24th July 2024
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Govt rejects SSOMA proposal to have constitution drafted in Kenya

Authors: Chany Ninrew | Obaj Okuj | Published: Saturday, July 6, 2024

President Kiir chats with opposition leaders Pagan Amum and Paul Malong in Nairobi. (-)

The Minister of Information said the government delegation to the Nairobi peace process has rejected an opposition proposal to have the permanent constitution conducted in Kenya.

Michael Makuei said the venue of the constitution-making process was the major point of contention between the R-TGONU and the SSOMA and other stakeholders in the Tumaini peace talks.

Makuei describes the opposition proposal to have the permanent constitution drafted in Kenya as a red line on their side.

“Our major point of contention is that the opposition says the constitution making process should be done in Kenya,” he said, speaking to reporters in Juba.

He stated that the government delegation suggested that the process should be conducted closer to the South Sudanese people for them to own it.

“In phase one up to the drafting of the text, should be done in Kenya after which it will be brought to South Sudan. We are saying no.”

“Constitution making is a process that is done by the people of South Sudan, owned by them. So there is no way we can draft it outside South Sudan.”

Minister Makuei stated that the government will make the constitutional making process inclusive by seeking the expertise of the opposition groups.

He further said the process will consult with South Sudan refugees and those in the diaspora to incorporate their views into the process.

“This permanent constitution should be drafted here in South Sudan, and we are not saying we don’t need any technical support. Give us your expertise, your technocrats and so forth so that we draft the permanent constitution of South Sudan here.”

“They insisted that it must be done there, and we said how about if you do it here and you take it to the South and the People of South Sudan decide to reject it? What will you do?”

According to the 2018 peace deal, the transition to an elected government in December 2024 requires that a permanent constitution be in place six months before the end of the interim period.

With the tenure of the unity government concluding in February 2025, this means the constitution-making process must be completed exactly by August 2024 – just five months away.


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