WAU – A three-day governors’ forum concluded in South Sudan’s Western Bahr el Ghazal state with calls for inclusive peace building.
Organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) and Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), the gathering brought together all stakeholders to assess drivers of conflict and threats to civilians; prioritize service delivery for citizens and map out an action plan to usher in peace and progress.
With the signing of the revitalized peace agreement in September 2018, new hope was born in conflict-ridden South Sudan. Until now, however, much remains to be done to increase momentum in ongoing peace processes in South Sudan.
“Representatives from all political parties, civil society, women, youth delegates and traditional leaders all came together to share their experiences, explore synergies and pave a collaborative way forward where we put people’s needs first and work as one team,” Sara Cleto Rial, the state governor remarked.
During the forum, representatives from all political parties, civil society, women, youth delegates and traditional leaders all came together to share experiences.
Political unity, final security arrangements, good governance, equal access to justice, upholding the rule of law and achieving important benchmarks in implementing the Revitalized Peace Agreement were key areas of discussions.
Also discussed were the important roles the youth play in developing societies.
“Youth are the workforce of the country. A strong economy hinges upon our skills; but we are not given a chance to participate and to voice our concerns,” said David Lawrence Ambrose, the chairman of the state youth union.
“Our leaders must consider the issues faced by young people such as widespread unemployment, build our capacities so that we can contribute to the workforce and include our concerns in the state’s Action Plan,” he added.
Full and equal participation of women in decision-making, governance and promoting women’s literacy was another important agenda point at the forum.
“Even though the state governor is a woman, overall, there continues to be a vacuum when it comes to women in leadership. For true peace to prevail, we must focus on gender equality and empowering our women,” explained Khamisa William Kornelio, one of 15 women’s representatives at the three-day forum.
For his part, Mustapha Tejan-Kella, Acting Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Wau, urged the state government to work together to provide much-needed services to citizens and use a consolidated, comprehensive and inclusive approach to develop the state’s Action Plan so that no one is left behind.
The state’s Action Plan will be presented at the national-level Governor’s Forum that will take place in the South Sudanese capital, Juba in the days ahead. It will feed into a national strategy document for peace and development.
Sudans Post is an independent, young, and grass roots news media organization aimed at providing readers with an alternate depiction of events that occur on Sudan, South Sudan and East Africa, and to establish an engaging social platform for readers to discover and discuss the various issues that impact the two countries and the region.