The Voluntary Civil Society Taskforce on the Implementation of the Peace Agreement says consultations and statements released by opposition leaders show that South Sudanese generally accept the national dialogue.
The activists made the remark in a statement that contains recommendations reflecting the opinion of the citizens on the on-going national dialogue process.
The recommendations were generated during ten consultative meetings the Taskforce held with citizens around the country between February and June this year to seek their opinion on the National Dialogue process.
Rajab Mohandis is the Executive Director of the South Sudanese Network for Democracy and Elections, SSUNDE, and a member of the Voluntary Civil Society Taskforce.
Addressing a press conference in Juba on Thursday, he said during their interaction with the public, the impression gathered was that the citizens welcome the national dialogue as a peaceful means to resolve the on-going conflict.
“The public consultation conducted by the Taskforce and the statements released by various opposition political forces reveal that South Sudanese generally accept dialogue as a peaceful means to resolve the violent conflict in this country,” said Mohandis.
He says limited freedom of expression was one of the major concerns raised by citizens.
“Citizens expressed that the effectiveness of the national dialogue, may be compromised by several prevailing factors in the country—including limitation in the freedom of expression, non-participation of the opposition party groups, continued hostilities, failure to implement the peace agreement, composition and impartiality of the members of the national dialogue steering committee failure to release political detainees, and funding limitation and lack of confidence in the parties to the conflict,” he said.
Mr. Mohandis says the consultative meeting came out with some recommendations.
“Based on the views of the citizens expressed in the consultative meeting, the Taskforce makes the following recommendations: The national dialogue should be truly inclusive and open to all South Sudanese citizens within and outside the country—including those in internally displaced camps and refugees settlements in Uganda, Kenya, Ethiopia, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Sudan, South Sudanese Diaspora around the world and all opposition forces should be allowed to participate in the process,” said Mohandis.
The Voluntary Civil Society Taskforce is holding a one-day consultative meeting with seventy representatives of the different political parties in Juba today Friday to seek their opinion on the National Dialogue.
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