The peace process for South Sudan in Ethiopia has reached a deadlock again, after tough discussions about the mandate of a transitional government and the division of the highest posts. In a joint call the local civil society organisations urge various participants in the peace process to listen to the voice of South Sudanese civilians. Moreover, serious conditions must also be formulated for the transitional government to be formed.
PAX, together with the Denis Hurley Peace Institute, recently organised a workshop for South Sudanese civil society organisations. The participants met in Juba to discuss the peace process. They are very concerned about the slow progress in the negotiations, where the focus is on division of power instead of on drawing up a political reform agenda. In a joint statement the organisations came up with recommendations for the peace negotiators in Ethiopia, the government of South Sudan and the international community.
The organisations ask all participants in the peace process to guarantee that the voice of citizens is heard. They should also communicate better about the progress of the peace process. The main objective in the negotiations about a ‘Transitional Government of National Unity’ should be to create a climate in which constitutional reform, national dialogue and preparing for fair elections are discussed. At present, the discussions are mainly about which party will be given certain political posts.
The call to the current government is to stop repression on public debate, so that the civilians and social organisations can actually have their voice heard. The real work in South Sudan will start when the peace process leads to an agreement. The international community should continue to offer support in this case, in particular with the appointment and functioning of the transitional government.
Read the statement of the South Sudanese civil society organisations.