Let Us Support The National Dialogue For South Sudan

"...with honesty and transparency and with the change of hearts and minds of the leaders, the national dialogue initiated by the government is one of the ‘Hope’ to hope for. Let us support the dialogue."

By Ocholamero Otir Bure Oroto

Fellow South Sudanese citizens, the leadership and the ordinary constituents, mostly, those who could read and write:

As the nation is reaping the result of taking up guns against each other, it is perhaps timely to talk about things that shine some ‘hope’ in the Republic of South Sudan. Dialogue normally entails a deliberate, inclusive and transparent conversation among stakeholders in the nation with the major aim of crafting avenues out of war or conflicts. The case of South Sudan is obvious, and it is real that people are dying and will continue to die as a direct and indirect result of the on-going war. So, I would like to reiterate the following obvious points on the National Dialogue:

First, for those who are directly involved in this process, it is vital that the government gets ongoing supports for such initiative. There is nothing better than honest and transparent national dialogue.

Second, the government should not sideline the opposition parties from such process. Without total and honest involvement of the opposition, information around the world on national dialogues tells us that such a venture will be a waste of time and increase of time of suffering under the current ongoing complex crisis. This means among others:

·       Involvement of Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement in Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) should not be undermined.

·       Involvement of other entities like women, youth, businesses, religious groups and various community leaders from around the country should be real as stipulated in the national dialogue document.

·       The National Dialogue should not be manipulated in anyway by the leaders who are championing it.  

Third, government and the opposition should reach an arrangement that will bring the war to an end before any sound deliberation could take place about the national dialogue.

The above points are obvious but they are vital and worth reiteration.

Among other avenues, personally, I think the national dialogue should be supported and shaped to ensure it succeeds. South Sudanese can clearly see that guns do not resolve issues in their entirety. The best approach is:

·       Political Dialogue, which can start by the full support of the national dialogue. Steering the country back to normal means embracing dialogues as a means of ending the war and the suffering of the South Sudanese.

·       The success of the National Dialogue will be the only legacy of the Sudan People Liberation Army/Movement, besides attaining self-determination which resulted in the creation of the Republic of South Sudan.

It is recognized that improper national dialogue might ignite more trouble when misused. However, if majority support the initiative and contribute toward shaping it, surely, it is one of the little hopes that we can collectively nurture to ensure its success.

With the pain of the suffering of South Sudanese within and outside South Sudan, especially those in the refugee camps and those who are internally displaced, I hope the leaders will steer the country back to normal and learn a great deal from the current mistakes.

May our good ancestral spirit touch the heads of those who have power to make the national dialogue truly a hope for those who will survive the current suffering. Most concerned South Sudanese with or without doubt are looking forward to see the success of these great Initiatives.

Finally, in my opinion, with honesty and transparency and with the change of hearts and minds of the leaders, the national dialogue initiated by the government is one of the ‘Hope’ to hope for. Let us support the dialogue.

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