South Sudan National Dialogue: Another Option in addressing Political Crisis!

Posted: January 7, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Thon Atem Ayiei

By Thon Atem Ayiei, Juba, South Sudan

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January 7, 2017 (SSB) — As we have just started the New Year with a special gift from the most powerful man, the man who is determined to serves his people with one heart, the man who had devoted his entire youthful age to liberate his people, the man who is committed in bringing the lasting peace to the country and put it back on viable economic track. We need to join our hands together as “one people one nation” in order for us to consolidate peace and move our country forward to achieve “True National Dialogue.

National Dialogue is defined as a political processes negotiations, institutionalized over an extended period of time in order to resolve major’s political problem that threaten national unity. They are inclusive multi-stakeholder negotiations where large segments of society are represented, including government actors, political elites, political parties, state non-armed groups, organized civil society, women and youths, business community, eminent groups and faith based-organizations.

A true NATIONAL DIALOGUE allows discussions without pressure to reach vital agreement on sensible issues, it will facilitate discussions on controversial issues, it will develop concrete peace proposal and reconcile the divided groups in a society, it will allow negotiations with non-state armed groups that are officially excluded from formal negotiations, it will change attitudes and behaviors on each side and finally it will also conduct joint analysis. National Dialogue will have address critical issues from the grassroots as well as national level which are vital to the sustainable peace.

Without hesitation, National Dialogue is formally-mandated public forum with clear structure establishing rules and procedures for dialogue and decision-making. They are convened over the course of several days, weeks or even months. National dialogue is the only tool used address a broad range of social, economic, or issues concerning the entire country.

Therefore, it can be either elite-based or broad based, and can range from as few as 90-100 delegates to as many as several thousands. In term of logistics and organization, national dialogue is typically supported by a secretariat and discuss key issues within the agenda provide the working groups with a road map to include a subset of their total participations.

The phenomenal presidential Christmas gift of “National Dialogue” to the nation is believed to dramatically address the root causes of the current political turmoil, the increasing hatred, the unjustified divisions, the impending economic meltdown, to facilitate political reforms, to draft constitution, or to promote peace-making. It will bring inclusive peace which will be compared with other peace achieved in the history of struggle.

The explicit and impressive decision of our president, should not politicized by anti-peace elements  but to join hands and build a  consensus around it in order to benefit the people of this country so that a conducive political environment for national healing and reconciliation be achieve.

Since the peace agreement was inclusively signed by all the signatories, the document must prevail towards this new agenda of political dialogue and to gradually ensure the negotiations process is out of political gain. All the TGoNU political leaders, Military leaders, political parties, civil society, youths, intellectuals and elders, should all put their interests aside and open new ways for the National Dialogue to achieve sustainable peace and progress.

The possibility for this new initiative to bring lasting peace and unshakable unity to the people of south Sudan, it is high time, the process should involve people with integrity and experiences, joint decision-making processes, organized communication strategy, direct message from the most affected societies. Therefore, I call upon the committee formed by His Excellency the President of the republic to work hand in hand with all actors involved in the process.

In addition to the above, transparent political negotiations with objective optimacy in the political matrix is more than just truths telling and healings, and can then bring a meaningful and lasting peace to our country and if otherwise the processes is doubted, especially the point of inclusivity of all actors in the political game addressed, then the issue of successful national dialogue would bring a political stability to south Sudanese in particular and the people of region in general.

The brilliant idea of initiating national dialogue to solve and restore our social fabric, dialogue has been previously our social pillar for unity of togetherness and towards independent. The idea is appreciated in all over the sphere with hopes to bring an end to geo-political pressure in this country and looking forward to South Sudan of economic progress and power, prosperity with opportunities, patriotism, nationalism and development of a joined cohesiveness within our national and geographical diversities. The question here is, whether the dialogue works or fails?

In a good faith conclusion, the spirit of participations and legitimacy, all conflicting parties are necessary to be included in the decision making or designation of the national agenda selections. And any poor designation of rules and procedures or lack of political will and inclusiveness can contradict the benefits of national dialogue and at the end of the day the initiative becomes meaningless, all actors included have certain levels of decision making jurisdiction, either by vote or geographically represented  in national dialogue decision-making forum. Otherwise, if not done, the struggle of initiation would yield negative outcome.

The author is a south Sudanese national, live in juba and can be reached on thonatemayiei@gmail.com or 0922888553

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made are the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. SSB do reserve the right to edit material before publication. Please include your full name, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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