Representatives from twelve different political parties in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State have reiterated their commitment to work together to implement the revitalized peace agreement signed in September 2018. Some also voiced their wish to see more women involved in decision-making processes.
“I call upon all women to participate in the political activities in our country. Women are more than capable of being good politicians, and politics are not just for men,” said Nyanriak Bol Bol, a female representative of the United Sudan African Party, at a leadership forum in Aweil recently organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan.
The objective of the gathering was to enhance the mediation skills of these local party activists, thus increasing social cohesion and a sense of national identity.
“It was very good to see us, people from so many different political parties, sitting together and discussing issues of our region,” said Suzan Ediong, a representative of the African National Congress Party and one of twelve women present at the forum.
Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State has remained relatively calm and peaceful, and the participating politicians were keen on pointing out the significant advantages of such tranquility: better and more civil cooperation between the political parties in the state, and an improved use of available resources to promote development and service delivery.
To continue this positive trend, they recommend wider awareness raising of the content of the revitalized peace agreement, dialogue to combat tribalism and the promotion of “pro-social” behaviour in and between communities. Political appointments and employment opportunities based on merit were also deemed crucial, and the same goes for encouraging entrepreneurship among citizens.
Mariama Dauda, a civil affairs officer serving with the UN peacekeeping mission, considered the forum a resounding success and vowed to keep promoting social cohesion in the region.
“We shall continue to train these politicians on mediation skills and encourage national unity through transformational leadership. We firmly believe that if values of a national identity can be retained, they can lead to more fruitful cooperation and thus progress,” she said.