Participants at a mediation workshop develop a collective action plan on strategies for effective engagement of women in the prevention and management of conflicts (UN Photo/JC McIlwaine)
Workshop addresses issues of national identity and security within the world’s youngest country.
Through its Conflict Transformation Initiative and in seeking to mitigate violent conflict and insecurity, and supporting peace for the people of South Sudan, ACCORD hosted a Dialogue Forum in Malakal, Upper Nile State of South Sudan from the 11-13 April 2012. The forum brought together thirty eight participants representing government, civil society, youth organisations, women groups, traditional leaders, academia and United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) personnel. The forum was tailored to engage participants at grassroots level, while allowing for the dissemination of critical peace-building skills to the different levels (regional, sub-national and national).
In 2011, South Sudan received its independence from Sudan. While a seminal moment, it is important to note that independence has not solved all the issues that led to the prolonged civil war. Numerous internal schisms remain, and violent conflict – particularly in the Greater Upper Nile Region – has been on the rise. With this as a background, ACCORD brought together peace actors from the three states that represent Greater Upper Nile: Jonglei, Unity and Upper Nile, to share experiences in dealing with conflict. Participants for the forum engaged in a number of exercises that were structured to include elements of early warning and conflict management, as well as strengthening existing peace architectures. Through these exercises, the participants reflected on instability and insecurity issues that continue to haunt the region, and the need for a sustainable conflict management plan.
A key output of the forum is a report that includes recommendations on the way forward for the Peace Commission of South Sudan. This forum was generously supported by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway.