Central Equatoria State, News

Civil-military dialogue calls for speedy conclusion of Rome talks

BY William Madouk

A civil-military dialogue in Morobo County of Central Equatoria State ends with calls for a speedy conclusion of the Rome peace talks between the government and holdout opposition groups.

Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) organized the dialogue, in the wake of a soaring relationship, characterized by looting of properties and harassment of civilians.

Over 70 leaders, including women, youth, local government officials, religious and the army attended the dialogue.

CEPO’s Project Officer for the Greater Yei, Malish John Scopas, said the dialogue aimed at promoting sustainable security, peace, and development.

He said only manifests through creation of peaceful and conducive environment for returnees and internally displaced persons to rebuild their lives.

“The civil-military dialogue aimed at creating a problem-solving mechanism to tackle civil-military issues in a peaceful, collegial, and collateral manner,” he said.

Malish also cited calls for the urgent conclusion of the Rome peace talks between the government and opposition groups.

Ending all forms of violence, strengthening education and health systems, and compensating civilians who lost properties during the war, are some of the resolutions that emerged at the end of the dialogue.

Bishop of Panyana Diocese, Rt. Rev. Seme Nigo, said he was optimistic about improvements in the relationship between civilians and the military in the county.

He called for an end to the Rome talks mediated by the Community of Sant’Egidio, saying peace cannot come from outside the country, but from within.

“I call upon the non-signatories to the peace agreement to reach consensus with the government so that our people in neighboring countries can return to their homes,” Bishop Nigo said.

Ngor Apiet, the area commander who spoke on behalf of the military, described the relationship between the SSPDF and the civilians as cordial and peaceful.

He urged an end to all forms of sexual and gender-based violence in the county.

Last year, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) documented 52 conflict-related sexual violence cases committed by government security forces, an unknown armed group, as well as community-based militias.

The civil-military dialogue was organized under the Reconciliation, Stabilization, and Resilience in South Sudan project, designed to help communities in Yei, Lainya, Morobo, and Kajo-Keji reconcile and end violence.

It also aims at bringing stability where people live and create new incentives to sustain peaceful coexistence.

The project is led by the International Organization for Migration (IOM) with support from UNMISS, CEPO, the Support for Peace and Education Development Programme, Finn Church Aid, and the Whitaker Peace and Development Initiative.

The event was organized under the theme “Let us work together to promote peace, social cohesion, and peaceful coexistence between the military and civilians in Gulumbi Payam as well as Morobo County.”

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