Full Text: Communique of the National Dialogue Conference held today



Nov 17, 2020 (Thessherald)–We, the 518 delegates, representing 80 counties of South Sudan, eminent persons, political parties, faith-based institutions, civil society, business communities, professional associations and organizations, representatives of organized forces, women and youth organizations, having dialogued in Juba from the 3rdto the 17thof November 2020 at the National Dialogue National Conference, under the chairmanship of Co-Chair, Hon. Angelo Beda;

Having deliberated on the agenda of the South Sudan National Dialogue National Conference;

Appreciating H.E. President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the Government of South Sudan for initiating the National Dialogue process and providing the political, financial, and material support necessary for its success;

Acutely aware of the divisive and bitter conditions created by the political and ethnic conflicts in the country;

Recognizing the importance of the R-ARCSS as an important step towards ending the political violence country;

Deeply concerned of its slow implementation and persistent incidents of violence across the country;

Calling on the parties to expedite R-ARCSS implementation, especially the unification of forces, formation of state and local governments, and reconstitution of the national parliament;

Appealing to SOMMA and the government and all the parties to the Rome Initiative to negotiate in good faith and to expeditiously reach an Agreement in order to consolidate peace in the country and to prepare for democratic elections;

Cognizant of the hardships facing our people in refuge and displacement camps and desiring their speedy return to their homes;

Aware of the dire and appalling economic conditions in the country and the urgent need to improve these conditions;

Fully recognizing the sheer weight of responsibility placed on the delegates to the National Dialogue National Conference to pull the country together and unite the people of South Sudan;

Inspired and guided by the objectives and principles of the National Dialogue, the Conference reached the following resolutions and recommendations:

On Governance

The Conference,

Adopts a mixed federal system with full political, administrative, and financial powers to the states and restricts federal interference in state affairs;

Resolves to establish 32 plus states to meet the legitimate aspirations of the people of South Sudan;

Decides to share all financial resources between the states and federal government and allocates 20% net revenue share to natural resource producing states;

Endorses a presidential system of government with appropriate limitation to the presidential powers;

Approves two consecutive five-year term limits for the president, starting with the next presidential elections;

Affirms strict adherence to the normative principles of constitutionalism, including the separation of powers among the most three arms of government: the executive, legislature, and the judiciary and further recommends credible independence of the legislature and the judiciary from executive interference;

Disallows concurrent service in the parliament and the executive and recommends that any member of parliament appointed to an executive position must resign from parliament and be replaced by the constituency through by-elections within 60 days;

Restricts appointment of judges by president to only those judges recommended by the Judicial Service Commission;

Reaffirms the transferof power only throughlegitimate, timely, free and fair democratic elections;

Calls upon the government to recalibrate its diplomacy and foreign policy as a reflection of its domestic agenda;

Calls for the establishment of an independent election commission to organize and conduct the next elections

Recognizes the importance of land to the people of South Sudan and declares that land is owned by the communities and shall be managed by various levels of government in accordance with the law;

Demands that the government urgently resolves land disputes between ethnic communities through recognition of boundaries as they stood on January 1, 1956;

Resolves that state and communal boundaries must be managed and demarcated by the national government as they stood on the 1st January 1956;

Decides to criminalize the abduction and trafficking of children and calls for an immediate enforcement or enactment of laws against the practice;

Endorses the results of the Abyei Referendum and calls on the government to ensure speedy and final settlement of the status of Abyei.

