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Media urged to play positive role in the peace process

JMEC Chief of Staff, Amb. Berhanu Kebede speaking during a workshop in Juba - Photo by Adow Mohamed/August 16, 2018

The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission has called on the South Sudan media to be part of the solution in the country’s quest for durable peace.

JMEC Chief of Staff, Ambassador Berhanu Kebede was addressing a workshop that targeted members of South Sudan media on Thursday.

“We urge you to promote cohesion; build brotherhood and good neighborliness. JMEC wants you to be part of the solution, not part of the problem and above all, hold the signatories of these Agreements accountable.”

JMEC’s Chief of Staff urged the media to remind the Parties that South Sudan and indeed the world are watching.

“Violators of the signed agreements must be known and exposed. Only then will the trust of the people in the political leaders be regained and true inclusivity achieved,” he added.

He said media coverage of the conflict and the peace process in the various media platforms in the country “could be described as double-edged”

“History shows the media can fuel wars and turn communities against each other. Equally, the media can be agents of peace and reconciliation, counter hate speech, fight impunity and uphold the supremacy of the law,” he said.

He said it is the commission’s “earnest hope that peace will be restored fully to South Sudan and that the fully revitalized Peace Agreement will be comprehensively implemented by the Parties.”

“We at JMEC remain optimistic that at this point in time that parties to the conflict will demonstrate absolute determination and political commitment to bring lasting peace to their motherland, South Sudan and work relentlessly for the peaceful integration of divided communities,” he noted.

“Following the signing of the revitalized agreement, the millions of internally displaced South Sudanese and refugees will voluntarily return to their homes and fully participate in the reconstruction of their country.”

Amb. Kebede further urged the government and the opposition “to keep the momentum of constructive political engagement that we have so far witnessed during the HLRF process and to bring about lasting peace to South Sudan.”

“This window of opportunity, which is pivotal to bring South Sudan out of the conflict, should not be wasted,” he said.

meanwhile, Amb. Kebede said JMEC is optimistic that the parties in Khartoum will demonstrate determination and political commitment to end the conflict in the country.

The parties are currently in the Sudanese capital, developing implementation matrix of the recently signed agreements on governance and security.

Amb. Kebede said they have noted much progress in the peace process.

He said now the parties have to commit themselves to bring lasting peace to the country. Amb. Kebede was speaking on Thursday at the opening of a workshop on the peace process.

“We at JMEC remain optimistic that at this point in time, the parties to the conflict will demonstrate absolute determination and political commitment to bring lasting peace to their motherland, South Sudan and work relentlessly to the peaceful reintegration of divided communities.”

The workshop which ends on Friday is on the peace process and writing reconciliation stories. It is being attended by hundreds of journalists, civil society, women’s groups, among others.