South Sudan Opposition Advocates for Adoption of New Constitution

South Sudan Opposition Advocates for Adoption of New Constitution
RTGoNU Head of Delegation Albino Aboug Mathem with other officials in a photo at the signing

Opposition groups and civil society organizations in South Sudan are pressing for significant changes in the ongoing negotiations in Nairobi, believing that these are essential for the stability of their nation in the future. The creation of a new constitution is at the top of their list of demands because, they claim, it is essential to reset the political system and create opportunities for reform.

These organizations, led by individuals such as Pagan Amum, a former minister and head of the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (Ssoma), have developed a detailed four-point program with the goal of changing the political system in the nation. A “constitutional conference” is one of the things they propose to do. It would start in Nairobi and end in Juba. Adoption of a new constitutional framework, interim government arrangements with a recovery plan, and specific implementation mechanisms are anticipated as the results of these sessions.

In a joint statement, the opposition emphasized the vital need for international support in their quest of peace and democratic stability, along with the People’s Coalition for Civil Action (PCCA), which represents a number of civic movements. Their resolve to settle long-standing issues and pave the way for enduring peace is demonstrated by their appeal.

Their position is based on the conviction that South Sudan is currently facing several crises that pose an existential threat to the country. These issues include slow progress in putting transitional measures into place, economic hardships leading to salary delays, and humanitarian disasters resulting from floods and violent conflicts. In light of this, the demand for a new constitution is viewed as both a legal requirement and a calculated measure to protect the future of the nation.

The government of President Salva Kiir, on the other hand, has argued that electoral procedures are necessary for democratic advancement and has pushed for the holding of general elections on the scheduled date. Nonetheless, given the continued difficulties, opposition organizations and foreign observers—such as the Revitalized Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R-JMEC)—have expressed grave worries regarding the viability of holding genuine elections.

These worries have been repeated by Riek Machar of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in Opposition (SPLM-IO), a significant coalition member, who has emphasized the necessity of achieving transitional goals prior to starting electoral procedures. This position reflects larger concerns that early elections would increase already-existing tensions and possibly spark new hostilities.

The argument over election schedules highlights a larger conundrum that South Sudan faces: whether to prioritize constitutional revisions and transitional stability over holding scheduled elections in spite of logistical and technical issues. The mandate of the existing transitional administration is scheduled to end in February 2025, thus finding a workable solution that guarantees peace and sustainable governance is still critical.

In conclusion, the drive for a new constitution sticks out as a crucial demand meant to change South Sudan’s political landscape, even as the talks in Nairobi continue to progress. The result of these discussions will probably impact not only the nation’s short-term political course but also its chances for long-term stability and democratic rule. It is still hoped that, as international players continue to closely watch the situation, these efforts will result in a framework driven by agreement that would solve South Sudan’s many problems and pave the way for long-lasting peace.


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