The JMEC chairperson, former President, Festus Mogae, has called on all South Sudanese leaders and stakeholders to come to the table in search of a sustainable political solution, to renounce violence and demonstrate political will to compromise and accommodate one another.
Mogae was speaking yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia’s capital, during the opening of the High Level Revitalisation Forum. “At every level of society, from the village, to the community, the county, the State and the nation, dialogue and reconciliation must begin in earnest. You must find within you a desire to set aside the gun and settle your differences through dialogue and compromise,” he said.
“My heart bleeds for the suffering and trauma that results, especially and particularly amongst the women and children of South Sudan”.
The chairperson, quoting Dr Martin Luther King, said, “Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that. Hate multiplies hate, violence multiplies violence, and toughness multiplies toughness in a descending spiral of destruction. The chain reaction of hate and evil must be broken, or we shall be plunged into the dark abyss of annihilation.”
Expressing optimism for the Forum, Mogae said that though the Peace Agreement can recover from the turmoil of the past 18 months, there is need to first take stock of the current situation, review progress to date and identify the key challenges that restrain comprehensive implementation of the Agreement.
“Of particular note, we must address the violations of the Permanent Ceasefire, lack of accountability for spoilers and violators, slippage in the implementation timelines, a lack of dedicated funding to the implementation of the Peace Agreement, and the need for inclusive governance arrangements” He added.
“In truth, the Peace Agreement signed in 2015, has never been implemented to the letter. Every institution that has been created, every appointment made, every policy enacted, has gradually drifted further and further from the provisions set out in the signed document” he said.
Addressing South Sudanese leaders, President Mogae said, “Each and every one of you has a duty to the people of South Sudan. Not just YOUR people, but ALL the people”.