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S/Sudan: Observer pessimistic about breakthrough on national dialogue

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A South Sudanese observer says that he is not very hopeful of creating a breakthrough at the ongoing national dialogue initiated by President Salva Kiir.Speaking to journalists on Friday, Dr. James Okuk, a renowned political analyst and political science lecturer at University of Juba, said the national dialogue in its current form will not bring about peace and stability in the country.

He further said the acceptability of the national dialogue steering committee set up by President Kiir is questionable. “The start was wrong and those who are administering the dialogue, I mean leaders of the steering committee are not consistent, they don’t speak one thing,” he said.

According to Okuk, the recent IGAD summit that called for the revitalization of the 2015 South Sudan peace accord is the only forum for peace in South Sudan.

“They [IGAD] talked about the revitalization of the peace agreement through a high-level revitalization forum of parties to the peace agreement, so I think the move will save the country, he said.

“The national dialogue will be the second phase, so the revitalization of the peace agreement is the priority. The dialogue will be part of the agreement, and it will be in a deferent form, and not like the way it is now,” he said.

In December 2016, President Kiir, whose wrangling for power with Machar plunged the world’s youngest nation into a brutal conflict, called for national dialogue that aims to accommodate all the country’s political and armed groups’ grievances.

South Sudan has been ravaged by ruinous civil war since 2013. Tens of thousands of people have been killed and over a million displaced from their homes.

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