Traditional chiefs meet in Sudan’s Rumbek to restore authority
By Manyang Mayom, www.anyuakmedia.com
March 15, 2007
50 traditional chiefs from the different part of the Lakes State are participating in the First conference traditional authorities in order to discuss the organization of the eroded traditional authorities.
For the first time since the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a conference for the traditional and local cheffery is held in the capital of the Lakes state to restore the authority of traditional chiefs and to rejuvenate support to culture and language and promotion of dialogue and peaceful coexistence amongst different communities.
Southern Sudan constitution recognizes the central roles to be played by the traditional authorities. It mandates each of the ten states of Southern Sudan to establish Council of Traditional Authorities Leaders (COTAL).
However, a legal framework in terms of Council of Traditional Leaders Act must be legislated. It is through this conference that all executive chiefs of Lakes State are invited to contribute towards the process of legislation and enactment.
The aims include efforts to invigorate a common cultural capital and shared values as one people of same destiny and to enhance a quick return to culture of harmony and respect to human rights and fraternity among the ethnicities in the Lakes State.
War has negatively impacted on the status and powers of traditional authorities. The restoration of the traditional leaders’ authorities would help the states governments to impose the rule of law and order in the rural areas.
With instability in rural areas human rights are not respected and due to lack of stability the communities are not able to focus on socio-economic activities that should eradicate poverty and destitution. Internal conflict could be a major cause in impoverishment due to loss of property and has proved to be a major cause hindering peoples’ access to production sites. Some families may loss their breadwinners and youth through killing and revenge killings. This has further eroded the weak traditional coping mechanisms.
The conference is also expected to stimulate the thinking of the chiefs to adopt a process to encourage regular meetings among chiefs to help their roles in engaging the Lakes States to promote chiefs’ roles and to ensure good governance and interactive participation on issue that influence their livelihood and improved quality of life for all.
Caesar Arkangelo, Chairperson of Local Government Boards, GOSS has expressed his willingness to support the process of supporting Council of Traditional Authorities Leaders (CPTAL) in Southern Sudan.
Founded on in-depth understanding and realities of socio-political, cultural values, administrative and legislative framework of Southern Sudan, the Council of traditional Authorities Leaders (COTAL) is an adapted model of the House of Nationalities. Article 175 (2) of the Interim Constitution for Southern Sudan 2005 states that legislations at the Southern Sudan and states levels shall provide for the establishment, composition, function and duties of the Council of Traditional Authorities Leaders (COTAL). This has been promulgated effectively in each of the draft ten states Interim Constitutions that are approved by respective states Interim Legislative Assemblies.
Some 50 executive Chiefs representing all ethnic communities in Lakes State shall be legible participants of this civil society Endeavour to support the establishment of Council of Traditional Authorities Leaders in Lakes State.
House of Chief: It is assume that a conference shall recommend for construction of House of Chiefs or Chiefs’ Hall in place preferred by the chiefs. Land shall be donated and the Swiss Foreign Ministry shall co-finance the construction of the hall. Some local support from chiefs and government of Lakes is expected. The Hall shall be made as traditional as possible. The site shall play as a Cultural Center in Lakes State where tangible and intangible Cultural antiquities and values shall collect for displayed.
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