in South African did bring unity in South Africa by creating a Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC), The TRC did not only unite the blacks in South Africa but also the whites found South Africa a home compared to none, irrespective of what they did to the blacks during the apartheid era.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Minority Rights

If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting placeMargaret Mead

In the previous features, "Integral" discussed the lack of democratic principles in South Sudan and how such disunite the people of South Sudan. It observed the values or pillars of democracy: sovereignty of the people; government based upon consent of the governed; majority rule; minority rights; guarantee of basic human rights; free and fair elections; equality before the law; due process of law; constitutional limits on government; social, economic, and political pluralism; values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise, (

It promised to look into each one of these pillars. It has already examined "sovereignty of the people"; "government based upon consent of the governed"; and "majority rule." Today, it is looking at "Minority Rights" and evaluate the relationship between the majority tribes/parties and those that fall under the category of the minority in South Sudan.

Minority Rights is a terminology used to describe what is morally and legally justifiable to a person, group of people and nationalities regarded as minorities around the world, including sexual minorities in some parts of the world, especially in the Western World. Linking this up to this column's argument, it's important to note that South Sudan has many tribes and political parties.

There are majority and minority tribes in South. There are also majority and minority parties in South Sudan. Dinka and Nuer are majority tribes in South Sudan and as such parties led by these large tribes would always become majority parties. This is true because in order to make parties look more nationalistic in character, parties all over Africa welcome into their membership people from other tribes.

How do the majority tribes and parties in South Sudan behave towards the minority ones? Do they take into consideration the plight of the minority tribes and parties? Do they think that it is morally and legally right to protect the rights of minority tribes and parties in South Sudan just like it is supposed to be the case in this contemporary era of the 21st century?

It would actually be difficult to answer the questions above or to discuss a particular tribe and/or political party before mentioning which tribe ruled South Sudan, when and how it behaved during their tenure in office? South Sudan has witnessed the administration of two largest tribes in South Sudan: the Nuer tribe lead by United Democratic Salvation Front, formed during the Khartoum Peace Agreement. The government was led by the Coordinating Council for South Sudan (CCSS). The second one is the Dinka tribe which dominates the Sudan People's Liberation Movement/Army (SPLM/A). The government of South Sudan (GoSS) was created by the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). These two tribes will offer "Integral" this opportunity to observe what majority parties and tribes could do in South Sudan when in power.

Before observing the questions above, let us look at what the terminology 'Minority Rights' embodies – at least from the scientific point of view. Before that though, let us note that the concurrent usage of tribe and political party in the context of South Sudan is that tribes in South Sudan do dominate political parties. In other words, tribes follow their traditional (tribal) leaderships wherever they are in a political party.

The term minority rights embodies two separate concepts: first, normal individual rights as applied to members of racial; ethnic; class; religious; linguistic or sexual minorities; and second: collective rights accorded to minority groups. The term may also apply simply to individual rights of anyone who is not part of a majority decision.

Civil rights movements often seek to ensure that individual rights are not denied on the basis of membership in a minority group. There are many political bodies which also feature minority group rights. This might be seen in affirmative action quotas, or in guaranteed minority representation in a consociational state.

The majority tribes in South Sudan, especially some individuals within the SPLM/A have never hidden their intentions to dominate. Those few individuals within the Dinka and Nuer communities have said over and over that they are just large enough; and that they have to dominate whether anybody likes it or not. These individuals are on record and whether or not they said or are saying this with the help of anybody, it is immaterial. Because domination, oppression and suppression of smaller tribes or parties by majority ones is a direct abuse of minority rights. Feeling no remorse because someone badly needs power is lack of consideration to the rights of minority groups within an entity.

In early 1980s, South Sudan was made to believe that it had taken the British 50 years to rule the Sudan; and that it will take the Dinka tribe alone100 years to rule the Equatorians and of course by extension the rest of South Sudan. It is wondering to imagine how many more years will the Nuer ask for if the domination is to alternate between majority tribes in South Sudan!

During their era which was ushered in by the Khartoum Peace Agreement (KPA), however, the Nuer tribe had asserted that it was their time to dominate for a while. With no shame, the Nuer tribe seriously dominated the rest of South Sudan in the absence of the Dinka between 1998 and 2005. These seven years of the CCSS existence were led by the Nuer – in the persons of Dr Riek Machar Teny-Dhurgon, Lt-Gen. (Rtd) Gatlwak Deng and Dr Riek Gai Kok.

This mutual ambition to dominate has encouraged and continues to encourage the abuse of minority rights in South Sudan. The minorities in South Sudan were not happy then and are not happy today because they believe that the domination and the abuse of their minority rights continue unabated. Some of these minorities do ask as to when they will be happy in their own home if they cannot be happy after their liberation from the yoke of oppression? Most of them see no moral and legal justification for what they truly see as oppression extended to them by none other than a brother, a liberator.

