South Sudan the world’s newest state, formed in 2011, after decades of conflict. The fighting continuing in the republic of South Sudan and as the warring parties meet in Ethiopia to try to agree on a ceasefire through peace talks.one thing is very clear the success of these talks and the implementation of the agreements demand an approach to dialogue.
With the political Tension aligned to Ethnicity, the peace talks will not deal with the problem extensively but rather continuous dialogue is fundamental in the recovery of south Sudan especially at the time when Trust and understanding among the citizens and ethnic grouping needs to be re-built;
Even long before, the conflict that begun after the presidents sacked his deputy Riek Machar for political reason, dialogue just as a process would have saved the crisis from happening the way it did. For the parties that have desirable interest in the republic of south Sudan, they should push for dialogue because war never solves the deep rooted violence, there are at least 1,000 people killed since violence erupted on 15 December and over 200,000 people displaced in the conflict, which has taken on ethnic undertones between president Kiir from the Dinka community and Mr Machar from the Nuer group.
When the peace talks failed to get under way on a Sunday a day they were meant to begin, these were delayed by disagreements over the agenda and an official was quoted as saying, by “protocol issues”. In this case, with dialogue there is no protocol, it’s just mutual understanding.
Even as the parties continuously disagree on many issue, there has to be created space for dialogues because it’s exchange of ideas, views or opinions with the intention to produce an agreement, there has to be a mindset characterized by openness, curiosity, commitment, and the absence of a desire to “win, Awareness of power relations and the political dimensions; Recognition of the equal dignity of all parts, Critical thinking attitudes including the ability to self-criticism. With the above factors at play, the process to resolves the political conflict and ethnic tension will support the peace talks through dialogue and contribute to building trust and understanding among the parties.
Even as the talks go on, young people who are always the victim of conflict are never part of the talks, we urge parties to have key representation including women and youth as part of the process that offers them hope not hate!, as young people in a sustainable way, there is need to start programs and initiate platforms that aim at bridging the cultural and religious divides that exist in the East Africa, Great lakes and probably in the world. As young people we need to be a part of the process to cultivate dialogue to address any irrational fear of “the others?” We believe that as individuals open their minds and overcome their preconceptions, they help set in motions of a new paradigm for peaceful coexistence. With this conviction, we strive to create a world filled with hope not hate, one person at a time, where we all have role to play.
Students for Global Democracy Uganda