South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said on Tuesday that only homegrown solutions through dialogue will bring peace and stability to the youngest nation after he endorsed peace resolutions adopted at the just concluded national dialogue in the capital.
Kiir disclosed that contrary to external solutions and interference, the 53 resolutions endorsed by peace delegates at the concluded dialogue are crucial to ending conflict and restore the country to peace and stability.
“There is no doubt that the outcome of the national dialogue represents the views of our broad section of society, this means there is no question about the legitimacy of this process,” Kiir told delegates in Juba.
The national dialogue was launched in May 2017 aimed at bringing peace, unity and reconciliation.
The main-opposition group Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-In Opposition (SPLM-IO) led by Riek Machar refused to participate in the dialogue, arguing that implementing the 2018 revitalized peace agreement offers permanent mechanisms to resolve the conflict.
The dialogue recommended to return the country to the former 32 states that were decreed in 2015 on the pretext of devolving power to communities.
The SPLM-IO opposed the 32 states forcing the government to revert to the current 10 states.
This decision by president Kiir led the opposition to join the transitional unity government in February.
“First we need to assess ourselves, we need to assess our tendency to readily accept external models that ignore our history,” said Kiir.
“Secondly, we also need to examine our attitudes towards our laws, and institutions since 2005, we have been falsely assured that templates of automatic experience of what has worked for others will work for us,” he added.
The national dialogue also called for the establishment of a mixed federal system of governance with full political, administrative, and financial powers to the states in a bid to restrict federal interference in state affairs.
“The revitalized peace agreement is not mainly an integral part of our constitution; it is in this essence our fundamental law itself and all other processes, including the national dialogue must ultimately be reconciled with it,” said Kiir.
The dialogue endorsed a presidential system of government that limits the president to two consecutive five-year term limits starting with the next presidential elections scheduled for 2022, after the end of the three-year transitional period.
It also urged the government to urgently resolve land disputes between ethnic communities through recognition of boundaries as they stood on January 1, 1956.
Kiir revealed that these resolutions must be harmonized within the upcoming permanent constitution making process provided for in the 2018 revitalized peace agreement.
South Sudan descended into conflict in December 2013, after a disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his deputy Riek Machar caused a split in the army leading to fighting between soldiers loyal to their respective leader.
The two leaders are yet to fully implement the 2018 revitalized peace agreement they signed in Ethiopia as they have not concluded training and unification of armed forces.