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CEPO Call for the Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in the Parliament.

Community Empowerment for Progress  Organization Paper on Status of R-ARCSS Implementation.  

Petition: Turning Commitment into Reality.

Abstract: This paper is specifically calling for the parties tasked to implement the revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict  in South Sudan to take action for ensuring persons with disabilities are effectively represented in the revitalized transitional government of national unity at all levels. It is constitutional obligation for each party to appoint among members persons with disabilities.

The provisions of the constitution of the republic of South Sudan and the revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan acknowledge that person with disabilities have equal right of political participation in the society growth and development.

Right time has reached for each political parties tasked for the implementation of the peace agreement to ensure that its representatives to the legislative organs in the various levels of the government have reasonable representation and participation of persons with disabilities (suggestively at least 2% to 3% quota).

Absence of representation and participation of persons with disabilities in the revitalized transitional government of national unity is a totally violation of constitution and the revitalized peace agreement by the parties. As the country is expecting formation of revitalized transitional national assembly, revitalized council of states, states government, local government and formation of independent commissions, at least each party should adhere to the commitment of representation and participation of persons with disabilities.

The absence of representation and participation of persons with disabilities in the revitalized transitional government of national unity will count to the parties tasked to implement the revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan are in conflict with the constitution and revitalized peace agreement, then this is possible factor that can be addressed in any competent court of law.       

SUMMARY OF THE COMMITMENT PER THE PROVISIONS OF TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTION, 2011,  THE REVITALIZED AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF CONFLICT IN SOUTH SUDAN

  1. THE PROVISION OF THE TRANSITIONAL CONSTITUTION, 2011, THE REPUBLIC OF SOUTH SUDAN  
    1. Preamble of the Constitution, 2011

Recalling  our long and heroic struggle for justice, freedoms, equality and dignity in South Sudan.

Determined to lay foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and rule of law.

  1. Fundamental objectives and guiding principles of the transitional constitution, 2011

Article 36(4): the composition of the government shall take into account ethnic, regional and social diversity in order to promote national unity and commend national loyalty

  1. Citizenship and Rights per Transitional Constitution 2011

Article 45(1): Citizenship is the basis of equal rights and duties for all South Sudanese.

Article 46 (i):  Promote democracy, good governance, rule of law and  

Article 46 (j): respect the rights and freedoms of others.   

  1. Bill of Rights in the transitional Constitution 2011

Article 26(1): Every citizen shall have the right to take part in any level of government directly or through freely chosen representative, and shall have the right to nominate him or herself or be nominated for a public post or office in accordance with this constitution and the law.

Article 30(1): All levels of the government shall guarantee to persons with disabilities or special needs participation in society and the enjoyment of rights and freedom set out in this constitution.

  1. THE PROVISIONS OF THE REVITALIZED AGREEMENT ON THE RESOLUTION OF CONFLICT IN SOUTH SUDAN  
    1.  The Preamble of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan

Mindful our commitment under transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan 2011, as amended, to lay the foundation for a united, peaceful and prosperous society based on justice, equality, respect for human rights and rule of law

  1.  Women Participation and Representation under the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan   

Article 1.4.4:  Provisions of the transitional constitution of the Republic of South Sudan and ARCSS on participation of women 35% quota.

Remarks: participation of women 35% quota includes women with disabilities. 

Article 1.4.5: ..”Parties shall strive to include people of young age in their quota at different levels”

Remarks: include young people of young age in their quota at different levels includes people of young age with disabilities

  1. KEY C0NCERNS
  1. The constitutional values of equality, respect of human rights, social diversity, freedoms, national unity, national loyalty and prosperous society are not real if we ignored genuine participation and representation of persons with disabilities in all form of our public life 
  2. 35% quota for women participation and representation and inclusion of people of young age both are discriminative if person with disabilities are excluded
  3. Each political party nominations for various political posts are discriminative if exclude persons with disabilities below the quota of 2% to 3% representation at all level of the government
  4. Citizenship and rights enshrined in the constitution of the Republic of South Sudan is bias and discriminative if it failed to recognized and genuinely enforced participation and representation of persons with disabilities in any form of public life
  5. The implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan if failed to enforced genuine or meaningful participation and representation of the persons with disabilities then the peace agreement is discriminative and in conflict with rights of person with disabilities.

