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Governors must ‘walk the talk’ on forum resolutions, says political analyst

Author: Alhadi Hawari | Published: Tuesday, December 5, 2023

President Salva Kiir, Vice Presidents and State Governors attend the 5th Governors Forum. | Photo: PPU.

A political analyst has suggested the need for timelines for resolutions of the governor’s forum, citing the lack of implementation of the previous resolutions.

The Office of the President in partnership organized the 7th governors’ forum last week.

This year’s discussions focused on fostering national cohesion to put the country on the path to a peaceful transition for democratic governance.

At the opening of the 6-day forum, President Salva Kiir tasked the governors to find mechanisms to end conflict between state executives and the legislatures.

He warned the governors against dismissing and suspending the subordinates over political and personal differences, saying they had no right to do so.

The head of state encouraged parties to the peace agreement to cooperate for the country’s transition to a politically and economically stable democracy.

Moreover, President Kiir called on the peace parties to refrain from engaging in activities that would destroy South Sudan and harm the citizens – while informing the Governors’ forum that anybody who wants to become a president has the right to organize his party and contest peacefully without violence in the 2024 elections.

On Sunday, the governors adopted 32 resolutions and expressed support for the conduct of general elections next year while calling on the unity government to empower electoral institutions to execute their mandate.

They recommended full implementation of the peace agreement, effecting the 400% salary increment, and conduct of regular meetings between state and chief administrative area governments, and the national line ministries.

Others are availing of funds to the National Peace Building Ministry to conduct peace dialogues across the country, and development of sports in the state counties, among others.

Dr Jacob Dut Chol Riak is an assistant lecturer of political science at the University of Juba and an expert on regional integration.

He says South Sudan is very good at getting resolutions out, but not very good at following them out, as only 10% of the previous resolutions of the 6th governor’s forum were implemented.

Dr. Dut says that the resolutions should not only be on paper without a worked-out matrix of implementation.

“We had the governor’s forum, it was the 7th governor’s forum in the country. This is the annual event that has been done every year, and this year resolutions have been diversifying from security, economics, institutions governing, environment and agriculture, and so on and forth,” Dr Dut said.

“The tricky part of this governors forum which is conducted every year and when you come to the implementation of the resolutions, you just see barely anything they implemented,” he said.

“One of the striking resolutions was to ensure that the parties of the agreement have to work together. But if you review that one, you only get 10% has been implemented, so this is the key challenge to us South Sudan,” he added.

“We are very good at getting resolutions out, but we are not very good at following them out, these resolutions should not be resolutions as such, they can be resolutions and work out as a matrix.”

The Governor’s Forum is an annual event organized since 2006 by the Office of the President with support from UNDP and other partners on policies that touch on the humanitarian, peace and development nexus.

The Forum is the highest policy platform that brings together policy actors to South Sudan’s capital Juba to deliberate on a wide range of policy issues around governance and democratic principles.

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