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National Dialogue needs conducive environment -Japan

The Japanese ambassador to South Sudan Kiya Masahiko said there is need to make the environment for holding of the national dialogue conducive, to ensure its success.

“We shared the view that for the national dialogue to succeed, it is quite important to make conducive environment where the dialogue can start with all the parties,”  ambassador Masahiko, said.

The Japanese diplomat made the remarks yesterday after meeting the Chairperson of the Information and Communication for the steering committee of the National dialogue, Alfred Taban where the two discussed how Japan can support the National Dialogue.

Masahiko said making conducive environment requires both parties to stop the fighting and release political detainees. “It would be a great help if the government takes prompt action following the release of two journalists, to release more political prisoners so that the government can show its readiness to seriously talk to all the groups to bring about peace in South Sudan,” he said.

The ambassador said he was glad and encouraged when President Kiir said the year 2017 is a year of peace, and when he renewed his commitment in bringing peace to the country in his address to the nation on the 6th Independence Anniversary.

He said Japan supports the steering committee of the national dialogue in the process of the bottom up approach of the national dialogue.

Alfred Taban, the Chairman of Information and Communication in the Steering Committee of the National Dialogue said release of political detainees and stopping the fighting ‘are pertinent issues for healing the rift of the country.’

He said, holding a dialogue needs a conducive environment, by releasing political detainees. “When you are holding dialogue, you should create a climate that is conducive, that is positive for this dialogue to move forward,” said Taban.

He noted that after the release of two journalists, not releasing political prisoners is not creating a good atmosphere for the dialogue.

Taban said the steering committee will engage with the government to see the release of the political detainees to enable a positive environment for the national dialogue. “If they make a gesture of releasing political detainees, many people who are still skeptical will be attracted to the dialogue,” he said.

When launching the national dialogue in May, president Kiir said he has directed his prosecutor general to look into files so that all political detainees will be released.

By Jale Richard

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