Joint UNMISS, CEPO workshop on good governance focuses on peace, progress

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Parliamentarians and members of the organized forces in Western Equatoria came together at a workshop facilitated jointly by UNMISS and the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization to put together a roadmap on how they can leave aside their differences and unite to build peace, usher in progress. Photo by Denis Louro Oliver/UNMISS

14 Jun 2022

Joint UNMISS, CEPO workshop on good governance focuses on peace, progress

Denis Louro Oliver

WESTERN EQUATORIA - “By gathering here today, we have addressed many trivial misunderstandings and hate speech. It has made us come together as one, regardless of the political parties we belong to,” said Khamis John Brown, a member of Western Equatoria state’s parliament.

Mr Brown was speaking at the conclusion of a two-day workshop facilitated by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) with civil society partner, Community for Development Organization (CEPO) for members of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity in the state.

Participants included members of the legislative assembly as well as heads of organized forces.

The objective: To discuss ways and means in which these actors can work together in the spirit of compromise to improve the lives of citizens.

“We have disseminated vital information to key state leaders on the provisions contained within the Revitalized Peace Agreement of 2018,” stated Edmond Yakani, Executive Director of CEPO.

“The aim is to ensure parliamentarians and senior uniformed personnel are fully equipped with the knowledge they need to commit themselves to ensuring services and security for their people, as the end of the ongoing transitional period approaches,” he added.

Participants were taken through this important document chapter by chapter and they, in turn, asked the facilitators tough questions.

For Diako Pouline, another member of parliament, the forum has served as a platform for building much-needed unity.

“We have been encouraged to work for the benefit of the people, regardless of our ethnicities or political affiliations. It has inspired me to set up new youth programmes for my constituents, which can be replicated across Western Equatoria, helping heal some of the trauma that young people have gone through in this country,” she stated.

At the end of the two-day discussion, participants signed a communique designed to serve as a roadmap for ushering in peace, progress, and a unified approach to uplifting all communities in Western Equatoria.

Key recommendations include increased partnerships between the state government and development actors; finding a sustainable resolution to the conflict in the greater Tambura region; abstaining from hate speech; as well as prioritizing the needs as well as rights of women, youth, and children. Additionally, upholding the rule of law and using dialogue to resolve political differences were highlighted.

“We have committed to cooperate with each other for the betterment of the communities we serve,” stated Wokila Charles, Speaker of the state parliament,

For her part, Fidelite Nitroranya, the Acting Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Yambio assured participants of the UN Peacekeeping mission’s ongoing support to the cause of durable peace.  

“I am confident that your participation in this event has strengthened your knowledge and provided you with entry points into helping local populations become more resilient and usher in development,” stated Ms. Nitroranya. “UNMISS is your partner in this endeavour and will continue supporting all efforts to fully implement the peace deal.”