It is a moral and legal obligation for the majority party or tribe to respect the rights of the minorities in South Sudan. Persistence that majority tribes ought to rule and thus abuse the rights of the minorities would only work to create differences between the people of South Sudan. These differences in fact have already developed into dislike – to say more strongly – hatred. Hatred has never and will never promote the cohesion of the people of South Sudan. Cohesion should be the thing to aim at badly to help advance the cause of unity between the South Sudanese people.

"Integral" would like to look at other perspectives of minority rights as conceived by some national and international organisations around the world, including the United Nations. This is important so that the reader understands that minority rights are guaranteed by law in some civilized countries around the world, including those the people in South Sudan admire. It should thus be noted that some of the perspectives highlighted bellow did exist for quit a long time as could be observed from the Hungarian Diet (parliament).

The question to ask is: are the educated amongst the majority tribes and parties in South Sudan unable to explore knowledge and understand that it is morally and legally incorrect to suppress minorities? The answer is no; the educated amongst the majority have explored the world, acquired knowledge and know that it is morally and legally wrong to oppress minorities but they do not care. It is the 'I don't care attitude' which will land all those who deliberately oppressed minorities into future troubles. Suppression of any kind, let alone that of the minorities, is a crime and those responsible will have to be brought to book when charges are brought against them in future.

Minority rights as conceived by some national and international organisations around the world, reveal that, the first minority rights were created by Diet of Hungary in 1849. Minority rights, as applied to ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities and indigenous peoples, are an integral part of international human rights law. Like children's rights, women's rights and refugee rights, minority rights are a legal framework designed to ensure that a specific group which is in a vulnerable, disadvantaged or marginalised position in society, is able to achieve equality and is protected from persecution.

The first post-war international treaty to protect minorities, designed to protect them from the greatest threat to their existence, was the U.N. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. Subsequent human rights standards that codify minority rights include the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (Article 27), the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Persons Belonging to National or Ethnic, Religious and Linguistic Minorities, two Council of Europe treaties (the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages, and the OSCE Copenhagen Document of 1990.

Minority rights cover protection of existence, protection from discrimination and persecution, protection and promotion of identity, and participation in political life. To protect minority rights, many countries have specific laws and/or commissions or ombudsman institutions (for example the Hungarian Parliamentary Commissioner for National and Ethnic Minorities' Rights).

While initially, the United Nations treated indigenous peoples as a sub-category of minorities, there is an expanding body of international law specifically devoted to them, in particular Convention 169 of the International Labour Organization. Attempts to codify the rights of sexual minorities in international human rights law have met with strong opposition from a number of member states of the United Nations.

Having observed minority rights as conceived by some national and international organisations around the world, including the United Nations, it is only fair to call on GoSS, led by the First Vice-President of the republic, H.E. 1st-Lt-Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, to implement the protection of minority groups in South Sudan. The protection of minority rights is enshrined in the constitution of South Sudan in Part Two: bill of rights.

This call does not mean that the situation in South Sudan has gone out of hand in as far as the infringements on the rights of minorities are concerned. The situation will go out of hand if it is ignored and it is on this background that the leadership of GoSS is hereby asked to prevent this from happening. As mentioned earlier in this column, minorities are starting to develop hatred towards the majority tribes. This is caused by the failure to address issues as they happen.

Majority tribes and parties in South Sudan did and continue to do a lot of bad things against the minority tribes and parties and nothing is done to them. Even those from the majority tribes or parties arrested for committing crimes are sometimes released or set free, thus escaping justice. It is understood that Rome was not built in a day; but signs of building Rome did appear from the first day. It is the signs of building the South that the people want to see now in order to believe that the future is indeed bright.

Majority Rule

As long as the differences and diversities of mankind exist, democracy must allow for compromise, for accommodation, and for the recognition of differencesEugene McCarthy

In the previous features, "Integral" discussed the lack of democratic principles in South Sudan and how such disunite the people of South Sudan. It observed the values or pillars of democracy: sovereignty of the people; government based upon consent of the governed; majority rule; minority rights; guarantee of basic human rights; free and fair elections; equality before the law; due process of law; constitutional limits on government; social, economic, and political pluralism; values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise, (

It promised to look into each one of these pillars. It has already examined "sovereignty of the people" and "government based upon consent of the governed." Today, it is looking at "majority rule."

Majority has many meanings but for the purpose of this column, "Integral" will choose one of the meanings: popularity to suit the argument. Rule, like majority, has many meanings too but again for the purpose of this column, it will choose two: authority and government. Thus, majority rule could be described as a popular authority or government (of a political party) elected into power by the people; and that it has won more seats – 51% and above in parliament and forms a government or rules the country. This normally takes place in countries that exercise democracy and embrace its pillars as the basis for continuity and survival in modern politics.

