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Activist denounces Warrap Green Book as ‘Jungle law’

By Charles K Mark


A civil society activist has branded the harsh law recently assented to by the Governor of Warrap State of South Sudan that allows authorities to execute perpetrators of major crimes by firing squad.

chairperson of Jonglei Civil Society Network, Bol Deng Bol referred to the Act as a jungle law bent to inflict fear among citizens.

Bol in a phone interview with No. 1 Citizen Daily Newspaper criticized the Conflict Resolution and Sustainable Development Act enacted by Warrap government.

According to the infamous Act, known as “Green Book Act”, crimes such as cattle raiding, revenge killings, rape, forced marriages, kidnapping, hate speech, and among others all carry penalty of firing squad.

“Looking at some of these penalties that they have put against those crimes, we have noted with concern how they have used the death penalty,” activist Bol noted.

He said the law conflicts with the 2011 transitional constitution of South Sudan as amended.

He said that Article 21 of the Constitution, which allows the death penalty as a form of capital punishment, also has restrictions attached to it.

“Three sections under Article 21 say the death penalty cannot be imposed on somebody under 18 years of age, someone 70 or older, or even a pregnant woman or a lactating woman,” the activist recited.

Bol said the green book lacks descriptions as to what kinds of people who could be subjected to the Fire Squad and suggested the governor revise his decision on the law.

The activist argued that he finds the law very inconsistent with the supreme law of the land and its penal code.

“So generally, our concern is the death penalty, which this green book is taking advantage of by using it anyhow and avoiding restrictions that are put on it in the constitution,” he lamented.

Some years ago, another governor imposed an order permitting people found guilty of killing to be dealt with the same way.

Lakes State Governor Ring Tuany Mabor ordered that a person found guilty of an offence against another must face exactly what he or she did for justice to prevail.

Activist Bol feels the order is being mimicked by other states, warning about the dangers it might cause to some societies.

“This is very harsh and is not proportional to the level of states. Especially those that are experiencing conflicts,” he stated.

Though Bol agreed about relative peace, security, and stability in the state where the law was introduced first, he believes the laws brought about the infliction of fear.

“And you know anything that comes because of fear, anything that comes because of using guerrilla law. If the rule of law is undermined by these jungle laws that come irrespective of the incentives that come with them, the matter remains” he emphasized.

He reiterated that the fact remains that these laws, even if they bring relative change, are jungle laws, and they remain jungle laws.



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