Political leaders call for greater cooperation to implement peace deal in Western Bahr El Ghazal

15 Dec 2021

Political leaders call for greater cooperation to implement peace deal in Western Bahr El Ghazal

Dawit Kahsay Tedla

Political leaders are urging greater cooperation amongst each other, despite their affiliations to different parties, to realize peace and meet the needs of their communities across Western Bahr El Ghazal.

The call came at a two-day forum hosted by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan’s Political Affairs Division to create space for dialogue and enhance trust and confidence between the political parties. Around 60 party members attended alongside observers from the Intergovernmental Authority and Development and Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission.

“Coming together as political parties and discussing issues of common concern to reach a mutual position for same demand is very crucial. This forum created an ample opportunity to do so,” said Louis Pasquale Aleu, United South Sudan African Party (USSAP), Secretary for Mobilization in the state.

“We have been able to sit together and discuss guidelines on how to cooperate and do things together regardless of our party affiliations to meet the needs of our citizens and deliver the expected service,” he added.

He also raised concern about the challenge of achieving full implementation of the agreement, particularly finalizing key benchmarks such as transitional security arrangements.

“Our primary responsibility should be settling the country’s politics and shaping the post-conflict state by working hand-in-hand in the policy-making process and on other different national objectives,” said Anthony Charles Ngberende, SPLM State Assistant Secretary for Political Affairs.

He noted that any agreement needs collective commitment and participation as the parties are all striving to achieve the same goals.  

“It has been a significant achievement already to see all parties represented in the government in South Sudan for the first time.”

The peace agreement includes a requirement for 35 percent representation of women in governance and political structures. Progress has been made it this area but more needs to be done to achieve the target set by the parties.

“We, women, see the Revitalized Agreement as a positive turn of events because it promotes representation of women, giving us access to the political space and effective participation in the peace process,” said Assounta Zakaria, SPLM-IO Secretary for Information.

She called on all women to actively seize the opportunity to actively participate in democratic governance.

The Head of the UNMISS Field Office in Wau, Sam Muhumure, committed to continuing to host political dialogues and recommended that the empowerment of women and youth as well as the re-organization of security forces be topics for future discussion.

“As UNMISS, we stand ready to support you as long as we are involved in dialogue focused on charting the right path for sustained peace in South Sudan,” he said.