Note: This op-ed originally appeared in Sudan Tribune and was written by the Enough Project’s Deputy Director of Policy Brian Adeba.
Five months after President Kiir unveiled a “reconstituted” National Dialogue, the steering committee tasked with directing its affairs released a report at the end of October detailing its activities and analysis of the political debacle in South Sudan.
Notable in the activities basket of the steering committee, is the fact that key leaders of the armed opposition have refused to meet it. Riek Machar, leader of the SPLM-IO, Thomas Cirillo, of the National Salvation Front, and Lam Akol, leader of the National Democratic Movement, have all dismissed the National Dialogue as a distraction and declined to be part of the process. Within South Sudan, various political organizations and civic society have called for a rethink of the process, arguing that a conducive atmosphere for holding it is currently not present.
Conceived almost a year ago, the National Dialogue was envisaged as a means to reconcile communities in South Sudan torn apart by the ongoing civil war. Although potentially a noble idea, the major problem that dogged it from the onset was the government’s attempt to use it as a substitute process for a political settlement, and in this manner, eroding its legitimacy among various stakeholders…
Click here to read the full op-ed in Sudan Tribune.