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Riek’s exclusion is not a solution

Exclusion of Dr. Riek Machar, former First Vice President in the national dialogue is not a solution that will help us. We need to have a proper inclusive national dialogue that will give chance to every person to voice his/her opinion, said Edmund Yakani.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Yakani, the Executive Director of Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said the principle of national dialogue is inclusivity that provides every person with an opportunity to voice his or her opinion and added that dialogues all over the world that have succeeded in achieving their objectives are those that are inclusive and not exclude any individual.

Earlier on 22nd May during the launch of the National Dialogue, President Salva Kiir said that Dr. Riek will not personally participate in the dialogue but has the right to appoint his representatives who will act on his behalf in the dialogue process and further vowed to ensure their safety in the country.

“We cannot have dialogue among the warring parties if there is no permanent ceasefire. We need to have permanent ceasefire that will give chance to people to express themselves,” Yakani said.

Yakani further said that ceasefire is vital and called on the warring parties to ensure permanent ceasefire in order to defuse any person who want to take advantage of the national dialogue to cause chaos.

He added that the proposal by the government that Dr. Riek should appoint his representatives to participate in the national dialogue on his behalf is good but assurance needs to be given in terms of the objectives of the dialogue process.

“The idea of compromise is very important in terms of availing security, protection in the city and in the country and this is where the Regional Protection Force (RPF) becomes relevant to ensure that people move freely during the deliberations,” Yakani said.

He further called on South Sudanese to commit to the dialogue process to ensure that the challenges are mitigated amicably.

Yakani urged the warring parties to apply a non-violence approach to resolve their political differences, show commitment to a functional and permanent ceasefire.

Jame Kolok, the Director of Foundation for Democracy and Accountable Governance (FODAG) said as long as South Sudanese continue to think that the national dialogue will take place in isolation of some key principals to the Peace Agreement; then they may not be considerate of what is meant by inclusivity.

“As long as we insist that Dr. Riek should not be part of the national dialogue then we are still saying that we will continue to conduct the dialogue amidst people who are next door who are trying to threaten the stability of the country and the conducive environment through a genuine and credible national dialogue process,” Jame said.

He further urged President Kiir to reconsider his earlier remarks during the swearing in of the national dialogue steering committee of excluding Dr. Machar from the dialogue process and reconsider that Dr. Machar remains a key figure in the Peace Agreement and in the National Dialogue process.

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