By Gabriel Kuot Akok
Juba, South Sudan
After securing my ample time, my conscience tells me to put my legal opinion in black and white about the great idea of having Bahr-el-ghazal Youth Union in Juba.
Of course the idea is personally welcome since it is a constitutionally guaranteed freedom to form association as stipulated under article 25 of the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 as amended.
Though the freedom of association and assembly is misused by South Sudanese societies to divide our innocent people for individuals and political interests, still that one will not be a justifiable ground of depriving them of their freedom to form an association which is not against the security stability of the Republic of South Sudan.
However, in the beginning of the formation of this body, I have observed from some legal layperson criticising the formation of the union on the basis that South Sudan National Youth Union prohibits the regional youth bodies to be established in which I see as an assumption of the law otherwise it is a suffocation of the freedom of association should it happened to be true.
Further, with my undoubted patience that I always reserve when approaching anything, I have waited to the best of my ability to see the procedures followed in the course of the formation of this great and unifying entity but almost to the end, I realised that the initiators want to forge a leadership without taking appropriate legal an implied steps towards the birth of this supreme and peace advocacy wing institution.
Though it has become a habit of South Sudanese to ignore the possible and legal recommended procedures in the formation of any association or union, I will not give up in offering my free legal advice to unaware youth who attempt to initiate such unity serving ideas.
To me in the beginning of the process, the initiators were taking great steps but in the middle, I don't know what has really happened because what I know about the formation of a new union which has never existed is that;
- the first general assembly meeting is called by the initiators to share an idea with the concerned members of the general assembly,
- After the initiative is deliberated and it's welcome by the majority of the members of the General Assembly which could come from all States of Bahr-el-ghazal Region for instance, then the Constitutional Drafting Committee shall be constituted given its members a specified term of reference.
- Thereafter the drafting of the constitution, then the second meeting for the constitutional debate shall be called again and within that same meeting the members of the electoral commission will be nominated after the passing of the constitution into law. It's this law that defines the nature and the organs of the union whether it will be comprised of Council or not.
- Nevertheless, the electoral commission authority shall conduct a free and fair elections in conformity with the aforesaid constitution after the appropriate and thorough arrangements and within the period of time given to them by the GA members.
Within the constitution, there are also very crucial provisions that guide the union operations and this doesn't exclude the modern definition of the youth age bracket which is ranging from 18-35.
With these being mentioned, I don't know whether this emerging body has got a law or not and if not why and how????????????????????????? If yes, then who is the youth according to that constitution and who passed that constitution???????
Was it passed by the members of GA or initiators or delegates??????? When was it passed and where????
These are the questions of fact & law and the rationale behind these questions is that most of the delegates being sent are at their good ages of fortieth (I.e. 40 years old and above) and this is evidenced by their grey hair and other signs of aged people apart from their well-known backgrounds by their people from their respective constituencies in which I'm included.
According to the steering committee, it has made youth to be a person ranging from the age of 18- 45 and they blindly claim that it's guaranteed under the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South which is totally a day dream and presumption of law. Notwithstanding the modern definition of youth and in accordance with the provisions of South Sudan National Youth Union, the youth age bracket ranges within the ambit of 18-35.
It was first well framed by the claimed steering committee that the age limit of youth would be 35 but due to the economic duress by the aged contestants, the electoral committee together with steering committee tore out the page that contained the qualification for membership and replaced it with 18-45 at one of the computer centres in broad daylight without the consent of whoever they claimed to have passed the constitution.
As am writing this note, I learnt that the elections are going to be conducted soon in this month and I don't know since such procedures highlighted above had not been taken what will be the take of undermined youth whose their consent is presumed to forge the existence of this union and will that elections succeed???????????????
What's the difference that the steering committee wanted to make from the illegal Bahr-el-ghazal Youth Union in Juba formed by Simon Machuar Manhkeracnhiar????
I thought that literate youth would conduct their affairs in a unique and procedural way that can distinguish them from illiterate youth in the deep villages but all in vain people went through education claiming to make a difference in this country.
I could see some liars proclaiming that the constitution has been approved by the general assembly and I don't know when was that and how many were the attendees? Because the constitution always needs to be approved by the 2/3 majority of the members of the general assembly which is supposed to be a very good number of youth taking into account the huge number of Bahr-el-ghazal Youth staying in Juba.
In my opinion this is a waste of precious time and valuable scarce resources of the innocent delegates aspiring for the top positions because things obtained at rush always last short otherwise let me rest my pen here and back to my observation.
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