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Governor’s Forum in Western Bahr el Ghazal Discusses Building Inclusive Peace – South Sudan


DAWIT K. TEDLA With the signing of a peace accord in 2018, new hope was born in conflict-ridden South Sudan.

However, much remains to be done to accelerate the ongoing peace processes.

To this end, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), in collaboration with the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), recently supported a Governor’s Forum for State Authorities in Western Bahr el Ghazal .

The three-day meeting brought together all stakeholders to assess the drivers of conflict and threats against civilians; prioritize service delivery to citizens and develop a statewide action plan to usher in peace and progress.

“Representatives from all political parties, civil society, women, youth delegates and traditional leaders all came together to share experiences, explore synergies and open a collaborative path where we put the needs of the people first. and work as a team, ”said Sara Cleto Rial. , the governor of the state.

Political unity, final security arrangements, good governance, equal access to justice, respect for the rule of law and the achievement of important benchmarks in the implementation of the The revitalized peace accord were the main areas of discussion.

Another important topic is the role of young people in peacebuilding and development.

“Young people are the country’s labor force. A strong economy relies on our skills; but we don’t have the opportunity to participate and voice our concerns, ”said David Lawrence Ambrose, president of the State Youth Union. “Our leaders must take into account the issues facing young people, such as widespread unemployment, build our capacity so that we can contribute to the workforce and include our concerns in the state action plan.” , he added.

The full and equal participation of women in decision-making, governance and the promotion of women’s literacy was another important item on the agenda.

“Even though the state governor is a woman, overall there continues to be a void when it comes to women in leadership. For genuine peace to prevail, we must focus on gender equality and the empowerment of our women, ”said Khamisa William Kornelio, one of the 15 women’s representatives present at the forum.

For his part, Mustapha Tejan-Kella, acting head of the UNMISS field office in Wau, urged the state government to work together to provide much needed services to citizens and to use a consolidated, comprehensive and inclusive approach to develop the state action plan so that no one is left behind.

The state’s action plan will be presented to the National Governors Forum which will take place in the country’s capital, Juba, in the coming days. It will feed into a national strategy document for peace and development.