Easter Equatoria State, News

Eastern Equatoria civil society divided over UNMISS activity boycott

By: Ijoo Bosco


A section of civil society organizations in eastern Equatoria state have differed idea on proposal to boycott United Nations Mission in South Sudan, Torit office events.

The state civil society Network, chairperson, Onen Charles Lokwaruk had accused (UNMISS) Torit field office and the Relief and Rehabilitation commission (RRC) of causing conflict within the civil society leadership and its members.

Lokwaruk also threatened that civil society organizations would boycott UNMISS events in the state.

However, over forty civil society organizations have signed a condemnation letter against the claims cited by their leader.

Rejecting and condemning the position of their chairperson, the Pro-UNMISS civil society Organizations have written to express their displeasure.

They termed the accusations as baseless and intended to create divisions among members of civil society organizations.

According to the CSOs, the unfortunate actions of their leaders has already created uncomfortable and unconducive working environment for networking and building strong coalition, in eastern Equatoria state.

“We noted with concern that such negative leadership portrayed by the chairperson has already fragmented the civil society in the state as well as weakened relationship with the international non-governmental organization, UN agencies, government and broken coordination mechanism at the grassroots levels” the press statement reads in part.

Contrary to the chairperson’s directives on boycotting any UNMISS activities in the states including SRSG meetings at least three quarters of CSOs participated in a meeting on enhancing civil societies participation in the electoral and political processes conducted recently at UNMISS conference hall in Torit.

The civil society organizations noted that, the chairperson’s action has undermined the guiding principles stipulated in the constitution of the civil society organization network of Eastern Equatoria state.

“Transparency, professionalism, constitutionalism, integrity, inclusivity and accountability, are the guiding principals for CSOs,” they stated.

The organizations also stressed that, they have already convened an emergency meeting to deliberate on way forward to resolve the confusions within the network.

The statements also added that, they are committed to working with all partners to bridge the working relationships with the UNMISS, UN agencies, government and other stakeholders in the state.

They also said that, all the network members will continue to carry out wider consultations until it comes up with a solid and appropriate decision to resolves the administrative glitch once and for all.

Lokwaruk said that despite many attempts to address the issues, the working relationship between the UNMISS and the Civil society in the state is not completely smooth.





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