Similar to the efforts by its neighbor and sisterly country Sudan in holding a national dialogue, the government of South Sudan is preparing to send to Ethiopia a mobilization team tasked to advance recent national dialogue message to rebel-held territories, according to a leaked document seen by the South Sudan News Agency.
The leaked text shows primary goal of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Taban Deng Gai is to take peace to areas under control of the armed opposition, and to convince civilians who are in refugee camps, particularly those IDPs living in Ethiopian camps.
“The President [Kiir] is determined to end this war, so our national dialogue team is set to arrive in Addis Ababa…and head to Gambella and stay there for 30 days,” a confidential governmental source who prefers anonymity. The source added that Juba “really” wants its peace delegation to arrive in Addis Ababa by the 5th of January 2017 and return to South Sudan by February 5, 2017.
Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-In Opposition (SPLM/A-IO) under the leadership of the Former South Sudanese Vice President and rebel Leader Dr. Riek Machar says Juba is just doing all it can to presence itself to the outside world as a peace-maker. The armed opposition blasted the government for not being truthful to the people of South Sudan, IGAD, African Union (AU), Troika, and the United nations.
Sudan’s National Dialogue
Sudan’s National Dialogue Conference was held in October. The conference, in Khartoum, brought to an end a two year consultation process aimed at discussing and approving the proposed national dialogue document to provide the basis for drafting a permanent constitution, defining the national identity, bringing peace and redefining the government.
Sudanese President Omar Al Bashir had announced the initiative of the National Dialogue in January 2014, calling on opposition parties and armed groups to join in a dialogue to end the crisis of the country. He asked the political parties to discuss four issues: ending the civil war, allowing political freedoms, fighting against poverty and revitalizing the national identity. The dialogue was launched in October 2015 and was originally expected to wind up in January 2016. Discussions, however, continued through the year. In October the procedural session of the National Dialogue Conference approved the national document which will constitute the basis for drafting the country’s permanent constitution. The document will provide a mandatory instrument for the future constitution.
President Al Bashir had called the Dialogue “an unprecedented phenomenon in the world and a model for Sudan’s sister countries”. He said the National Document “reflects the will of the people of Sudan”, and “will serve as a basis for the ruling of the country”.
In the photo, South Sudanese President Salva Kiir (R) and First Vice President Taban Deng Gai (L)