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Part II Federal and Hybrid Federal Systems in Africa, 9 Constitutionalism: The Missing Element in South Sudan’s Elusive Quest for Peace through Federalism?

Zemelak Ayitenew Ayele

From: Decentralisation and Constitutionalism in Africa

Edited By: Charles M. Fombad, Nico Steytler

From: Oxford Constitutions (http://oxcon.ouplaw.com). (c) Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved.date: 15 June 2021

This chapter argues that the state of South Sudan is, to some extent, the result of an unrealised quest by the South Sudanese for a constitution establishing a federal system and a government committed to constitutionalism. This failure is attributable to the lack of will by the political elites to adopt a constitution establishing a federal system. They also lacked the necessary commitment to constitutionalism in the few instances where political deals among them were translated into a constitution providing for a federation or a federal-type arrangement. Moreover, the culture of political infighting, defection, and betrayal among the southern political and armed groups has made it extremely difficult to negotiate a deal towards the implementation of some form of a federal political system.

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