Majority rule is a decision rule that makes one of two alternatives the "winner", based on which has more than half the votes. It is notable in that it is the binary decision rule used most often in influential decision-making bodies, including the legislatures of democratic nations. Some people have recommended against the use of majority rule, at least under certain circumstances, due to an alleged trade-off between the benefits of majority rule and other values important to democracy. Most famously, it has been feared that majority rule leads to a "tyranny of the majority", and the use of supermajoritarian rules have been recommended in its place. However, some voting theorists have argued that these fears are unfounded and majority rule may actually be the best rule to protect minorities (

As one of the democratic pillars, majority rule is practiced in the Government of South Sudan (GoSS). SPLM has 70% of power in South Sudan's legislature, executive and a little more than 70% in the judiciary; and 100% in SPLA. This was provided for by the CPA. However, this overwhelming majority rule by SPLM has been seen showing serious symptoms of tyranny of the majority. The questions that could be asked in order to link majority rule up to this column's main focus – disunity in South Sudan – are: could tyranny of the majority help the people of the South to unite? If not, why not?

The SPLM as a majority ruling party in South Sudan came to power through a protracted liberation struggle. It is trying its best to behave like a non-corrupt and civilized government and to accommodate all South Sudanese into GoSS. The policy of GoSS, like that of any modern government in this contemporary era, should be to create job opportunities and offer employment to all the South Sudanese irrespective of their various social setups. This 'should-be' policy, however, has been seriously damaged by few individuals within GoSS who think that tribalism and nepotism – corruption in general indeed – form the basis for establishing GoSS and the modern state of the South.

These corrupt individuals have always said that they are the majority in the South and corrupt or not they are there to stay. As a result, there are no equal opportunities for employment for South Sudanese. More so, some South Sudanese have suffered under the GoSS and its affiliated organs as well as the SPLM. Innocent people under the leadership of GoSS have been killed, tortured, robbed of their lands, you name it.

By and large these corrupt individuals have been taking the law into their own hands. This kind of behaviour whether or not it is practiced by individuals or majority of people within the GoSS means nothing but application of tyranny by majority SPLM members in GoSS, including SPLA.

This tyrannical behaviour has clearly given an impression to the South Sudanese that GoSS is not a government for all. This kind of attitude has alienated many South Sudanese from GoSS and so it has caused the GoSS its serious efforts of trying to unite the people of South Sudan and behave like a modern government. Thus, it means that tyranny of the majority in GoSS cannot help the unity of South Sudanese। Inequality of any nature in any nation could be a direct cause of disunity, let alone being a direct source of conflict.

To ensure that the majority rule of SPLM and any other party in future in South Sudan protects the minority rights, GoSS may need a body charged with the protection of minority rights। This body should ensure that there are no infringements of any kind into the rights of the minority in South Sudan. It should also develop awareness programmes that should educate all the political parties in South Sudan on the importance of respecting human rights in general. The unity of the people of South Sudan would not become a reality until when the majority learns to hear the voice of the minority and regard it as that of an equal.

Majority rule perceives all voices as equal. This presupposes an abstraction of all concrete relationships in which a decision-maker is involved: (a) it matters not if someone is 5’7“ or six-foot-three or fat or thin; (b) irrelevant if you come from a distinguished family or a rich one or one that exercises political influence; (c) immaterial your educational background or literacy; (d) you can be 60 or 30 years of age; (e) neither your occupation nor your employment or marital status or the fact of children or not is of any importance whatsoever; (f) and it is completely beside the point what you may or may not have achieved in your life and your personal prestige or lack thereof. Majority rule is a radical principle that makes all voters equal. The extent of this equality becomes more abstruse the greater the social, economic and cultural differences among voters. This equality is no mere fiction, for there are real consequences involved ― namely resolutions. But all this applies to a definite sphere of social life, namely the political one, (

Government Based Upon Consent of the Governed

You can only govern men by serving them. The rule is without exceptionVictor Kiam

In the previous feature, "Integral" observed the values or pillars of democracy: sovereignty of the people; government based upon consent of the governed; majority rule; minority rights; guarantee of basic human rights; free and fair elections; equality before the law; due process of law; constitutional limits on government; social, economic, and political pluralism; values of tolerance, pragmatism, cooperation, and compromise,

The readers who, for a reason or more, took democracy for granted would realise that there is truly more into democracy than meets the naked eye. Thus, to be fair to the argument that 'the shortage in desire or need to accept or welcome the tenets, doctrines, ethics or dogmas of democracy is the most serious cause of disunity in South Sudan', the above-mentioned values or pillars of democracy should really be looked at one by one and seen whether or not they are applied by SPLM/A and GoSS to enhance unity in South Sudan. "Integral" has already looked at the "Sovereignty of the People."

