Let's Speak Out

Unify the peace initiatives

There are now two initiatives placed on the table to bring peace to the country. There is the national dialogue announced by President Salva Kiir Mayardit last month. Earlier this month, it was revealed that Norway and Great Kingdom had unveiled a peace dialogue to be held in Doha, Qatar probably next month.

Government officials have said they have not been informed about the Qatar parleys while the Troika countries which include United Kingdom, Norway and the United States have yet to comment officially about the national dialogue and the Qatar talks. The South Sudanese people have suffered so much that they want a dialogue that has the best chance to succeed. They donot want to go shopping for dialogues. They want all efforts to be focused on one endeavor not two or more. The national dialogue will gather grievances and displeasures at the grassroots level and channel them to the national level for resolution. The Doha talks are meant to concentrate on the critically wounded 2015 peace agreement. This agreement is in pain but it is definitely not dead. It is in a coma, it can be resuscitated. There are many good things in the agreement. We shouldn’t lose them. There is no need for renegotiation. The fate of former First Vice President Riek Machar also needs to be decided. Does he have a following or not?  Can he be able to play a role in the politics of this country or has he reached a dead end?Does he command any troops at all? Is it Taban Deng Gai who can take the SPLM- IO and what it stands for forward? The dialogue and talks should be unified into a single initiative to start in the grassroots and end in Doha and Juba. The dialogue and talks should start at the grassroots and proceed to the states level before landing at the national level.The Doha talks should be for those like Dr. Machar who fear to come to South Sudan before a formal agreement is reached and signed. The troika has already spent a lot of money on us. Since it is ready to help us more let it take charge of some of the challenges such as logistical nightmares the participants are likely to face. The discussions should concentrate on how South Sudan is going to be governed; not who is to rule it. Who is going to govern should be left to the governance system the participants in the peace talks are going to come up with.

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