By. Dominic Ukelo,
Dec 22, 2016(Nyamilepedia) —— President Salva Kiir Mayardit through presidential order numbered 27, on December 19, 2016, announcement of a national dialogue and further appointment of committee members on national dialogue in the South Sudan, is considered as fake national dialogue. The announced national dialogue process is a controversial move by the president, with aim of consuming time and hoping to crush and silent his opponents.
The step by the president has been viewed not genuine move by large number of South Sudanese citizens, as the appointed members are either members of the faction of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement SPLM under the president, those in his administration or from parties allied to the government as well as individuals loyal to the president Salva Kiir Mayardit. The creation of the national dialogue has clearly nothing to do with the issues facing the people of South Sudan.
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By looking at the names of national dialogue committee members, we could recognize that those appointed individuals are friends, relatives, and political members who are been associated with the president, which led the process of the national dialogue to be a dialogue among friends and relatives of the president and the established national dialogue by the president to be a politically motivated.
Moreover, the aim for the created body is not for a national dialogue, which all the citizen of the South Sudan are in need and are waiting for long time that could hopefully resolve the critical issues facing the country. It is just another project in the name of the national dialogue intended to extend President Salva Kiir Mayardit’s period in the power and use the resources of the people to self-fund their own projects.
It is important to temper the current enthusiasm for national dialogues with a critical analysis of the necessary conditions for a successful national dialogue. There are many circumstances under which a national dialogue is likely to be appropriate of putting the country in the right direction.
Globally the national dialogues are becoming an increasingly popular tool for conflict resolution and political transformation. In the past several years, national dialogues have been proposed or carried out in a diverse group of countries and circumstances. In broadening the debate about a country’s trajectory beyond the usual group of elite decision makers, national dialogues offer the potential for meaningful conversation about the underlying drivers of conflict and ways to holistically address these issues. In the case of the South Sudan, however, those national dialogues are been for a long time deliberately misused by Salva Kiir Mayardit, to seek further consolidates president’s grip on power.
Widely publicized national dialogue experiences in Tunisia in 2013–14 brought national dialogue to the fore as a tool for breaking political deadlock and transforming complex conflicts. There is no one-size-fits-all model, but there are been hypothesize that national dialogue will have a higher likelihood of success if it incorporate the following principles: inclusion, transparency and public participation, a far-reaching agenda, a credible convener, appropriate and clear rules of procedures, and an implementation plan, the principles which are all missing in the president Salva Kiir Mayardit’s current national dialogue in front of us.
In order for the national dialogue to become a successful tool for conflict resolution and political transformation in the South Sudan, the below outlined issues have to be under Kiir’s consideration. Considering the country’s diversity, we must bear in mind that, the process of the national dialogue in the South Sudan must incorporate the following principles in order to contribute meaningfully to political transformation and peace:
1) The agendas of the national dialogue have to be convened to address a broad set of important issues or problems in the country
2) Inclusiveness. An effective national dialogue convenes a broad set of stakeholders for a deliberative process. To maximize the dialogue’s potential to address the real drivers of conflict; all key interest groups should be invited to participate, including all opposition political parties in the South Sudan, religious and traditional leaders, women, and youth.
3) Transparency and public participation. A national dialogue should also have mechanisms to include the broader population. This broad participation can be achieved by creating and linking local dialogue processes to the national dialogue, as well as through public consultations, regular coverage in the media. Delegates are suggested to be mandated to hold consultations with the groups that they represent, as was the case during Kenya’s 2004 Bomas conference on constitutional reform.
4) A credible convener. To secure the participation of a wide variety of stakeholder groups and to avoid perceptions of bias, a credible convener is of the utmost importance. This convener may take the form of a single person, or a group of people. The convener should be respected by the majority of the South Sudanese people and should not have any political aspirations or goals that would present an obvious conflict of interest.
5) Clear mandate, rules, and procedures. As president Kiir and his government are unable to resolve the major issues in the South Sudan, and further they are been seen by opponents as neither legitimate nor credible, and sometimes the president has been accused of unwilling to challenge the status quo. A national dialogue should have its own set of procedures and rules for making decisions, which should be transparent.
6) Agreed mechanism for implementation of outcomes. National dialogues should feature an agreed upon plan to ensure that the resulting recommendations are implemented through a new constitution, law, policy, or other programs. Without a clear implementation plan, a national dialogue risks consuming extensive time and resources without producing any tangible results.
7) Finally, the president’s call for national dialogue should be followed by showing a good well from the government, for example the good well should be gestured by releasing of political detainees in the country.
The author is a concern South Sudanese. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org