For South Sudan, the Promise of Full Dialogue Lies Ahead

People from South Sudan’s Gumbo-Sherikat neighborhood in the capital of Juba meet in a UN-led gathering to build peace, after the signing of the 2018 agreement to end the country’s civil war. So far, the pact has not been carried out, but the author describes another potential path to peace for the world’s youngest nation. ERIC KANALSTEIN/UN PHOTO

ROME, Italy — The clock is ticking for South Sudan. Many powerful players in the international community have expressed openly their disappointment at the reluctance of South Sudan power-brokers to resolve their violence-prone country. Meanwhile, the people of South Sudan are clearly signaling their readiness for peace and their support for new approaches that could lead to a stable, long-term solution. President Salva Kiir and First Vice President-designate Riek Machar strengthened the importance of these signals by meeting today.

In particular, the churches and the religious leaders have been engaging everyone in their search for peace in South Sudan, the world’s youngest country and one split apart by war since 2013.

Encouraged by the new dynamism created by last year’s dramatic encounter with Pope Francis, who kissed the feet of leaders from South Sudan, including President Kiir; the first vice president-designate, Machar; and Rebecca Garang de Mabior and Taban Deng Gay, vice presidents-designate, the community of Sant’Egidio successfully reached out to the representatives of the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance (SSOMA), the coalition of opposition movements that had not joined the Addis Ababa peace agreement of September 2018, aiming to end South Sudan’s civil war. The conflict has left thousands of people dead and millions of people homeless.

The SSOMA declaration, signed and launched in Rome on Nov. 20, 2019, is a welcome contribution to the official negotiations involving national, regional and international parties. The declaration is a step in the right direction. The meeting constructively aimed at moving beyond the impasse pertaining to the implementation of the provisions of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and expressed gratitude “for the continuous outstanding empathy and affection shown to the suffering people of South Sudan by His Holiness Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury His Grace Justin Welby.”

While “commending the efforts exerted by the Community of Sant’Egidio to achieve genuine and sustainable peace in South Sudan,” the declaration stressed that “the conflict in South Sudan is political in nature and requires a political solution through constructive and genuine dialogue.”

Alexander Rondos, the European Union’s special envoy for the Horn of Africa, said: “South Sudan has fewer than 100 days to lay foundations for lasting peace. All must be included. The efforts of the Community of Sant’Egidio are timely, invaluable and command our collective support.”

The United States Embassy in Juba also wrote, “We support Sant’Egidio’s efforts to help bring peace and reconciliation in South Sudan and to engage non-signatories to the peace agreement.”

Significantly, Susan D. Page, of the American Academy of Diplomacy and former US ambassador to South Sudan, asks in a recent essay, “A Glimmer of Hope for South Sudan’s Peace Process?” while observing that “Rather than focusing on deadlines when the parties are not fully committed to the process, governments in the region and the international community must insist upon a broader peace process that includes continuous, active dialogue among all of the parties, as well as the participation of a wide cross-section of South Sudanese society. Peace processes require the resolution of deeply rooted animosities and are seldom smooth or easy. In order to succeed, the South Sudan process must address divisions and mistrust that exist among the signatory parties, the non-signatories to the agreement, and within society.

To do this, the parties to the accord and civil society representatives must engage in regular, face-to-face dialogue about the priorities, timelines, and budgets of the implementation process and about the underlying grievances that are at the root of the conflict. The recent meeting of the opposition alliance hosted by the religious community of Sant’Egidio provides an illustrative example.”

So where is the promise of inclusive dialogue? It is not only in the offer that Pope Francis made to visit South Sudan once the government has been formed, but it is also the enticing opportunity of long-term commitment on the part of many players that are now frustrated by the violent convulsions of the world’s newest country.

What is needed is not just an agreement but a platform, a method of making agreements and keeping them. Inclusivity must be one of the pillars. Without everyone who can contribute to the peace process, there is no possibility of long-term solutions. Inclusivity is a must. True inclusivity recognizes that others hold some power and, especially, that they hold the key to future cooperation. Both the government of Juba and the signatories to the 2018 agreement were well aware of the Sant’Egidio engagement with the South Sudan Opposition Movements Alliance. The request for this engagement emerged during the visit of the National Pre-Transitional Committee to Sant’Egidio at the end of July, and it is clear that the three-way dynamism is different from the old bilateral rivalry.

South Sudan is emerging from a very brutal period. The recent developments in the engagement of church leaders point to new possibilities. This is a time for serious explorations and tough decisions. Peace is promising and hopefully more enticing than the war so far.

The South Sudan Council of Churches — which represents the Christian churches of South Sudan — came to Rome for consultations with Sant’Egidio, after being received by Pope Francis, and asked it to facilitate the path toward reconciliation with new initiatives.

“We thank the Community,” said the council’s secretary-general, Oyet Latansio, “for having hosted us and for having shared our consultation. We discussed how to achieve peace for our people, how to get to the end of a war of brothers against brothers that has cost too much pain and poverty and that has caused, in addition to the victims, millions of refugees.”

