The Faith-based Institutions Conference facilitated by the National Dialogue Leadership on 18th & 19th November 2019.Press Release
Faith matters to people, and as such matters to peace and reconciliation of a nation. In many parts of the world, religious leaders and faith-based institutions are influential in both the political and social domains and have a tremendous following in society. Their presence in local communities, coupled with their ability to deliver critical services, allow them to mobilize grassroots support, earn the trust of marginalized or vulnerable groups and influence cultural norms – all of which make them vital stakeholders in a peace process like the National Dialogue. With their involvement in local communities and their standing as moral leaders, many faith-based institutions, as well as religious leaders, command the respect of both local and national authorities, which can make them valuable peace mediators in tense environments. Appreciating this, the Leadership of the National Dialogue facilitated the Faith-based Institutions Conference to allow the religious leaders of South Sudan to add their voice to the ongoing National Dialogue of South Sudan.
Determined to restore peace and stability in the country through the unity of the people; Inspired and guided by the objectives and principles of the National Dialogue, and recognizing the complementarity between the National Dialogue and the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS); The representatives of the business community in South Sudan met at Freedom Hall in Juba from the 18th to the 19th of November 2019, under the auspices of the National Dialogue Steering Committee, chaired by Hon. Angelo Beda to add their voice to the whole process.
The religious leaders applauded the people of South Sudan for having spoken frankly and bravely about issues affecting the country through the grassroots consultations and the regional conferences. They also expressed their gratitude to the President of the Republic, H.E. Salva Kiir Mayardit for initiating the National Dialogue process and providing the resources needed for this important national endeavor; and also congratulated the Co-chairs, H.E. Abel Alier and Hon. Angelo Beda, the entire Leadership and membership of the Steering Committee, and the Secretariat for what is truly a remarkable achievement in conducting a successful consultation from the grassroots to the regional conferences, this is unlike any other in the history of our country.
The religious leaders declared their support to the National Dialogue process as an inclusive grassroots peace process that holds the key to national healing and reconciliation in South Sudan and committed to abide by and take part in the implementation of the Final Resolutions and Recommendations of the National Dialogue Conference. Furthermore, they called for the immediate establishment of the Commission for Truth, Healing and Reconciliation provided for in the R-ARCSS, which should be headed and managed by religious leaders. They also called upon the government to restore peace and security in the country urgently and give the church and the mosque a space to do their work of reconciling the people of South Sudan at the grassroots as part of the National Healing process.