Members of the steering committee of the National Dialogue have today been sworn in at Freedom Hall in Juba.
The one hundred and eleven members took the oath before President Salva Kiir.
The event which marks the beginning of the process that will set the agenda of the National Dialogue was attended by President Yoweri Museveni and members of the diplomatic corp.
Last week, the swearing in ceremony was postponed due to the absence of some members of the committee.
Two former government officials, Kosti Manibe and Rebecca Nyandeng who were appointed to the committee turned down the appointment citing insincerity issues of the process.
However, on Thursday President Salva Kiir announced that the swearing in would proceed with the available members.
Today [Monday], the oath of the committee members was administered by the Acting Chief Justice, Gatwech Lul.
Addressing the gathering, the newly sworn in co-chair of the Steering Committee, Abel Alier said the process provides a critical foundation for a viable state.
“I would like to assure all the people of South Sudan that my team with given political capital from the leadership, ensure inclusivity, integrity and transparency of the National Dialogue process,” Abel said.
He added that they will apply the top-down and bottom-up approach in which communities will elect their delegates [representatives] and send them to state congresses, before they can participate in the regional dialogue conferences.
“We intend – at the outset –to consult with all the major stakeholders inside and outside the country, this consultation will focus on two things; the agenda and the process of the National Dialogue process, by organizing the national dialogue process around a constituency based,” he said.
Meanwhile, there is heavy presence of security forces along the streets and major road junctions this morning in Juba ahead of the event.
The police spokesperson, Brig. Daniel Justin Justin says the deployed security personnel are to protect the dignitaries who are attending the ceremony.
“When there is a big function like this, we come out to make sure that security arrangement especially to manage the traffic and people moving up and down, they have to be secured so that they do their job freely,” Brig. Justin said.
The swearing in of the members and the launch of the national dialogue was attended by representatives of the African Union and IGAD.
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