Grassroot Consultative Meetings – Eastern Equatoria Sub-Region Report
The National Dialogue for Eastern Equatoria Sub-Region was officially launched in Torit on December 19, 2017. The launching event held at Freedom Square was well received and widely attended by government officials from the state, counties, locals as well as the general population and non-governmental organizations. The event marked the beginning of the grassroots consultations for National Dialogue in Eastern Equatoria region.
It is also significant to note that this event followed a consultative meeting that took place in Juba weeks prior to the official launching in Torit. Attended by over 700 stakeholders, the Juba event was held in response to the demands by the citizens of Eastern Equatoria State who reside in Juba. This group made a request to be roped into the dialogue process and to be heard, irrespective of their place of residence. Hence the consultations with this group of stakeholders was convened in the spirit of inclusivity and active participation.
Since Kapoeta is also a state—one of 18 states created by the president—, the Steering Committee members agreed that a separate official launching of grassroots consultations should take place there as well to boost participations and morale of the population. Accordingly, the National Dialogue consultation process was officially launched at the freedom square in Kapoeta, the capital of Kapoeta State, on January 2, 2018. Just like in Torit, the event was well attended and colorful as well. The launching was concluded with traditional dances, which lasted throughout the night. The sounds of drums continued to be heard for days in both Torit and Kapoeta following the launches. These sounds of drums signify peace and sense of security brought about by the National Dialogue process.