9 January 2013

South Sudan: Human Rights Society Welcomes Decision to Extend Mandate of the NCRC

press release

The South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) greatly welcomes the news announced by the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly to call back on January 18, 2013 the members of Parliament from the recess in order to deliberate on the extension of the mandate of the National Constitutional Review Commission (NCRC).

It could have been very regrettable that today 9/1/2013 the one year mandate of the Commission ended without any intended decision of the extension made.

SSHURSA thanks the President of the Repblic of South Sudan His Excellency Salva Kiir Mayardit and the entire presidency for taking the extension of the Commission's mandate as a serious matter of national priority. This is within the provision under Article 101(f) of the Transitional Constitution of South Sudan 2011 which enables the president as states; "The President shall initiate Constitutional amendments and legislation and assent to and sign into law bills passed by the National Legislature".

SSHURSA also greatly thanks respectively the two Honourable speakers of the South Sudan National Legislative Assembly and Council of States for speedy action to call the Honourable Members of the two Houses back from their recess to deliberate on a matter of National importance. Such action is in the interest of the people of South Sudan as a good Constitution, well thought out and inclusively made, is the source of peace, democracy, rule of law among others for a country and such a kind of document is what South Sudan badly needs.

The Commission was established on January 9, 2012 and was supposed to have started and carried on its work for one year from its establishment up to today the 9th of January 2013 as provided for under Article 202(1) and(4) of the Transitional Constitution. The noble work of the commission has been provided for under Article 202(6) of the Transitional Constitution; it states; "The Commission shall review the Transitional Constitution and collect views and suggestions from all the stakeholders including any changes that may need to be introduced to the current system of governance".

Whereas Article 202(8) equally states; "The Commission shall conduct a nation-wide public information programme and civic education on constitutional issues" And 202(10) provides that; "The commission shall adopt and present the Draft Constitutional Text and Explanatory Report to the President one year after its formation" SSHURSA therefore, recommends the following to the office of the President of the Republic and National Legislative Assembly, Council of states and the international Community:

SSHURSA recommends that the members of the People's Houses; that is the National Legislative Assembly and Council of States pass the Constitutional amendments and extend the commission's mandate for one additional year.

SSHURSA calls upon the international community to assist the commission both technically and financially and we urge the commission to receive any genuine help that facilitates its work towards achieving its goals of drafting a pro-people's document that will set South Sudan into right path in its democratic transformation.

Finally, SSHURSA calls upon the Presidency to show more continued political will and commitment towards the mandate and purpose for which the commission has long been established.

"A constitution is the very heart on which people's leadership is centred, peace, democracy and rule of law lie and if its making is rushed and its sacred value is overshadowed by politics of the day, then nobody should fail to predict the dire and dangerous consequences as a result of undiscussed contents of a constitution".

No matter how the amendments will affect other events within the Transitional period, but no one should make a mistake that things would go right without a pro-people supreme law. Finally, SSHURSA urges the South Sudanese people to be vigilant and give their views as to what they think must be the content of highest law for their governance.

SSHURSA wishes the members of the Assemblies pro-people discussion on the extension of the NCRC mandate.

BACKGROUND OF SSHURSA

South Sudan Human Rights Society for Advocacy (SSHURSA) is an incorporated non political and non profit making Human Rights organization founded in June 2007 by South Sudanese Lawyers and Law Students at Makerere Law Development Centre (LDC), Kampala-Uganda. In 2009, it became operational in South Sudan with its head office in Juba and co-ordination offices in the states. It membership composes of individuals and organizations who believe in its human rights protection mandate. Its vision is to advocate for a democratic and human rights abiding South Sudan and with its mission to monitor, document and publish human rights status in South Sudan and also train general public on the importance of human rights, fundamental freedoms of an individual, Rule of Law and democracy, all geared towards creating a more responsible, justice and good governance oriented South Sudan. SSHURSA pays special focus on the rights of children, women and other vulnerable groups. SSHURSA works closely with the National Human Rights Commission and other like-minded institutions in furtherance the defence of the human rights in South Sudan.

South Sudan Human Rights Society For Advocacy(SSHURSA) is a non political and non profit making organization founded in 2007 with its vision geared towards building an enlightened Human Rights abiding South Sudan. Its mission is to monitor, document human rights vioaltions in South Sudan and train general public on the respect and importance of Human Rights, fundamental freedoms of an individual, democracy and Rule of Law to creating responsible, justice and good governance oriented South Sudan. SSHURSA pays particular focus on the rights of women, children and other vulnerable groups.

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