Conceptual Reflections on South Sudan National Dialogue, a book by Francis Deng
Deputy Rapporteur Ambassador Francis M. Deng is one of the principal architects of South Sudan National Dialogue, emphasizing careful design before taking action. In addition to being South Sudan’s first ambassador to the United Nations, Ambassador Deng is also a prolific writer. Last month he published “South Sudan National Dialogue: Conceptual Reflections”, a book about the concepts and theories behind National Dialogue as applied to South Sudan.
In this excerpt below, he talks about the implementation of National Dialogue in South Sudan, emphasizing the importance of the revitalization of the 2015 peace agreement.
National Dialogue should be pursued in three interconnected phases.
- Phase one should focus on immediately ending the violence that is devastating the country, which should involve synergy with all other peace initiatives, including the Revitalization of the 2015 peace agreement.
- The second phase should aim at addressing and resolving the inter-communal conflicts that are proliferating throughout the country.
- The third phase should foster a culture of dialogue and discourage the tendency to resort to violence as a means of addressing conflicts. This will also require reinforcing and strengthening traditional authorities to be more effective in maintaining law and order within and between their communities.
The message to the international community should be that we are committed to the same goal of ending the suffering of our people and ending the war that is destroying our country. The question is how to achieve that objective, which is why we should join efforts to enhance our collective capacity. We are in this together.