27th November 2020
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National Dialogue gives common man voice – Shearer

Author: Obaj Okuj | Published: Thursday, November 5, 2020

David Shearer, head of UN Mission in South Sudan, May 14, 2019 | Credit Joakino Francis/Eye Radio

The National Dialogue Conference will strengthen the demands of ordinary South Sudanese who wants a government that represents them more fully, the head of the UN Mission in South Sudan says.

There have been concerns among some politicians, who feel that the ongoing conference is a diversionary tactic from the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

On Monday, the National Dialogue steering committee said the SPLM-IO and the National Democratic Movement rejected invitations to participate in the conference.

The two parties, led by First Vice President, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. Lam Akol, respectively, rejected attempts to also include their delegates in the conference.

“The so-called National Dialogue is a detraction from the implementation of the peace agreement signed two years ago. It was supposed to endorse the 32 States and a Presidential system,” Tweets Dr Lam Akol, leader of the National Democratic Movement.

Dr. Akol went on to question how different the national dialogue process will be from the expected National Constitutional Conference.

But on a separate platform, David Sharer, who is also the special representative of the UN Secretary-General in the country, said the 2018 peace deal is much different from the current dialogue process.

He argued that the revitalized peace agreement is about the parties coming together and agreeing.

“The National Dialogue is much different. It has reached right down to the grassroots with wide participation ranging from community, to farmers, women, youth and faith-based leaders across the country,” David Shearer told the delegates at the ND national conference in Juba on Tuesday.

“It’s given those people across the country the chance to have an opinion and their voices heard in order to be able to shape the future of South Sudan.”

Over 500 people representing communities, political parties, religious organizations, civil society groups and others are attending the conference at Freedom Hall in Juba.

They are deliberating on the issues raised during the regional and diaspora conferences since the launch of the initiative in 2017.

These include security, governance and rule of law, corruption, the system of governance, land, resource allocation, healing and reconciliation.

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