South Sudan National Dialogue Holds Torit Consultations
While high-level HLRF peace talks were held in faraway Addis Ababa, the National Dialogue subcommittee for the Eastern Equatoria region convened more grassroots consultation forums deep in the heart of South Sudan. Under an English and Arabic language banner reading “Peace, reconciliation, healing / A homegrown initiative of people to people consultation / Let your voice be heard”, Honorable Nertisio Loloki Monir, the subcommittee chairman, convened Eastern Equatorians in a local church in Torit, the former capital of the Eastern Equatoria state.
The consultation meetings included representatives from each prominent youth and women’s group in Torit, along with representatives from church groups. Chairperson Monir called on all stakeholders to “take this opportunity that the president has given the people of the country to express their views with freely without fear”. Chairperson Monir added that this was the best way to know the root causes of the problems facing the country. He said that the citizens didn’t have to fear arrest or reprisal for sharing their views, even views that expressed opposition to the government. For, as he pointed out, the National Dialogue is managed not by the government, which has recused itself as National Dialogue patron, but by the National Dialogue Steering Committee, headed by co-chairs Hon. Angelo Beda and his excellency, Abel Alier.
We share with you photographs from the opening day of the consultations, and look forward to sharing more updates from Eastern Equatoria as they become available.
In the pursuit of inclusivity, the National Dialogue has been careful to ensure that South Sudanese more comfortable with the widespread Juba Arabic language were able to participate in proceedings. Below is a photograph of the banner explaining the mission of the National Dialogue. Arabic speakers from Torit were able to contribute their viewpoints in that language.