A wide view of the historic Independence Ceremony of the Republic of South Sudan (UN PHOTO/Eskinder Debebe)
ACCORD has been working with South Sudanese stakeholders over the past 12 years. In April 2011, ACCORD entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the South Sudanese government's Ministry of Peace and CPA Implementation (now reconfigured as the South Sudan Peace Commission). Since 2012 the work has been undertaken through the Republic of South Sudan Initiative, launched in January 2012 with the objective of strengthening the peacebuilding and conflict mitigation framework in the newly independent country. ACCORD opened its office in Juba in March 2012. Through the programme, ACCORD aims to enhance the ability of key stakeholders in the Republic of South Sudan, not only to mitigate, manage and transform conflicts, but also to become active participants in the process of consolidating sustainable peacebuilding. ACCORD has managed to undertake various activities to achieve it's mandate of advancing, strengthening and complimenting peace and conflict transformation. This mandate is met through conducting capacity building sessions on mediation, negotiation and communication skills for key stakeholders. Dialogue forums have also been organised as a strategy towards encouraging the search for local solutions to the ongoing challenges of a newly independent nation. These activities have targeted all levels of society, while incorporating the principles of UNSCR 1325 of empowering women and promoting gender equality as a strategy for building sustainable peace. ACCORD actively works at the national, regional, and grassroots levels throughout South Sudan to promote peace, reconciliation, and peacebuilding initiatives.
South Sudanese participate in celebrations for the International Day of Peace in Juba (UN PHOTO/Isaac Billy)
ACCORD's continued commitment to South Sudan has led to the development of long-term relationships with key stakeholders, including the African Union, the United Nations, international governmental and nongovernmental partners and civil society organisations representing women, youth, media, trade unions, traditional leaders, business associations and academic institutions. The deployment of core staff for the SSI in Juba has allowed ACCORD to garner enhanced understanding of the current environment in the country, allowing the institution's staff members to better conceptualise programme activities that are responsive to the country's context.