ROLES OF TRADITIONAL AUTHORITY LEADERS : In Taking Towns to Rural Peoples in the Republic of South Sudan.



COLONISATION HAS LEFT A COMPLEX LEGACY in South Sudan, which includes the institutionalised demonisation of traditional communal authority and its ideals of social contract, collaborative existence and humane mutuality. Some South Sudanese intellectuals with an acute lack of ideological perception tend to instinctively copy their former colonial masters. They blindly recite colonial prejudices and misconceptions of the traditional communal federal system in South Sudan. This leads to reckless underestimation of the powerful potential this traditional framework presents as the source of unity in our own diverse yet inclusive cultural system.
Indeed, President Kiir, in his historic address on the occasion of the Oath of Justice of the Supreme Court on 3 June 2006, acknowledged the value of incorporating our own cultural and human resources when he reminded us that ‘our governance must be well grounded in our traditional laws and customs… It must be borne in mind by all that this has been one of the underlying causes in the quest for freedom and human dignity. Our cultural identifi cation and development in all its forms must be unchained and facilitated to reach the same heights as is the case elsewhere in our continent, or the rest of the globe for that matter…’
This research study, conducted in 2013/2014 in the Republic of South Sudan, investigated the meaning and purpose of the policy of Taking Towns to Rural Peoples and the indispensible roles that traditional authority leaders (TALs) play in realising it in a timely and sustainable manner. The purpose was to examine the assertion that an organisational culture could be institutionalised to recognise the status and roles of TAL institutions. This would subsequently fulfi l the legal framework that mandated the incorporation of TAL institutions in the establishment, composition and functions of the executive and legislature at national, state and local government levels in the Republic of South Sudan. Through TALs and traditional communal federal systems, we can harness the diversity of South Sudan to create a unifi ed, modern nation-state grounded in our own cultural roots

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