Justice minister tabled amendment Bill No.9 before Parliament

By Taban Henry

The Minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs on Thursday tabled the constitutional amendment Bill No. 9 before the members of the Transitional National Legislature.

Earlier on Monday, the Speaker Jemma Nunu Kumba adjourned the sitting after the Bill was said to have some errors that had to be amended.

While tabling the Bill before the August House, Justice Ruben Madol the Minister of Justice and constitutional Affairs said that the Bill had some clarifications to be made with regards to the particular amendment related to the SPLA act.

He said that the bill came before the August House on the strength of the resolution of the council of ministers that was made to amend the constitution under the constitutional amendment bill No.9 which was passed and has been accepted into law.

“I wanted to tell you that there was a technical issue that arose when we made the presentation of the resolution of the council of ministers resolving to approve amendment N0.9. When we were presenting the bill, they were as per the requirement of the Revitalized Peace Agreement however the ministry of justice presented the police and the prisons and fire brigades Bill which is in process but the SSPDF Bill 2021 has caused some uncertainty,” he said.

Madol added that the Bill was first presented to the parliament where questions were raised as to why the Bill was not inserted into the constitution under amended item 9 citing that there was a technical reason for that prior to the Revitalized Agreement.

He said that there was an agreement for the resolution of conflict in South Sudan in 2015 under the agreement in the process of incorporating the agreement into the constitution. This transitional constitution of South Sudan amendment No. 4 act was tabled before the parliament and was passed in 2018.

But however the 2018 agreement had to be revitalized and in the process of revitalization a number of fundamental changes were made and the result was the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan 2018.

“The Revitalized Agreement has actually superseded the 2015 agreement and for someone interested with the issues connected to the SPLA Act and particularly the tittle of this unit will find that the number of changes has been contemplated and provided for since the 2011 constitution was adapted and the tittle has been changed time and again so there was a school of thoughts that says since the constitution has been amended by the amendment ACT No.4 and the tittle and the name of this unit that was in 2015 has actually been adopted in the course of incorporating the agreement and then what it has to be amended is not the SPLA original ACT the name that was given to it not to be called SPLA but the National Defense Force of South Sudan,” he added.

The minister of Justice and Constitutional Affairs stated that the 2018 agreement does not provide the provision of the National Defense Forces of South Sudan but recognized SPLA ACT to be reviewed by the NCAC under article and that is the position in which they made the presentation yesterday.

He said the council of ministers have resolved that the SPLA has to be resolved and changed to the South Sudan People Defense Forces (SSPDF) and secondly there has been observation of the absence of the wildlife Bill under amendment No.9 need not to be included because there is nothing to amend about it, the resolution of the council of ministers resolved that it has to be called the Wildlife Bill and not part of the amendment Bill No.9 but rather remains the same.

“The Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 amendment No.10 2022, the purpose of this Bill and the purpose of this was to amend article No.9 -7 and sub article 3 and 151 sub article 1.2 of the Transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011 as amended which change the name of the Sudan People Liberation Army to Sudan people Defense Forces and to amend any related articles,” Madol stated.

Madol explained that the authority in which the bill is drafted was in accordance with the provisions of 1.9.4 and 1.18.7 of the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan 2018 which gives the power to the presidency to initiate the constitutional amendment and Transitional Legislature to rectify the amendment while adding that the Bill is drafted to be inconsistent with the constitution in compliance with the council of minister’s resolution No. 27 2021.   

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