Exercise restraint and positive criticism- Diplomat says

By Gilo Jr. Okwata

The Ugandan Envoy to South Sudan, Betty Bigombe has told off the critics and those who have reservations about the National Dialogue to exercise utmost restraint and to express positive criticism to the ongoing process.

Addressing the National Dialogue conference which underway at the Freedom Hall, the top Diplomat however, admitted that the document might not be perfect or not completely inclusive but nonetheless there is always room for amendments.

“It’s true is not perfect, it’s true is not everybody that should have been heard or included were not included, but there is always room, this is the beginning, this is a foundation for the people to air their views and concerns about the country they want, about the government they want so we should give it every support. Criticism should be positive criticism from the people; it should not be a criticism that tears down everything and pull down everything, which is wrong. You are not solving problems by walking from it, you actually are creating more problems,” She said.

She  stated that if someone doesn’t agree with something, engagement is possibly the way forward instead  of condemning, ruining the process out or even boycotting it,  however,  she said she  was absolutely convinced that the views expressed in the report originated from people irrespective of their status, occupations and places of their resident.

 “For what I have read out of report I am very convinced that it came from the people whether they were in camps as refugees or whether they were internally displaced, it was the people that talked, there is no doubt in my mind that some of these issues which are raised here that put the government on defense, that no, we are not doing that, if it wasn’t from the people we would not have them in the report,” Bigombe said.

The Envoy admitted that a lot of resources and time have been spent on coming out with the current document and that many people have left what they would have done in their private lives to come to articulate and listen to the report and then come up with the document that would represent the wishes of the people of this great country. In addition, she urged the government to implement the document.

It could be the best document in the world but it is not implemented, if  it is just picked up, published, put in the offices and sit there to collect dust, then all these will have been a waste of time for everybody. This would have dashed the hope of the people of South Sudan because they want to see, to hear, and to feel that what they have expressed is being implemented because this is what gives people confident and trust in the government.

She added that if the document would be put away to collect dust it would create mistrust and hopelessness to the country.

On 22 May, President, Salva Kiir, officially launched a National Dialogue Process as an attempt to end the country’s civil war, resuscitate the state building process and pave the way towards national unity. However, major national players have distanced themselves from the Dialogue as they fear that it is unlikely to overcome the deep cleavages that run through South Sudan´s political elite and the broader population.

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