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

UN Watchdog Urges Israel to Probe Possible Gaza War Crimes

More than 2,100 Palestinians, most of them civilians, were killed in a 51-day war in Gaza, along with 67 Israeli soldiers and six civilians in Israel More

New Kenyan 'Thin SIMs' Poised to Transform African Mobile Money

Equity's new technology is approved in African nation for one-year trial, though industry leader Safaricom says thin SIMs could lead to data theft and fraud More

Solar's Future Looks Brighter

New technology and dropping prices are contributing to a surge in solar power 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid