From The Sudd Institute
This concept paper outlines some of the principal elements involved in promoting peace, unity, reconciliation and a shared sense of national identity, the overriding goals of the National Dialogue. The National Dialogue is an opportunity to address the complex web of conflicts afflicting South Sudan through a top-down-bottom-up process that links the national, regional, and the grassroots levels of the interconnected conflicts. Achieving the National Dialogue’s goal requires reinforcing and strengthening traditional authorities whose ability to contribute to the maintenance of law and order and to the security and stability of the country at the grassroots level, has long been tested.
The Dialogue’s Steering Committee needs to be assisted by resource persons to carry out consultations with stakeholders at these levels and to report to the National Conference which will then prepare an integrated report to the President for the final submission to Parliament for adoption and implementation in collaboration with the Executive.
Thus, the National Dialogue should aim at both ending armed conflicts with a sense of urgency and creating an on-going process aimed at engendering and sustaining a culture of Dialogue that is in conformity with the traditional African method of preventing, managing, and resolving conflicts and fostering reconciliation. Thus, the following recommendations are in order.
Commit to undertaking the National Dialogue as an opportunity to genuinely address the root causes of the crises afflicting the country and to consider with sincerity and credibility its recommendations;
Undertake to fully implement the recommendations of the National Dialogue that make a legitimate and credible case for the reform and transformation of the system toward a more appropriate, contextualized and effective form of governance that might require major changes in the current system;
Embark on a national campaign aimed at:
Informing the public to ensure inclusivity, credibility, and transparency of the National Dialogue process and the commitment of the Government to consider its implications with the clear objective of serving the overriding interest of the nation;
Challenging communities to serve as agents of the required transformation, by owning the resolutions of the National Dialogue, and assisting in their implementation; and
Identifying creative ways to harness internal resources, as part of a collective responsibility, to rescue their country and set it on a new path of socio-economic recovery and development.
Engage and impress upon the international community the sincere commitment of the Government to the principles of inclusivity, credibility, and transparency of the National Dialogue process and its determination to give its recommendations serious consideration for credible implementation, and evidencing that commitment through a methodology of outreach, data collection and analysis that engages the public and unlocks their full participation.
Guide on the National Dialogue Process
A credible national conversation on the future of South Sudan must be anchored in the individual and public consciousness on: why the National Dialogue; what does it seek to achieve; how can South Sudanese participate in the dialogue process; how is it different from other peace processes; and how will its outcome be implemented and monitored? This booklet does not seek to provide compressive answers to these questions. Rather it summarizes the outcomes of a workshop on “Facilitating Grassroots Peace Initiatives conducive to an Inclusive and Credible National Dialogue” held from 8 to 9 August 2017 in Juba.
The workshop was organised by the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) South Sudan with Japan’s financial support and attended by UNDP’s civil society partners. In doing so, the booklet is intended to serve as a guide and reference for civil society organisations to develop comprehensive messages and strategies to empower communities to participate in the National Dialogue process.
Given the peculiarities of each community and CSOs, this booklet is conceived as a flexible template that can be adapted to fit the need and purpose of each community and organisation. It does so by providing an overview of key facts about the National Dialogue process as well as steps for community sensitisation. It also provides a list of key messages to be used during the National Dialogue sensitisation process. The messages were jointly developed by CSOs and the Secretariat of the National Dialogue during the workshop and have been approved by the National Dialogu