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Include national dialogue conference resolutions in permanent constitution: Kiir

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November 17, 2020 (JUBA) - All resolutions agreed upon at the recently concluded national dialogue conference will be harmonized with the permanent constitution making process provided for in the revitalized peace deal, South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir said.

President Salva Kiir being awarded a certificate of appreciation by the National Dialogue Steering Committee on October 17, 2020 (Eye Radio photo)

The South Sudanese leader made the remarks while closing the national dialogue conference held in Juba from November 3-17 on Tuesday.

“The Revitalized Peace Agreement is not merely an integral part of our Constitution, it is in essence our fundamental law itself, and all other processes, including the National Dialogue, must ultimately be reconciled with it,” he said.

Kiir described the national dialogue, launched in 2016 to reconcile and unite people, as a “broad-based bottom-up consultations”.

He stressed that the revitalized peace agreement came as a result of talks between political elites, which makes it narrower in scope.

“However, the agreement has constitutional sanctity that the National Dialogue lacks, despite its popular legitimacy,” said Kiir.

Delegates at the dialogue conference endorsed adoption of a governance system with limits on the president’s powers, proposed creation of 32 or more states to fulfill the legitimate aspirations of people of South Sudan and proposed that the president’s powers to appoint judges be limited to those appointed by the Judicial Service Commission (JSC), among others.

Kiir said the peace agreement should not be replaced with the consensus reached through the national dialogue, but rather use the dialogue as a guide to enrich the forthcoming permanent constitution-making process that the revitalized peace agreement mandates.

For his part, the national dialogue committee co-chair, Angelo Beda thanked the president for supporting the national dialogue process.

More than 600 participants attended the conference boycotted by the armed opposition (SPLM-IO) led by First Vice President, Riek Machar and National Democratic Movement (NDM) headed by Lam Akol Ajawin.

In December 2016, President Kiir launched the national dialogue initiative that seeks to reconcile and unite the East African nation torn apart by years of civil war.

(ST)

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