Only homegrown solutions can bring about lasting peace in South Sudan, the country’s president said, endorsing resolutions adopted at a national dialogue that concluded in the capital Juba on Tuesday.
Rather than external solutions and foreign interference, plans drawn up at the national dialogue can prove crucial to end the conflict and restore peace and stability, President Salva Kiir Mayardit said.
“First, we need to assess our tendency to readily accept external models that ignore our history. We have been falsely assured that what has worked for others will work for us,” he said at the end of the national dialogue, which was launched in May 2017.
“Secondly, we also need to examine our attitudes towards our laws and institutions since 2005.”
The Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition (SPLM-IO), the main opposition group led by Riek Machar, was not part of the dialogue, arguing that the 2018 revitalized peace agreement offers its own conflict resolution mechanisms.
Kiir, however, stressed that the process was inclusive and legitimate.
“There is no doubt that the outcome of the national dialogue represents the views of a broad section of our society. This means there is no question about the legitimacy of this process,” he said.
Among the recommendations approved in the dialogue is restoring the 32 states which were created in 2015 with the aim of devolving power to local communities.
The SPLM-IO had opposed the plan for 32 states in South Sudan and forced the government to implement the current model of 10 states earlier this year.
The national dialogue has also backed a mixed federal system of governance, calling for full political, administrative, and financial powers to the states in a bid to restrict federal interference.
“The revitalized peace agreement is not just an integral part of our constitution; it is, in essence, our fundamental law. All other processes, including the national dialogue, must ultimately be reconciled with it,” the president said.