The imperative of an inclusive national dialogue for a peaceful South Sudan

Posted: May 27, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers

Why it is imperative that all the stakeholders to the current conflict in South Sudan should be allowed to participate in the national dialogue

By Dr. Philip Anyak, Juba, South Sudan

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialouge Steering Committee.jpg

May 27, 2017 (SSB) — A dialogue by definition is simply a process by which two or more stakeholders are engaged in a discourse to exchange their ideas or opinions on the pressing issues, particularly with an aim of reaching an amicable settlement by the parties involved. With that understanding, it is crucial that all the relevant parties to the ongoing conflict in South Sudan are provided space at the discussion table to allow them express their views or concerns freely.

Hence, I argue President Kiir to reconsider his recent pronouncement in which he publicly declared exclusion of the SPLA-IO Chairman Dr. Riek Machar from the national dialogue. In my opinion, the success of the national dialogue depends on two things, inclusivity and favorability of the environment on which the parties are to operation.

First, what is inclusivity? It is a policy or an intention to engage all the relevant stakeholders who have interest in the topic being discussed. So this bring us to the next question of who are the key parties that the national dialogue seeks to engage with regard to the current conflict in South Sudan.

Obviously, a meaningful and genuine dialogue that is aimed at resolving the political problems facing South Sudan right now should include Dr. Machar’s SPLA-IO alongside other parties already included by the President. So to say that Machar is not welcome, it is like you wanted to address a problem, but you are not yet fully resolved to solve it.

Frankly speaking, who are the people who should be talking to each other to resolve their political differences that brought us this mayhem?

President Kiir and Dr. Machar, so how President Kiir can turn around exclude the very person that he indirectly targeted in his national dialogue initiative? Because when the president came up with the national dialogue, he had audiences in mind, and without any doubt Dr. Machar was one of those audiences.

Secondly, a conducive environment- one that is free from harassments, intimidations, threats or fear of being targeted by security agents is very important if the national dialogue is to produce intended outcomes. When the National Dialogue Committee commences its work, citizens including those that took up arms against the government and people of South Sudan should feel free and safe to voice or present their political grievances.

Therefore, I call upon President Kiir to ensure and grantee security to all the participants including Dr. Machar.

In summary, I wanted to believe that President Kiir is firmly resolved in his efforts to bringing South Sudanese people together through the national dialogue. This initiative has a real potential for addressing our national problems by allowing people to present their concerns, discuss them, and reconcile their differences.

As I stated earlier, inclusivity and creating conducive environment should be the basis for the discussion in order to realize a successful conclusion of the exercise. Hence, I once again call on President Kiir to allow all parties to participate in the national dialogue with no exception.

Through this initiative, I remain hopeful that a lasting solution will be found, and our nation will be back to its glorious path marked by prosperity, peace, unity and love for our country and each other. A path we accidentally missed in December 2013 when insanity kicked in, and we started butchering one another as if we were warding off an invading forces.

You can reach the author via his email: Philip Anyak <panb2011@gmail.com>

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 and the country you are writing from.

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