16th June 2019
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Bakasoro calls for rebuking of peace spoilers

Authors: Rosemary Wilfred | Ayuen Panchol | Published: 3 months ago

File: Joseph Bangasi Bakosoro, a member of SSOA

An opposition leader is appealing to South Sudanese to watch out for peace spoilers and hold them accountable.

Joseph Bakasoro also cautioned leaders against hate speech and using negative statements to derail the implementation of the peace agreement, adding that such activities can “burn bridges” already being built by the peace accord.

The opposition parties and the incumbent government led by President Salva Kiir inked the new peace agreement in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, in September 2018.

The deal was meant to end the 5-year conflict across the country, but some groups held back from signing it, and have reportedly engaged in hostilities with the government -mostly in the north-west parts of Equatoria.

“Let us watch out for the spoilers because, in any political system, there are spoilers,” said Joseph Bakasoro, one of the leaders of the South Sudan Opposition Alliance.

“Watch out to see who is going to spoil this peace agreement, and hold him or them accountable.”

Bakasoro, former elected governor of defunct Western Equatoria state also appealed to South Sudanese leaders to embrace the spirit of forgiveness, and reconciliation, warning that “any negative message that comes from the leadership, will also be taken negatively by the public.”

He said there is a need for more positive messaging around the peace agreement.

“Let’s tell the truth about what went wrong, reconcile among ourselves and push to see that peace deal is implemented in letter and spirit,” he said.

“Be Honest”

A media practitioner has also echoed Bakasoro’s statement by encouraging South Sudanese political leaders to be honest with the citizens.

Peter Denolo, a senior media expert, said political leaders should be honest with the citizens.

“Ordinary people need to feel that their leaders are listening to them, that their leaders understand just how tired they are of the conflict, how hopeful they are for a long term sustainable peace so that people can build their lives,” said the Canadian national.

Some members of the public have in many occasions complained of lack of honesty by leaders in the country.

For example, in 2017, the Minister of Electricity, Dr. Dhieu Mathok said a 24-hour power supply in Juba would be completed by December the same year.

In 2016, the government announced that it would triple the salaries of junior staff.

The move, which was part of efforts to raise the salaries of all the government employees after the devaluation of the pound, has not been fully implemented.

“It is better if the leaders have to speak to them honestly, directly and openly. I’m a big believer in leaders being accessible to the people and using the opportunity to speak to them,” Denolo said.

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