By Daniel Machar Dhieu, Juba, South Sudan
December 15, 2016 (SSB) — On my own behalf as citizen of this nation (South Sudan), I would like to extend most cordial congratulations to president of Republic of South Sudan H.E Salva Kiir Mayardit on declaration of national dialogue as tool for Conflict Transformation, political orientation and political stability across the nation.
This initiative was not of human direction but divine thinking of allows the whole nation to set-off for national dialogue. This formed the bedrock of our multi-tribes nation, guiding them on a historical pathway that eventually led to their membership in this nation of strong people of independent South Sudan and divine democracy policy.
South Sudan has been searching for effective solution to end the chronic violence across the country until Wednesday 14th December 2016 when His Excellency president of the Republic of South Sudan declared “the national Dialogue” in-order to calm and bring the ongoing crisis to an end. According to president, the national dialogue is an increasingly popular apparatus for conflict resolution and political transformation in the country.
It is important to temper the current enthusiasm for national dialogues with a critical analysis of the necessary conditions for a successful national dialogue. There are many circumstances under which a national dialogue is likely to be inappropriate and where another conflict resolution tool may be more suitable. Note this right; Mr. President Salva Kiir has taken a good move by announcing the national dialogue across the country.
I personally agree with president decision by encouraging all stakeholders of this nation to recognize this call and indeed he called upon his colleagues who are currently living outside the country because of war to join him in building this nation and acknowledge the entire civil population to forgive him in case he might have go wrong or mess somewhere. Therefore, I hope there will be change in shortest time.
In many countries, national dialogue has been considered as helpful tool for breaking political deadlock and transforming complex conflicts. This process is always initiated through political pacts, civil society activism, and national institutions to inform the entire public on the significance importance of national dialogue.
In relation to above statement, national dialogue is used as the concept of an inclusive and holistic national conversation to gained popularity, the term national dialogue is used to describe an increasingly heterogeneous set of processes. Consequently, it is challenging to define national dialogues or to assess their individual or cumulative impact. This mean national dialogue is designed for all people in the country to decide their way forward.
In my own opinion, national dialogues focuses on procedure that; address a broad set of issues or problems, operate outside of the permanent institutions of governance and under their own rules and procedures, and have buy-in from a coalition of key stakeholders that are positioned to implement the recommendations that emerge from the dialogue.
The recommendations after national dialogue completion must be adapted to national contexts and changing conflict dynamics, a national dialogue should incorporate the principle of its mandate in order to contribute meaningfully to political transformation and peace.
I personally want H.E President Kiir, to pressure all the stakeholders to make this national dialogue an effective national dialogue. In-order to maximize the dialogue’s potential to address the real drivers of conflict; all key interest groups should be invited to participate, including women, youth, and other traditionally excluded groups. Before the process begins, an inclusive, transparent, and consultative preparatory phase sets the foundation for a genuine national dialogue.
The initial decisions on the shape and structure of a national dialogue and in particular, who is invited to participate, can be as intensely political as the dialogue itself. It is important that these preparations are undertaken carefully and transparently by a preliminary committee that is inclusive of all major groups.
On other-hand I would like to ask H.E president Kiir to act personally on monitoring this national dialogue and make sure all procedures are fully implemented. Although, the project includes all major groups there is a chance of losing it legitimacy if there are not sufficient opportunities for the public to remain informed about and feed into the dialogue. Beyond the delegates who are in the room, a national dialogue should also have mechanisms to include the broader population.
This broad participation can be achieved by linking local dialogue processes to the national dialogue, as well as through public consultations, regular outreach, and coverage in the media. Delegates can be mandated to hold consultations with the groups that they represent, as always done in developed countries.
This national dialogue committee should act as a device for all people across the country to meet their spirit of nnationalismand expression of freedom. In –order to secure the participation of a wide variety of stakeholder groups and to avoid perceptions of bias, a credible convener is of the utmost importance. This convener may take the form of a single person, a group of people, an organization, or a coalition of organizations.
The convener should be respected by the majority of citizens and should not have any political aspirations or goals that would present an obvious conflict of interest. Yes president Kiir of Republic of South Sudan has already made it clear to all citizens by acknowledging them on how this national dialogue is going to work; he is going to work with team as a patron of this project, preliminary committee to be form soon with the help from Ebony Center for Economic strategic studies, Sudd institute, Center for Peace and research development (University of Juba) and South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC). President plus these groups will work for the success and benefit of this nation.
Therefore, in Conclusion of part one of this article; the national dialogue declared by president of Republic of South Sudan will therefore often convened because the sitting government and existing institutions are unable to resolve the major issues at hand, either because they are seen as neither legitimate nor credible, or because they are unwilling to challenge the status of ongoing crisis.
This national dialogue project will have its own set of procedures and rules for making decisions, which should be transparent and carefully modified to the composition of the group and the nature of the issues. These procedures should also include mechanism to break deadlocks if an agreement cannot be reached.
Furthermore, a clear mandate lends purpose and authority to a national dialogue, whether it has been established through a peace agreement, law, presidential decree, or some other manner. The clear mandate of this national dialogue allowed delegates to make steady progress toward burning issues affecting the national peace and stability of the nation. Part two in publication.
The writer is a South Sudanese National and student at South Sudan Christian University of Science and Technology, Gudele, (Juba) Main Campus. You can reach him via his email: Daniel Machar Dhieu, firstname.lastname@example.org
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