Lakes governor signs transitional constitution

28 Feb 2012

Lakes governor signs transitional constitution

25 February 2012- In the presence of thousands of residents, Lakes State Governor Chol Tong Mayay signed the Transitional Constitution of the Republic of South Sudan (2011) and was sworn in anew under its provisions today in the capital Rumbek.

Adopted in 2011 after South Sudan gained its independence on 9 July, the transitional constitution will serve until a permanent one is enacted and adopted.

All 10 state governments of South Sudan are expected to approve the transitional constitution. Eastern Equatoria became the first on 22 January.

Governor Tong said his first priority as head of the cabinet would be to address insecurity through civilian population disarmament across the state and enforce the rule of law indiscriminately.

The state government would "involve communities in maintenance of security through sensitization, apply customary laws duly passed earlier ... continue to disarm the civil population ... speed up the apprehension of criminals, urge relevant courts to hasten trial of cases on time and clear backlogs cases", he said.

The governor urged the state judiciary to hasten pending trials and clear the case backlog, calling on chiefs and traditional authorities to fully engage in peace building and reconciliation in the state.

Mr. Tong reminded all Lakes State government officials to declare their assets as required by law to the state's anti-corruption commission before the 31 March deadline.

"Our guiding principles shall be transparency, accountability, respect for and protection of human rights, justice for all and equality before the law, to mention only a few," the governor said. "We shall also continue our efforts to achieve an effective and productive government."

Congratulating the governor, UNMISS Lakes State Coordinator Renuka Chidambaram said the UNMISS mandate aimed to support good governance.

Ms. Chidambaram said the UN would also support the drafting of a permanent constitution.