National Dialogue Prepares Consultative Visits to Sudan and Ethiopia
Juba – National Dialogue Sub-committee on Refugees and International Outreach is due soon in Sudan and Ethiopia to hear refugees’ views about how to restore stability to the country. Headed by Hon. Deng Dau Malek, the Outreach team will embark on a weeklong travel to Sudan, starting late next week.
Plans are underway for the committee to reach out to about six hundred South Sudanese living in Khartoum and surrounding cities. The target groups to be contacted are faith-based, women, youth, people with disabilities and politicians.
The consultative events are designed “to make National Dialogue real [to the communities] so that the South Sudanese that are there are given a chance to express themselves,” Hon. Deng said. The Sub-committee on Refugees and International Outreach recently conducted successful tours in East Africa, mainly in Uganda and Kenya.
In anticipation of a visit to Ethiopia in early March, Hon. Deng Dau and members of his committee met today with the Ambassador of the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, H.E Fesseha Shawel Gebre, in the Ethiopian Embassy in Juba. The committee asked for Ethiopia to smoothen their paths in Ethiopia where consultative events would be held in Addis Ababa and Gambella.
Despite declaration of the State of Emergency after the Ethiopian Prime Minister resigned last week, Amb. Fesseha assured the committee that the situation in his country is ‘not threatening’ and pledged his country’s maximum cooperation with the National Dialogue team once on the ground. He stressed the importance of the National Dialogue as a legitimate vehicle to “heal the wounds and reconcile communities.” H.E Fesseha supports the homegrown initiative as a South Sudanese solution to its problems and encourages those opposed to it to seize the opportunity that it accords. “Not talking is not the solution,” he said.