Juba, 18 November 2019—More than 50 transitional national legislative assembly members gathered improved their understanding of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS) and their role during the pre-transitional and transitional phases of the process, during a two-day workshop in Juba from 14-15 November.
“Let us put our differences aside, forgive each other, reconcile and learn to build tolerance amongst us. This is the only way we will see the peace agreement come to life,” said Hon. Antony Lino Makana, Speaker of National Legislative Assembly, in his opening remarks. He emphasized the need for coordination and knowledge-sharing of the peace agreement as one avenue to build trust, confidence and active participation to ensure no one is left behind during the transitional phase.
Aligned with the recently agreed 100-day extension to the pre-transitional period, the parliamentarians are responsible for sensitizing their respective constituencies on the peace process and preparing an amendment that embeds the R-ARCSS into the national constitution, as well as to review other laws in alignment to the agreement.
In addition to the Honourable Speaker, the Chairperson of the Peace and Reconciliation Committee Hon. Amelia Aluel; Chairperson of the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission Hon. Chuol Rambang Luoth; and National Pre-Transitional Committee Member Hon. Gabriel Changson also presided over the workshop.
The training was organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), in close collaboration with the Parliamentary Committee on Peace and Reconciliation and supported by the Government of Sweden.
“The peace agreement is a child that needs to be raised by everybody. An important role of the legislative assembly is to embed the peace agreement into the constitution,” said UNDP’s Programme Specialist for Peace and Governance Judy Wakahiu.
Chief of Staff Strategy of R-JMEC Dr. Thomson Fountaine and political expert of IGAD Dr. Phillip Arther Mwaniki facilitated the sessions.
“Parliamentarians have an important role to ensure the peace agreement is implemented effectively,” said Dr. Thomson Fountaine. Noting that the citizens are optimistic about the R-ARCSS and are expecting political leaders to respect the agreement -- translating it to real peace in the country.
The two-days’ workshop made use of a mixture of input-based sessions to refresh the parliamentarian’s knowledge as well as familiarize them with the structuring of R-ARCSS processes. The participants engaged with each other to develop a common understanding of the agreement and ideated on innovative ways to relay the messages to their communities.
“As parliamentarians, we need to ensure we hold each one of us accountable to the peace agreement. We must remember that we are here to serve the people,” said Hon. Amelia Aluel.
The Chairperson of the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission Hon. Chuol Rambang Luoth voiced his support for the extension of the pre-transition period and urged all those present at the workshop to strive towards peace building and social cohesion. He expressed optimism that “this is a step forward towards nurturing leadership to build durable peace in South Sudan.”