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Sudan Tribune

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Civil-military dialogue advocates for peace in Kajo-Keji county

Participants who attended the civil-military dialogue in Jalimo Boma of Kajo-Keji county, August 9, 2023 (CEPO photo)

August 13, 2023 (JALIMO) – A civil-military relations dialogue conducted in Kajo-Keji County of South Sudan ended on Wednesday with calls for peace.

Community leaders, women, youth, chiefs, religious leaders and members of the military representing the government attended the dialogue seeking to restore peace and social harmony among communities in the greater Jalimo boma.

The three-day civil-military dialogue, organized by Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), attracted more than 70 participants.

Kenyi Nason Felix, a field officer with CEPO, said the dialogue aimed at identifying the issues affecting the relationship between civilians and the military in the boma.

“The dialogue facilitation was centered on mediation approach where civilians and the military identified issues that affect their relations,” he explained.

Lack of mutual respect between civilians and military personnel, lootings, harassment, killings and disruption of agricultural activities were identified as some of the issues affecting peaceful co-existence among civilians and the military.

The Director for Peace building in Kajo-Keji County, Evans Amos Pere said the dialogue would enhance the relationship between civilians and the army to support implementation of the peace deal.

“I am happy because this military-civil relations dialogue will promote confidence between civilians and the army. This means we shall continue living in peace and harmony,” said Pere.

He added, “I call on CEPO and its partners to continue conducting similar dialogues in other parts of Central Equatoria State so that we all walk together”.

Akol Tong, who spoke on behalf of the military during the dialogue, described the relationship between civilians and government forces as cordial and peaceful.

The army officer appealed to soldiers to respect and protect civilians in the area.

According to a community needs assessment conducted in Kajo-Keji in October 2021, local authorities, chiefs, religious leaders, women, and the youth recommended for civil-military as well as military-military dialogues as strategies for restoring peace and social harmony among the communities.

Led by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) with support from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Reconciliation, Stabilization and Resilience Trust Fund  (RSRTF) project is designed to help communities in Yei, Lainya, Morobo and Kajo-Keji counties of Central Equatoria State reconcile and end violence, bring stability where they live and create new incentives for peaceful coexistence.

(ST)