By Ambassador Dhano Obongo
August 22, 2017 (SSNA) — South Sudan Newest Nation in the world gained its independence on July 9th, 2011, supported worldwide including Sudan that respected the will of South Sudanese people to depart from Sudan. Nobody in his/her right mind would believe that people of South Sudan who struggled for decades for freedom from the colonial powers would now live in agonies within its own self.
Much blame has been given to the post-colonial administration for instance, (the Anglo-Egyptian administration 1898-1956 and Arab Muslims successive regimes 1956 -2011). The question remains of what, if the South Sudanese buried their own country whose responsibility, for it to be resurrected? “Nationalism “which in my view was written in the heart of every south Sudanese, in those years of the liberation struggle, where is it now? Can the South Sudanese not rise up themselves as new Ezekiel to conjure up the dry bones of South Sudan to revive them through their respective tradition? (Ezekiel 37). All South Sudanese people have a role to play, positively and decisively in this ongoing National Dialogue to address the multi- problems that have ruined our country.
This “national dialogue” is needed than ever before. This is because, South Sudanese need to resolve their political differences and collectively address those issues that have affected the nation, so as to learn from the past and help in the present and the future. Secondly, South Sudanese want to retrieve traditional values that have been eroded during the past decades of colonial and Sudan Independence so as to contribute to peace building using their own traditional values to reconcile and harmonize their communities. The challenge of Addis Ababa and Juba of August 2015 peace covenant requires all South Sudanese people to work collectively in its implementation ‘s modalities to achieve lasting peace.
The perception of peace among South Sudanese points to the reality of historical factors that have frustrated the country since the eruption of conflict in 2013 in which thousands of South Sudanese lost their lives and properties. The current processes of National Dialogue that includes all levels from grassroots to the national, hopefully, may bring peace in the whole country through improving the rule of law and justice institution, promoting communities’ cultural identities and harmonization between the cultures for peaceful co-existence. Address the causes of conflicts that are related to political and livelihood issues aimed for better provision of social services to the citizens.
This participatory approach would enable the community to move away from the current relief and humanitarian aid brought out by conflicts and to focus on self-reliance and sustainable development model of strategies. The realization of peace in the South Sudan should provide motivation for the development of the human community in which all communities are called upon to engage in power encounter against those unjust structures of authorities that frustrate human efforts towards development.
Perhaps it is on this background that our beloved President Salva Kiir Mayardit who is also the Chairman of SPLM ruling party wisely thought for this national dialogue to bring all South Sudanese people on board to consider and look at different aspects of the transformation processes that South Sudanese need to address and resolve. First, the culture of violent vs. the culture of peace and development. Peace acceptable to all would replace violent conflict and hatred among the community so as to heal the wounds that have been caused by these undesired conflicts in the country. Secondly, rehabilitation of the war affect people is a crucial need. It would involve developing strategies to achieve through ‘participatory model’ where the involvement of local communities is an essential element in reconciliation processes.
It is to be recalled that the SPLM has good track records in resolving conflicts since the inception of SPLM in 1983 – 2005 champion by our late hero Dr. John Garand De Mabior and from 2005 present headed by President Salva Kiir Mayardit all of whom have embraced South Sudan and have not failed to unite our people. It is my sincere wish and prayers that the outcome of national Dialogue will be positive with new ideas for unity and reconciliation. This is a test of our creditability and may surprise the world. Peaceful coexistence is the heritage bequeathed to SPLM and all South Sudanese from our elders and past leaders. We the people of this new nation would be in a better place if we heeded the good deeds of our predecessors
May God Bless South Sudan!
The author can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org.