Home | Comment & Analysis    Monday 22 May 2017

National dialogue building nation


By Amb. Dhano Obongo

Initially, I congratulate and commend H.E the President of the Republic of South Sudan, Gen. Salva Kiir Mayardit, for recognising the need for a national dialogue among 64 ethnic groups, various political groups, etc. Motivating the concept of such a conference is the conflict of 2013 rival SPLM factions over leadership.

I would like to identify some concepts for consideration in conducting this planned consultation:-
• Ending current meaningless ongoing conflict in our beloved country.
• Forging a covenant South Sudanese social contact as a foundation of national building and co-existence among the 64 ethnic groups and the 22 or more political parties.
• Harmonizing the political and ethnic dimensional trends derailed by conflict.
• Opening communication among each ethnic group to improve knowing culture and background.
• Establishing checks and balances on political power among the 64 ethnicities e.g. The Bank of South Sudan (BOSS) appointment leadership as a living historical legacy based on merits and credentials.
• Forging a robust roadmap for nation building.
• Distributing fair and equitable projects development through all states.
• Empowering a women’s agenda in national politics.
• Equalizing minority ethnic groups participation based on merit and credentials in all national ministries and commissions the living example is found in the Republic of Pakistan (Quota representation).
• The planned consultation providing a platform for the groups and parties to exchange and share their experience in doing the governmental activity.
• Exchange of views and talking out solutions to problems will inspire generations to come. Implementing results and recommendations on a peaceful transition of political power promotes domestic tranquillity.
• Good governance, accountability and transparency issues.
• Inclusion of all political parties in the country inside and outside.

The big challenge ahead is persuasion and inclusion of political opponents to participate in a national dialogue opening the gateway to a solution of the current ongoing conflict. How do we ensure the security of a meeting in Juba? And how do we make consultation results practical? Of course, a robust political will is necessary, but I think it doses now exit.

Secondly, we must persuade the South Sudanese people that this national consultation is necessary and to take ownership. Independence, impartiality and neutrality must govern to win the hearts of political opponents. Good management will be required. In talks with friends, I find more than three-fourths of o them support the proposal. They do see a problem with the ageing status of our veteran politicians and their track record of solving problems. I ask our leaders to be bipartisan preventing enemies of peace a foothold. .God blesses South Sudan.

The author can be reached via address E-mail: dhano01obongo@gmail.com

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