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Political parties demand non-military interference in their affairs

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Leaders of different political parties in the country have called for demilitarization of political parties to avoid military interference in politics.

On Tuesday, representatives of over 60 political parties met in the capital Juba to discuss the creation of monthly political party’s dialogue platform.

The dialogue intends to create a pathway to nurture peace and stability in South Sudan.

The 3-day consultative roundtable discussion organized by the Ministry of peace building is also expected to improve working relationship among different political parties in South Sudan.

Some of the participants who spoke to Eye Radio yesterday say they are being restricted when attempt to conduct activities.

“What we want is we must delink the security apparatus from political organization because we have militarized our politics and we have politicized our military.”

“So the army must be an army for the people and allow the politicians to compete in ideas, convince the people but if one political party has a backup of the army, there is no political space,” Dharuai Mabor, the leader of Party of National Unity told Eye Radio on Tuesday.

The three day dialogue is expected to improve coordination and communication mechanisms among different political parties and ensure political parties meet monthly to discuss the progress of their activities in nurturing peace in the country.

Meanwhile Paulino Lukudu, Leader of United South Sudan party or USSP agrees.

Lukudu said “Now we have over 50 political parties that are not registered but some of them are having military wing.”

“So how can we go from militarized politics to a civilized politics where democracy will be exercised without nobody standing behind with the gun?” He added.   

Theresa Sirisio, leader of Sudan Africa National Union urged the political parties to work together.

“There is no enough civic space to be honest, no political space but we as the political parties should cooperate and coordinate effort to see to it that any political party is reflected in different institutions.” She said.

In 2020, the Minister of Defense however advised military trainees to distance from politics to ensure smooth implementation of the revitalized peace agreement.

According to the Ministry of Peace building, the 3-day roundtable discussion will encourage political parties to galvanize efforts in and focus on national agenda for the transformation of South Sudan.

This according to Pia Phillip the Undersecretary of the Ministry of Peace Building can be achieved if the political parties build trust and confidence amongst themselves.

“Peace among the political parties is peace to the people of South Sudan. Peace and coexistence and trust building, confidence building among the political parties is peace for the people of South Sudan.”

We want say you can still discuss and disagree but you can still have dialogue as a means not resorting to violent conflict, to tribal conflict.”

“So when political parties talk among themselves and put the interest of their people first. So we want to encourage our political parties that let them coexist.” Phillip told Eye Radio at the ongoing political dialogue roundtable discussion in Juba.

According to the Political parties Council, there are over 60 political parties of which only 14 are registered.

James Akol Zakayo, the Secretary General of Political Parties Council saidI think dialogue is a key to conflict resolution and if the parties have chosen to dialogue I think that is a right path.”

We will encourage them to dialogue because I know that all the sixty- two parties will at some point come to merging and acquisition. So if there is no dialogue the process of merging and acquisition or union of parties won’t be that easy so they need to create that from now.”
Akol State.

However, the Outgoing General Overseer of Pentecostal Church Bishop Dr. Isaiah Dau said “I think they should relate well that is number one, as politic parties two they the put the interest of the people of South Sudan first not their own interest.”

“They need to know that if they lock the boat they are also in the board. So they have to work together to humble themselves and hold their hands together and work for permanent peace in the country and create a culture of peace rather than that of war.”

“If you have anything to say don’t said with a bullet say it with a word say it with a dialogue’’

During the three day roundtable, participants are expected to deliberate on the roles and responsibilities of political parties in ensuring peace, nation building and democracy in South Sudan.

Others include political parties legal framework, registration and reform process as a pathway to peace building in South Sudan.

The participants will also get a highlight on the peace implementation and how they can improve working relations between parties to the R-ARCSS.    

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