South Sudan’s Peace through the National Dialogue is a Hoax

Posted: November 22, 2017 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Commentary, Contributing Writers, Junub Sudan, Opinion Articles, Opinion Writers, Wenne Madyt Dengs

By Wenne Madyt Dengs, Juba, South Sudan

National Dialouge Steering Committee

National Dialogue Steering Committee.jpg

November 22, 2017 (SSB) — Dialogue is not a recent discovery. Right through the past and in nearly all societies, getting groups together to overcome differences and solve problems has been a particularly prestigious assignment usually given to experienced individuals, elders or people respected for their good judgment and wisdom.

Elements of ‘dialogue methodology’ have been and continue to be applied in traditional societies, based on ancestral procedures and customs. Their validity is also recognized in transitional justice, conflict management and reconciliation processes but the national dialogue initiated by the government of South Sudan don’t fit the features of a successful dialogue; being solely initiated by the government without considering the opinion of political parties and civil society alliance justifies that its success is at risk.

The stirring committee of the national dialogue should be wary of the traps that may be deliberately built into a discourse process by the government. The call for dialogue when basic issues of political liberties are involved may be an effort by the government to induce the citizens to surrender peacefully while the violence of the repression continues.

Political parties are the main initiators of, participants in and beneficiaries of a national dialogue. However, when inter-party relations are marked by tensions and none of the parties is confident or willing to take the first step, impartial intermediaries may step in to initiate and facilitate the dialogue.

When government uses the word “national dialogue” to bring peace and harmony does not mean that it wants peace with absolute freedom and justice. The government would like to use the national dialogue for opposition parties’ submission to its cruel oppression and passive compliance for it has perpetrated atrocities on hundreds of thousands of people. So, I say the government of South Sudan is masking the eye of the public by initiating the national dialogue while it’s targeting submission to its will.

One wonders how the national dialogue committee is growing broader every day; Mr. President appoints his puppets and pawns whom he indoctrinates his monarchic principles into their heads so that he (president) achieves his target, which is the submission of the opposition party (ies) to his will not necessary peace. I thought after the president of the Republic appointed the leaders of the national dialogue committee, he would have handed the whole process to them but because he knew that he appointed those whom he didn’t have full trust in executing his interest, so, he had to keep on appointing more members.

The opposition parties should know that in all stages of a dialogue process, facilitators need to be able to consider the ever-changing political environment, and evaluate how political developments can affect inter-party relations and the overall goals of the dialogue. This requires not only the right personality but also thorough preparation. No facilitator should get engaged in a dialogue without knowing what the dialogue is about; what the central and underlying issues are; who is who within each political party; and how the various parties are organized.

As I stated earlier, opposition leaders may feel forced to pursue dialogues out of a sense of hopelessness of the democratic struggle. However, that sense of powerlessness can be changed. Young wavering government like the what Republic of South Sudan is; are not permanent. People living under such predetermined government need not remain weak, and rulers need not be allowed to remain powerful indefinitely.

Achieving a society with both freedom and peace is, of course, no simple task. It requires great strategic skill, organization, and planning. Above all, it will require power. Citizens (democrats) cannot hope to bring down a dictatorial government and establish political freedom without the ability to apply their own power effectively.

The author, Wenne Madyt Dengs, is an aspiring South Sudanese poet and writer; he can be reached via:

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 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.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s