Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission Prepares for a Peaceful Environment
Nairobi, Feb. 11th 2005
Many things have happened in the past. Disunity was the obstacle for peace. Now that a honourable and dignified peace has been signed, the Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission (SPRC) is preparing for an inclusive peaceful environment in the interim period.
The Gun is silent, but the mind is not, said Cdr. James Kok, the director for (SPRC). He was speaking recently in a workshop organized by SPRC and Convergent International at the Resurrection Garden in Karen, Nairobi. The workshop discussed a guiding document that was written by SPRC and a way forward to implementation.
Cdr. Kok explained to participants how the war broke out in 1983 up to when they agreed to sign a comprehensive peace. This is the time to remember more than 2.5 million people who died and remind ourselves that the sacrifice done by our heroes are eminent, he said.
The new era needs collective responsibility and there is need for everybody to practice a responsive leadership not on tribal bases but connected with people, for the people of the Sudan ,said Cdr.Kok. He emphasized the need for teamwork because it answers the question of accountability and transparency.
While the transition period comes with a lot of expectations and challenges, Cdr. Kok said members of the SPRC will equip themselves and internalise the institution’s policy so that it will be a guide for everybody. Everyone will look at them as role models because they are answerable to issues of injustice, freedom and inequality.
Peace makers must be seen in people when they talk and respond to needs of the people, said Cdr. Kok. He advised leaders not to hide from their people; that they must be accessible to everybody who needs to talk to them.
With the coming of various cultures from different foreign countries, Kok said that SPRC will harmonize those cultures.
Although peace has been signed, many people do not want to believe that it’s a just peace, so there is need to prepare them, said Dr. Olivia Lomoro.
The Gender and Peace Desk was not left out. Every aspect of post conflict situation is gendered and has gender consequences, from the recently concluded official peace negotiations to the planned reconstruction and rehabilitation of the entire Sudan. The nation’s infrastructure, its people and communities roles will be upon men and women of Sudan, said Mrs Abuk Papiti of the Gender and Peace Desk.
She said that the attitude of women and men are shaped by cultural, social, economic and political conditions, expectations and obligations within the family and community.
However, Mrs. Papiti said that although local men and women are often marginalized by officials, peace accords and internationally driven reconstruction and rehabilitation projects, they contribute significantly more than governmental authorities or international aid organizations to reconciliation processes, the reviving of local economies, the rebuilding of social networks and long term sustainable peace.
The Gender and post-conflict phase can be examined in three broad categories, political reconstruction, economic reconstruction and social reconstruction, Mrs. Papiti said.
Now that peace has return, said Cdr: Kok, Sudanese should put their house in order so that they can dialogue and reconcile with other parties. Forgiveness is the only word that will hold us together. “We must forgive ourselves no matter what the problem was”. He added that traditional methods will be used to reconcile people.
Mrs. Nora Zangabeyo commented that reasons that made Sudanese not to believe in the signed peace was that they were looking at positions rather than peace. She urged the commission to build peoples