Mauro Garofalo, the head of the International Relations office of Sant’Egidio, has assured its support for the peace process “through a close collaboration between the Council of Churches and the Community, which will allow for the development of new joint initiatives.”

The new dynamism in South Sudan has been encouraged by many people and institutions like the South Sudan Council of Churches, who kept the hope of peace alive. Let’s continue to work so that their commitment will soon be shared by everyone.

The post For South Sudan, the Promise of Full Dialogue Lies Ahead appeared first on PassBlue.

Pass Blue

Dear friends of this aggregator

  • Yes, I intentionally removed Newsbud from the aggregator on Mar 22.
  • Newsbud did not block the aggregator, although their editor blocked me on twitter after a comment I made to her
  • As far as I know, the only site that blocks this aggregator is Global Research. I have no idea why!!
  • Please stop recommending Newsbud and Global Research to be added to the aggregator.

Support this site

News Sources

Source Items
Please Stop the Ride 24
The Infectious Myth 22
Lockdown Skeptics 26
Sam Husseini 32
Dr. Andrew Kaufman 3
Swiss Propaganda Research 20
Off Guardian 82
Cory Morningstar 10
James Bovard 51
WWI Hidden History 51
Grayzone Project 429
Pass Blue 376
Dilyana Gaytandzhieva 17
John Pilger 426
The Real News 367
Scrutinised Minds 29
Need To Know News 3388
FEE 5425
Marine Le Pen 403
Francois Asselineau 25
Opassande 53
HAX on 5July 220
Henrik Alexandersson 1228
Mohamed Omar 404
Professors Blog 10
Arg Blatte Talar 40
Angry Foreigner 19
Fritte Fritzson 12
Teologiska rummet 32
Filosofiska rummet 144
Vetenskapsradion Historia 196
Snedtänkt (Kalle Lind) 262
Les Crises 3954
Richard Falk 220
Ian Sinclair 136
SpinWatch 61
Counter Currents 12609
Kafila 661
Gail Malone 45
Transnational Foundation 221
Rick Falkvinge 95
The Duran 11383
Vanessa Beeley 216
Nina Kouprianova 9
MintPress 6104
Paul Craig Roberts 2569
News Junkie Post 74
Nomi Prins 27
Kurt Nimmo 191
Strategic Culture 6164
Sir Ken Robinson 30
Stephan Kinsella 120
Liberty Blitzkrieg 885
Sami Bedouin 65
Consortium News 2685
21 Century Wire 4143
Burning Blogger 324
Stephen Gowans 102
David D. Friedman 165
Anarchist Standard 16
The BRICS Post 1541
Tom Dispatch 632
Levant Report 18
The Saker 5132
The Barnes Review 603
John Friend 535
Psyche Truth 160
Jonathan Cook 162
New Eastern Outlook 4914
School Sucks Project 1828
Giza Death Star 2185
Andrew Gavin Marshall 28
Red Ice Radio 687
GMWatch 2595
Robert Faurisson 150
Espionage History Archive 35
Jay's Analysis 1177
Le 4ème singe 91
Jacob Cohen 222
Agora Vox 19568
Cercle Des Volontaires 456
Panamza 2611
Fairewinds 121
Project Censored 1253
Spy Culture 628
Conspiracy Archive 85
Crystal Clark 14
Timothy Kelly 649
PINAC 1482
The Conscious Resistance 1056
Independent Science News 91
The Anti Media 6877
Positive News 820
Brandon Martinez 30
Steven Chovanec 61
Lionel 317
The Mind renewed 460
Natural Society 2627
Yanis Varoufakis 1145
Tragedy & Hope 122
Dr. Tim Ball 114
Web of Debt 167
Porkins Policy Review 457
Conspiracy Watch 174
Eva Bartlett 646
Libyan War Truth 373
DeadLine Live 1916
Kevin Ryan 69
Aaron Franz 270
Traces of Reality 166
Revelations Radio News 124
Dr. Bruce Levine 160
Peter B Collins 1795
Faux Capitalism 205
Dissident Voice 11993
Climate Audit 227
Donna Laframboise 511
Judith Curry 1192
Geneva Business Insider 40
Media Monarchy 2738
Syria Report 84
Human Rights Investigation 94
Intifada (Voice of Palestine) 1685
Down With Tyranny 13634
Laura Wells Solutions 50
Video Rebel's Blog 483
Revisionist Review 485
Aletho News 22978
ضد العولمة 27
Penny for your thoughts 3403
Northerntruthseeker 2912
كساريات 37
Color Revolutions and Geopolitics 27
Stop Nato 4888 Blog 3425 Original Content 7682
Corbett Report 2670
Stop Imperialism 491
Land Destroyer 1299
Webster Tarpley Website 1154

Compiled Feeds

Public Lists

Title Visibility
Funny Public