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South Sudan takes first steps to a new constitution
May 10, 2017, 5:13 pm

South Sudan is racing against time to draw up a new constitution in line with the 2015 Peace Agreement, even as the security situation in the country continues to deteriorate.

Last week, the National Constitution Amendment Committee (NCAC) led by Gichira Kibaara, a former Kenyan Permanent Secretary for Constitutional Affairs, presented a draft constitution to South Sudan’s Minister for Justice and Constitutional Affairs, Paulino Wanawilla.

But the country is behind schedule, as the agreement required that the country would have a new constitution 18 months after the establishment of the Transitional Government of National Unity. The transitional government is now 20 months old. The delay, blamed on the ongoing conflict in the country, has put in doubt whether South Sudan will be able to hold elections by 2018 as promised in the peace agreement.

So far only the technical part of the constitutional reform process has been completed. The next step would be for the minister to table the draft in parliament. The committee and parliament would then identify articles that need to be amended to conform to the Agreement. From there, the draft will be taken to the grassroots for consultation and gathering of public views.

However, all this will prove daunting challenges given that South Sudan is currently embroiled in a civil war that is forcing thousands to seek refuge in neighboring Uganda.







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