News / Africa

South Sudan Citizens Have Say on New Constitution

South Sudan's President Salva Kiir holds aloft the country's transitional constitution after signing it into law during Independence Day celebrations in Juba, July 9, 2011. (AP)South Sudan's President Salva Kiir holds aloft the country's transitional constitution after signing it into law during Independence Day celebrations in Juba, July 9, 2011. (AP)
x
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir holds aloft the country's transitional constitution after signing it into law during Independence Day celebrations in Juba, July 9, 2011. (AP)
South Sudan's President Salva Kiir holds aloft the country's transitional constitution after signing it into law during Independence Day celebrations in Juba, July 9, 2011. (AP)
Manyang David Mayar
Residents in Jonglei state are having their say on what they think should be included in the new constitution of South Sudan, after the authorities extended the deadline for drafting the supreme law of the world's newest nation.

At a three-day dialogue in Bor, the capital of Jonglei, ordinary South Sudanese spoke about "what they need, the issues that they think should be addressed that are not addressed by the transitional constitution," said Henry Swaka, vice chair of Jonglei’s Civil Society Alliance and a member of the cosntitutional review committee set up to draft the key document.

South Sudan has been operating under a transitional constitution since it became  independent in July 2011.

President Salva Kiir launched the constitutional review process more than a year ago and the National Assembly last month extended the work of the committee reviewing the key piece of legislation to allow more input from ordinary citizens.

The extension came as the Sudd Institute, an independent research organization based in Juba, complained in a report that "little is known about the progress towards writing the permanent constitution to the world's newest nation."

"The process seems to be considered as the reserve of an exclusive select few and the public has very little or no contribution to and have not participated in the making of the supreme law of the country," the Sudd Institute wrote last month.

A report Monday from United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon criticized the slow pace of South Sudan’s constitutional reform process, but welcomed the opportunity for more citizen feedback.

More than 150 people are participating in the Bor workshop, where one of the key issues was how much power the central government should retain under the new constitution.

Women participants, meanwhile, called for the new constitution to include a minimum age for marriage to prevent girls being forced into unions they do not want.

Even though around half of South Sudanese girls between 15 and 19 are married, according to a recent Human Rights Watch report, the issue is not addressed in the transitional constitution.

Jonglei is the eighth state to take part in talks to reform the constitution.

You May Like

Karzai's Legacy: Missed Opportunities?

Afghanistan's president leaves behind a much different nation than the one he inherited, yet his legacy from 13 years in power is getting mixed reviews More

Video Secret Service Chief Under Fire for White House Security Breach

Julia Pierson faces tough questions from lawmakers after recent intrusion at White House, says: 'It is clear that our security plan was not executed properly' More

Frustrated, Liberian Students Want Ebola Fight Role

Thousands have volunteered to go to counties, rural villages to talk to people in their language about deadly virus More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihadi
X
Mahi Ramakrishnan
September 30, 2014 2:16 PM
Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Malaysia Struggles to Stop People Joining Jihad

Malaysian authorities say militant groups like the so-called "Islamic State" have used social media to entice at least three dozen Malaysian Muslims to fight in what they call "jihad" in Syria and Iraq. As Mahi Ramkrishnan reports from Kuala Lumpur, counterterrorism police are deeply worried about what could happen when these militants return home.
Video

Video Could US Have Done More to Stop Rise of Islamic State?

President Obama says airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Syria will likely continue for some time because, in his words, "there is a cancer that has grown for too long." So what if President Obama had acted sooner in Syria to arm more-moderate opponents of both the Islamic State and the Syrian government? VOA State Department Correspondent Scott Stearns reports from the United Nations.
Video

Video Treasure Hunters Seek 'Hidden Treasure' in Central Kenya

Could a cave in a small village in central Kenya be the site of buried treasure? A rumor of riches, left behind by colonialists, has some residents dreaming of wealth, while others see it as a dangerous hoax. VOA's Gabe Joselow has the story.
Video

Video Iran's Rouhani Skeptical on Syria Strikes

Iranian President Hassan Rouhani expressed skepticism Friday that U.S.-led airstrikes in Iraq and Syria could crush Islamic State militants. From New York, VOA’s Margaret Besheer reports the president was also hopeful that questions about Iran’s nuclear program could be resolved soon.
Video

Video US House Speaker: Congress Should Debate Authorization Against IS

As wave after wave of U.S. airstrikes target Islamic State militants, the speaker of the Republican-controlled House of Representatives says he would be willing to call Congress back into session to debate a formal, broad authorization for the use of military force. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington, where legislators left town 10 days ago for a seven-week recess.
Video

Video Ebola Patients Find No Treatment at Sierra Leone Holding Center

At a holding facility in Makeni, central Sierra Leone, dozens of sick people sit on the floor in an empty university building. They wait in filthy conditions. It's a 16-hour drive by ambulance to Kailahun Ebola treatment center. Adam Bailes was there and reports on what he says are some of the worst situations he has seen since the beginning of this Ebola outbreak. And he says it appears case numbers may already be far worse than authorities acknowledge.
Video

Video Identifying Bodies Found in Texas Border Region

Thousands of immigrants have died after crossing the border from Mexico into remote areas of the southwestern United States in recent years. Local officials in south Texas alone have found hundreds of unidentified bodies and buried them in mass graves in local cemeteries. Now an anthropologist and her students at Baylor University have been exhuming bodies and looking for clues to identify them. VOA’s Greg Flakus has more from Waco, Texas.
Video

Video Ebola Robs Liberians of Chance to Say Good-Bye to Loved Ones

In Liberia, where Ebola has killed more than 1,500 people, authorities have worked hard to convince people to allow specialized burial teams to take away dead bodies. But these safety measures, while necessary, make it hard for people to say good bye to their loved ones. VOA's Anne Look reports on the tragedy from Liberia.
Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.Colonel Steve ‘Spiros’ Pisanos left Greece and came to the U.S. to learn to fly. He flew fighters for the Allies in World War II, narrowly escaping death multiple times.

AppleAndroid