Opposition told nominate delegates to Regional forums
Co-chair of the National Dialogue Steering Committee Angelo Beda (M) and the members at the meeting (photo by Moses Gum):
By Moses Gum
The National Dialogue Steering Committee has called on the leaders of the opposition groups to nominate observers to the regional dialogue conferences.
The Co-chair of the Committee, Angelo Beda said in order to forge a broad consensus for inclusive and credible dialogue, members of the opposition must accept the process and send delegates to the conferences to ensure full implementation of the National Dialogue Resolutions by all parties to the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) to be formed.
The Co-chair was speaking yesterday in a meeting of the National Dialogue Steering Committee with Heads of the Diplomatic missions in South Sudan.
A high level team of ambassadors headed by Zimbabwean ambassador Mr. Kufa E. Chinoza, representatives of the International Organizations accredited to South Sudan and partners attended the briefing at Freedom Hall.
Angelo Beda explained that the meeting was to enlighten members of the diplomatic corps on the step taken by the Committee to consult with local communities as well as trying to engage with the opposition to accept the dialogue process.
“We are here to tell you the steps taken by National Dialogue Committee and how it conducted consultations at grassroots. The views collected were documented,” he said.
Mr Beda said the remaining step of the committee was to engage the opposition to accept the dialogue to ensure that it is inclusive and credible.
“Our level now is to make sure that the oppositions are involved in the process. We must engage them but how to reach them is a challenge,” Beda said.
He stressed the need for achieving greater inclusivity and giving a fresh impetus to once again solicit the opposition’s inputs and participation in the final of the dialogue.
During the peace celebration late last month, President Salva Kiir appealed to the opposition groups to embrace the work of the National Dialogue and rethink their decision to previously snub the process.
At the end of October, opposition leaders including Dr. Riek Machar attended the peace celebration in Juba with an aim to forge a new era of stability.
“I feel that the festive atmosphere of recent peace creates a new momentum for us to finish the unfinished business of making the process truly palatable to all stakeholders including the opposition parties who have been reticent in their approach to the homegrown initiative,” Beda said.
The Co-chair stated that October’s peace celebration threw a challenge to the leaders of the opposition to revisit their objection to the National Dialogue.
He said to realize the goal, the region and the international community have a primary role to play in persuading the opposition groups to recognize the legitimacy and vitality of the dialogue.
“We have the opportunity to wed the complementary objectives of the peace agreement with those of the National Dialogue to connect all voices across the country,” Beda explained.
The Co-chair said issues regarding containment of the proliferation of firearms, solving of perennial community clashes over cattle and pastures; reintegration and resettlement of refugees and IDPs back to their traditional habitats as well as constitutional making can feature prominently in the recommendations of the dialogue committee.
He said according to the views of locals including select refugee representatives, all yearned for sweeping reforms in the country.
However, Beda said areas like Raja and Akobo have not been reached during the consultation process due to insecurity.
The Representatives of the diplomatic corps and the ambassador of Zimbabwe Kufa E. Chinoza pledged their commitment to support South Sudan when there is need.
He said as Head of Missions, International Organizations and donor agencies, they were happy about the signed peace agreement and would continue to give needed support where necessary.