On the Economy

The Conference,

  1. Resolves to urge the Government to exert more efforts in stabilizing peace and in restoring macroeconomic stability within the overall framework for sustainable peace, economic growth, and poverty eradication;
  2. Calls for the diversification of the economy by making agriculture the engine of growth and using oil revenues to fuel this engine through investment in roads, telecommunication and electricity;
  3. Recommends to the Government that it adopts a clear economic development policy and strategy;
  4. Resolves to equitably share financial resources between federal and state governments.
  5. Demands that the government and oil companies immediately address environmental, social and health problems created by oil production;
  6. Calls for an urgent enactment of an environmental law that mandates environmental and social impact assessment before any development projects are executed;
  7. Appeals to the government and companies to conduct development activities in line with sustainable development principles so that it does not jeopardize the needs of present and future generations.
  8. Calls for the establishment of an electronic payroll system in the government institutions;
  9. Resolves to urge the Government to respect and ensure the independence of the National Revenue Authority (NRA);
  10. Calls on the Government to modernize gold exploration, mining and processing;
  11. Recommends to the Government to exert efforts to increase local food production for domestic consumption and export to increase supply of hard currency in the country;
  12. Appeals to the government to strengthen social safety-net programs through the establishment of cooperatives with the aim of alleviating the cost of living;
  13. Recommends the empowerment of women and youth through the establishment of microfinance institutions to expand access to credit and promote inclusive growth;
  14. Demands that the Government establish strategic industries to increase the supply of high value goods and services;
  15. Expresses serious concern about pervasive corruption in South Sudan and calls on the government to consider corruption as a national emergency.
  16. Calls for strengthening legal, institutional, and regulatory frameworks to ensure accountability and combat corruption and impunity and therefore demands institutions such as the Judiciary, Legislature, Anti-corruption Commission to be strengthened to investigate allegations of corruption and persecute;
  17. Resolves to demand the establishment of special courts to deal with corruption and money laundering cases;

On Security

The Conference,

  1. Calls for an immediate end to all forms of hostilities in the country and urges all armed groups to end violence and seek peaceful means to address their grievances;
  2. Calls for the Transformation of the Security Sector in South Sudan through creation of a Professional National Army and other organized forces,through recruitment of South Sudanese from all regions and ethnic communities;
  3. Appeals to the government to strengthen military justice system to punish those charged with corruption in the army and organize forces;
  4. Strongly urges the government to improve salaries of all the organized forces; address their social welfare needs; and provide them with counseling and psychosocial support;
  5. Expresses serious concern about the impact of small arms and light weapons in the hands of civilians and strongly recommends comprehensive and simultaneous civilian disarmament across the country that involves the chiefs, youth leaders, politicians and the United Nations in the process and use modern technology for effective disarmament;
  6. Strongly Urges the Government to establish military barracks, provide decent housing, health insurance services, social fund for the care of soldiers’ families, widows and orphans left behind;
  7. Strongly Condemns cattle raiding and related killings and recommends that the government formulates and implements policies against this practice;
  8. Recommends to the government to strengthen military economic corporation to produce food for the army;
  9. Strongly disapproves of violent means for seeking power and mobilization of ethnic communities for the same purpose;
  10. Appeals to the Government to improve and strengthen diplomatic ties with all the neighboring countries, strengthen institutions for immigration control; sensitize communities living along the borders to support its effort to control illegal flow of arms; severely punish those involved in arms trafficking; and ratify the International Treaty on small arms and light weapons control;
  11. Calls on the Government to urgently take control of South Sudan air space to strengthen our sovereignty and security;
  12. Recommends that the government addresses persistent insecurity in the country through the creation ofjobs and improve the agricultural sector to keep youth in gainful employment; stop rewarding rebels with high military ranks and stop rampant integration of militias into national army and other organized forces.

On Social Cohesion

The Conference,

  1. Resolves to urgently call on thegovernment to expedite the enactment of legislation on the establishment of truth, healing and reconciliation commission;
  2. Appeals to the government to urgently undertake repatriation prior to the end of the Transitional Period, provide compensation to those whose homes and properties were destroyed during the war, allocate lands for the returnees and settle land disputes before repatriation
  3. Calls on the cattle herders to follow the traditional consultation mechanism on movement of Cattle in Farming Communities and implement the Presidential Order to remove the cattle from Equatoria
  4. Calls on the government to immediately pass the legislation on the right of people with disabilities;
  5. Strongly urges the government to establish education centers for homeless children, orphans and strongly urges the government to care for the wounded heroes and allocate land for war windows;
  6. Recommends the promotion of Annual Cultural shows for all nationalities to promote national diversity; and to encourage inter-communal dialogues to promote peaceful co-existence among the communities;
  7. Strongly recommends criminalization of negative propaganda and hate Speech;
  8. Appeals to the Government to preserve and promote historical and natural sites, build museum, set up an archeological department to promote archeological studies and reclaim South Sudan’s arte-facts or archival materials in other countries such as the United Kingdom, Egypt, Turkey and the Sudan; and,

On Implementation and Follow-Up Mechanism

The Conference;

  1. Resolves to establish a High-level Monitoring and Evaluation Committee that shall report to the president and the parliament on the status of the implementation of the National Dialogue Resolutions.

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