The second pillar of democracy, which is the feature of today, means that any government claiming to be democratic should be based on the consent of the governed – the people. It literally means that there is absolutely nothing that affects the lives of people which the government (legislature and executive) could or can do without the consent or agreement of the governed.

Relating this to South Sudan and GoSS situation in particular, it would only be fair to ask a few questions so as to understand whether or not the GoSS is entirely based upon the consent of the governed. Before asking such questions, however, it would be mature enough to think for those who would argue for and against this thinking that the GoSS needs the consent of anybody to function.

There are those who say GoSS is empowered by the CPA and the CPA were negotiated by the peoples' representatives and thus GoSS is based upon the consent of the governed. Others simply say that the CPA is a property of SPLM/A only and that is why SPLM/A took 70 and gave the people 30 percent of power sharing in South Sudan. "Integral" agrees with the notion that the CPA was negotiated by the peoples' representatives, imposed or otherwise; and that GoSS is based upon the consent of the governed. However, it is those that "Integral" agrees with who actually are causing disunity in South Sudan by contradicting themselves every now and then. Sometimes they say one thing and their actions would reveal another.

These are the South Sudanese members of SPLM/A who find it so difficult to differentiate between SPLM/A, GoSS and themselves as part of the populace in South Sudan. These few individuals (hereinafter referred to as 'notorious individuals'), by their continued actions, reveal that the GoSS was and remains the result of a hard-fought liberation struggle and so needs no consent from anyone to function. These notorious individuals are also supported by some individuals they use as conduits to channel their notoriety to the states. They and their conduits say 'GoSS and they are there to stay whether anyone likes it or not.' These notorious individuals have gone as far as saying that: 'we got it trough the barrel of the gun and thus no one can take it through a ballot box.' The missing link here could be the difficulty to understand the concept of 'governed.'

But these notorious individuals know that the South is not their property or entrepreneur in order for them to risk profit-making. GoSS is and will remain to be the government of the people and for the people of South Sudan.

It was earned through a protracted struggle in which lives of great sons and daughters of South Sudan were sacrificed not from the yester days only but from time immemorial.

However, there is one thing which is relieving in all these: the agreement of the majority in South Sudan which identifies itself with the CPA which they believe gave birth to GoSS. This will also mean that this majority too agrees that the GoSS is based upon the consent of the governed because it was negotiated by the peoples' representatives. But how much legislation has the South Sudan Legislative Assembly (SSLA) debated upon and passed on behalf of the governed? How much of those legislation were made with the consent of the governed? Did the legislation made require the consent of the governed? Did the SSLA at one point in time of its existence ever requested recess to get the consent of the governed when faced with some tougher legislation?

What about the executive – that is GoSS? Has it ever taken the people – the governed – into consideration when dealing with matters that concern them? How many times have the people in the South complained about one or two executive decisions that affected their lives? How many times has GoSS intervened in the very many cases that directly affected the lives of the governed in South Sudan?

The same questions would apply to the State legislative assemblies and state executives or cabinets throughout the ten states in South Sudan.

Those notorious individuals who see themselves as the South and the South as they would not hesitate to say: 'well, the GoSS was not elected after all and so to hell with the consent of the governed!' This statement, however, would negate the fact that the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) came as a direct result of the peoples' struggle. It would also negate the fact that there was a struggle meant to liberate the people of South Sudan from the yolk of the oppressor. Looking at it from an exactly opposite dimension, one would clearly see that the purported struggle – in the understanding of these notorious individuals – meant to replace what was called 'Arab oppression' by their oppression. This would be devastating to the general idea of liberation, which is selfless and means sacrifice on behalf of the oppressed.

A government based upon the consent of the governed is one which looks at the people as the main reason for its existence. In other words, a government based on the consent of the governed cannot work contrary to the peoples' needs but rather for their general good.

"Consent of the governed" is based on a political theory by an English political scientist, John Locke. The founders of the United States believed in John Locke's political theory of a state built upon the consent of "free and equal" citizens; a state otherwise conceived would lack the legitimacy and the authority to exercise legal authority stating that a government's legitimacy and moral right to use state power are, or ought to be, derived from the people or society over which that power is exercised.

The GoSS under the leadership of SPLM/A has to realise that there are no shortcuts to a leadership that would last forever. The only way to prolong leadership, since there is no such thing as lasting leadership, is to govern with the consent of the governed. To encourage a government that is based upon the consent of the governed would also encourage the promotion of unity of the people. This indeed is the aim of this column: to encourage the unity of the people of South Sudan so that they could speak in one voice whenever necessary.