 

        

  1. REQUIREMENTS NEEDED  
    1. Political parties’ nominations for the formation of the next political structures of the revitalized transitional government of national unity should meaningful observe the following values;
  1. The party nomination for any political seat under the 35% quota for women should representation of women with disabilities
  2. The party nomination for inclusion of people of young age should include representation of people of young age with disabilities
  3. The party nomination of its members under the 65% responsibility sharing should include representation of persons with disabilities
    1. Political parties’ nomination voluntarily can observe 2% to 3% quota representation of persons with disabilities in their nomination is vital as turning of commitment into reality
  1. WHY NOW REPRESENTATION AND PARTICIPATION OF PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES  

Persons with disabilities are part of our population and they do contribute effectively for our society growth and development in various forms including paying taxes. Constitutional and especially under the bill of rights are they born free and nobody has the right to take away their rights and freedoms by any means.

This means living beyond person with disabilities in participating and getting represented meaningful in any form of public life is totally a contradiction and violation of human rights under our South Sudan Transitional Constitution, 2011. The implementation of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan offers a great opportunity at hands now for meaningful participation and representation of persons with disabilities in transition of South Sudan from violence to sustainable peace.

It will be a contradiction or violation of human rights if the transitioning of South Sudan is undermining or ignoring the meaningful participation and representation of the persons with disabilities in the process of transitioning. Among the essential activities of the transitional period of South Sudan from violence to sustainable peace that requires meaningful participation and representation of persons with disabilities are;

  1. State policies and institutional radical reforms
  2. Reconstitution of state institutions
  3. Delivering transitional justice
  4. Framing constitutional making process
  5. Designing and facilitating house population census
  6. Designing and facilitating national general elections

All these civic political activities require meaningful representation and participation of persons with disabilities since they are individuals that enjoy human rights equally with others persons without disabilities. Remember that disability is not inability. Any attempt to engage on those civic political national events without meaningful participation and representation of persons with disabilities is a clear demonstration of the political parties and the state being in conflict with human rights values. This offers the opportunity for the political parties and the state to be sues to competent of court of law for violating constitutional bill of rights    

  1. THE ROLE OF CEPO  

CEPO will be waging non-violent public campaign for demanding each party tasked to implement the Revitalized agreement on the resolution of conflict in South Sudan to ensure that it enforced the meaningful participation and representation of the persons with disabilities. Currently CEPO will lead public for demanding the political parties to ensure that;

  1. At least 10 to 15 national parliamentarians out of the 550 parliamentarian are representatives of persons with disabilities in the revitalized transitional national assembly.
  2. At least 3 to 5 members of the council of states are representatives of persons with disabilities;
  3. At least 3-5 parliamentarians at each state revitalized transitional legislative assembly are representatives of persons with disabilities and
  4. At least 2 to 3 local government legislative council members are representatives of persons with disabilities; at least among the four National Commissioners for the Commission of Truth, Healing and National Reconciliation, one commissioner is representative of the persons with disabilities.
  5. Out of over 30 national commissioners for various independent commissions at least 3-5 commissioners are representatives of the persons with disabilities.
  6. At least among the chairperson of the national legislative assembly outstanding committees, 1-2 chairpersons are persons with disabilities and
  7. At least one state governor and one state speaker should be representative of persons with disabilities.
  8. Finally among the two women deputy speakers (one national legislative assembly and one council of state) at least one of the deputy speakers from women should be representatives of persons with disabilities.               

CEPO will invest in striking influential advocacy and lobby with parties tasked for the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan to turning these proposals into reality.

  1. RECCOMEENDATIONS
  1. There is need for the incumbent government to appoint 5 to 10 representatives of the persons with disabilities among its 332 seats in the national legislative assembly.
  2. There is need for the SPLM-IO to appoint 3 to 7 representatives of the persons with disabilities among its 128 seats in the national legislative assembly.
  3. There is need for the SSOA to appoint 3 to 5 representatives of the person with disabilities among its 50 seats in the national legislative assembly.
  4. There is need for the OPP to appoint 2 to 3 representatives of the persons with disabilities among its 30 seats in the national legislative assembly.
  5. There is need for the FDs to appoint 1 to 2 representatives of the person with disabilities among its 10 seats in the national legislative assembly.
  6. There is need for the incumbent government to appoint among its state governors, one state legislative speaker and one state governor from the representatives of the persons with disabilities
  7. There is need for all parties to do similar appointments of persons with disabilities to their representation in the council of state, state governments, local government and independent commissions.

 

CONCLUSION     

This petition on turning commitment into reality is intended to claim for the meaningful participation and representation of the persons with disabilities at all levels of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity. Without meaningful participation and representation of the persons with disabilities in the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity, then the government of national unity is formed on the bases of discrimination against political rights of the persons with disabilities.

This will account into a case of the state in conflict with the provisions of the constitution and bill of rights. Moreover, all legal frameworks in South Sudan embrace the engagement of persons with disabilities in public life. Living beyond participation and representation of the persons with disabilities in the various levels of the revitalized transitional government of national unity is unaccepted, and it can account into a case to be address in competent court of law.