National Dialogue: Inclusivity is the only hope for peace
Inclusivity is defined by Dudouet Lundstorm (2015) as the degree of access to the various arenas of political statements for all sectors of society beyond the most powerful pre-war elites, either by participating directly or indirectly to end the conflict in the country.
The steering committee should bring those armed youths to the national dialogue table to end all killings along major roads in the country. At the international scene, the youths can become peace ambassadors of their respective countries, promoting exchange programmes in education, culture, science and technology, sports and games and in tourism promotions to link all the youth of the region and the world in the pursuit and maintenance of peace.
The political influence to youth is a threat to the National dialogue with different behavior of the youth which is becoming a major challenge. In regards to the upcoming National Dialogue, the youths in the bushes attacking people on the roads are violating the ceasefire as well as the amnesty that was granted by the President for the sake of peace and development in the country.
The formation of tribal militias emerging as Arrow Boys, Abu Ashok, White Army plus other militias that are carrying out atrocities like rape and killing of people based on their ethnicity.
Youth in the villages all over the country, the pastoralist communities of greater Bhar el Ghazal have also negative effects towards the National Dialogue whereby they should have been part of the campaign for peace and reconciliation.
Youth has been on frontline since the conflict that started in December 2013, most of the youth were used to Champion for the rights of their politicians whether he had killed or looted resources, they still stand with them throughout. When a politician is appointed by President Salva Kiir, there are always messages congratulating the President for appointing their sons or daughters to work in the government and when also the President remove anybody also there are also threats of rebellion because there son or daughter has been removed in the government because they belong to tribe X or y.
Political negotiations over conflicts and wars were long considered and readily accepted to be elite bargaining. However, recent agreement and the post conflict processes characterized the growing culture of impunity and political demands as political class has many demands like the opposition group that has demanded more powers.
Including youth in the National Dialogue is the only way to bring together all relevant stakeholders and actors in both states and non state based on board to foster nationwide consensus on the conflict that has engulfed the country.
There are key issues that are increasingly seen as dividing the youth along tribal lines. Youth are agents of change in any given society. However, there is both the risk of overestimating the National Dialogue capacity of inclusion as well the transformative impact of inclusive process designed for all the people although we assume that the principles of inclusively processes are intrinsic qualities, for example; increasing the prospects for the conflict transformation and reaching positive process to restore confident and peace in the country. In practice, it might not necessarily be the case that inclusivity is equal to better outcomes. As a result, any discussion on inclusivity must go beyond the value attributed to the principle itself and also avoid future dilemmas related to inclusivity.
One outcome should be creation of new youth branches in the country as an independent authority with a mandate to steer and supervise public policy and monitor its implementation to ensure protection of youth from social and health risks and violence, and constituted with clear policies and mechanisms for youth participation and inclusion in public policy making as the National dialogue lastly, national consultative councils that work to improve social development and protect their rights will also benefit from the mandatory youth rights to all of resources and freedom of the individuals.
The state will guarantee “care for women and youth, and develop them spiritually, morally, culturally, scientifically, physically, psychologically, socially, and economically, and enable their effective political participation.”
To mitigate unemployment, the state promises to institute a “Skills Development Fund,” to achieve its goals in a decentralized manner through training of youth in small agricultural, fishing, and cooperative projects that should aim at providing opportunities for youth employment.
There should also be plans to “take the necessary measures to achieve a wider youth participation in social, economic, cultural and political development of the country.”
Particularly for the families of youth martyrs who have been fighting in all directions of conflict whether tribal, communal or political.
The country should also be committed to microfinance youth projects with no interest loans that could have a knock-on effect for the country’s economy, expanding entrepreneurship and providing more job opportunities.
The outcomes should also commit the state to providing the necessary incentives and appropriate environment to ensure girls education, and an independent Education, Training, and Scientific Research will be responsible for designing and approving national education, training, and scientific research policies.
The formation of steering committee of the National Dialogue is not inclusive because the same politicians who fought are the ones leading the National Dialogue.
By Emmanuel Malual Makuach