Report on Equatoria Regional Conference [Part One]
By Anna Nimiriano
Dear readers of Juba Monitor, I would like to present to you some information on what has been discussed during the Equatoria Regional Conference in Juba last month. Based on information I got from people, majority of them appreciated the discussions. The question they asked was when those recommendations would be implemented.
During the discussions some participants asked Co- Chair Angelo Beda whether some recommendations would be implemented immediately after the end of the conference. For the reason that if they go back to their respective places, people at the grass roots would ask them what were the results of the conference for them to implement. It could be a challenge for them who participated in the conference.
Beda said the recommendations were going to be submitted to the top management, the National Dialogue Steering Committees are not the final people to make final decisions. These are some of things we need to understand in the conference. The most important thing is that what were discussed were the views of the people of South Sudan.
If we want to move this country ahead, we should consider the views of people of South Sudan. Greatest of the democratic countries developed with what citizens demanded from the leaders. If you wait for the implementation of the communiqué, it is delaying; it is your right as citizens to ask the National Dialogue in good manner. We are not going back to war; we need peace in the country.
We don’t want to spoil those results of the conferences from the three regions for other reasons which could not be understood.
On the issue of Security in the rural areas, it was discussed that there is high demand for the government to protect citizens in the country. The matter of security is the responsibility of the government. Sometimes people were attacked; cars were ambushed on the roads. The report was that the attackers were unknown gunmen. Who are those unknown gunmen in the bush, are they not South Sudanese. There was nobody from outside who attacked us. It is only South Sudanese who are killing themselves.
Such issues of security could be one of the points to be implemented immediately, because it is affecting the life of people in daily movement. Who can protect the citizens if soldiers become enemies to them? In most cases you find them dominated by one tribe. How can citizens be protected in the areas and on the roads by one tribe?
Therefore, guns should be collected from the hands of people; to know who has gun. However, ethnic groups demanded cantonment areas for armed forces in the regions. Lack of good roads added to insecurity issues in the rural areas. There is need to maintain internal and external roads.
Some soldiers were recruited and they didn’t have training to qualify them to become professionals after the CPA. They are supposed to be taken for further training. During the conflict, women had suffered, they are become victims in the country. They were raped due to lack of protection. Therefore, monitoring soldiers in their places is very important, to know who were those involved in raping.
May God bless us all.