Actions and Detail Panel
SOUTH SUDAN: Reconciliation and Rebuilding, prospects for an inclusive dial...
Tue 28 March 2017, 17:00 – 19:30 BST
In his first public presentation since his appointment as the adviser to the most reverend Archbishop Welby on Anglican Communion, the South Sudanese Episcopal Bishop, the right reverend Bishop Anthony Poggo, will deliver a keynote address on reconciliation, followed by a panel discussion.
The event will examine South Sudan government’s, recently instituted National Dialogue Process and seek to understand how an inclusive and effective process can be achieved under the current political climate. In addition, the discussion will aim to brainstorm and develop strategic ideas on how to maximise on the South Sudanese professional skills and expertise to bring about a community-driven solution. Speakers will also deliberate on the role of marginalised groups and prospects for an inclusive process.
PANELISTS: The right Reverend Bishop Anthony Poggo, Chris Trott (Special Representative for Sudan and South Sudan), Peter Biar (Founder and Director of the Center for Strategic Analyses and Research), Sarah Pickwick (Senior Conflict Adviser at World Vision UK) and Dr Pamela Lomoro (Ghidam Committee)
South Sudan, separated from Sudan in July 2011 after almost 5 decades of civil war, however, was drawn into a devastating new conflict in December 2013. The warring parties periodically committed themselves to a January 2014 cessation of hostilities deal but repeatedly violated it.
The fighting continued unabated for more than 20 months while regional mediators, under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD, an East African regional entity), scrambled peace negotiations.
In May 2014, they agreed to form a transitional government but failed to agree on its composition and responsibilities. After missing multiple deadlines set by regional leaders to sign a deal, and under threat of international sanctions, including a proposed arms embargo, the warring parties reached an agreement in August 2015. In October 2015, President Kiir issued a decree, dividing the country’s 10 states into 28, threatening the agreement. Finally, a new Transitional Government of National Unity (TGNU) was constituted in late April 2016, six months behind schedule.
On July 7th 2016, tensions escalated, which led to renewed fighting. An attempt of a ceasefire on the evening of July 11 failed to hold. At present, the country is still in turmoil, with increasing violence, unprecedented levels of civilian displacement, economic collapse and a famine threatening to engulf an already devastated country. The UN declared famine in two counties of South Sudan in February 2017. It predicted 47% of the population (5.5 million people) is expected to be severely food insecure by July.
On December 14th 2016, the president made a call for a national dialogue for forgiveness, to which he is patron and over seer.
On the 2nd March 2017, the president made a statement on state radio & TV, 10th March, will be a national day of prayers.
Moving forward on the call for ‘national dialogue’ and ‘day of prayers’ the church’s role, as mediator and peace maker is well acknowledged. The New Sudan council of churches (NSCC), played a significant role in peacebuilding during the civil war, both at the national and local level, including directly mediating reunification through ‘the people-to-people peace process’ and campaigned strongly to secure the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement.
Local churches are often the only indigenous non-governmental actors present in many localities and have played significant roles in peacebuilding. With that in mind, it is fitting to revisit church contributions and perhaps remodel invaluable lessons to add value.