EES strikes formula to bury political differences for development

EES strikes formula to bury political differences for development
Eastern Equatoria State (EES) leaders led by Governor Louis Lobong (in coat) and the Deputy Governor Mary Lodira (photo credit: courtesy)

Eastern Equatoria State Governor Louis Lobong Lojore has devised an effective political approach to unite leaders from various political factions to work harmoniously for the state’s agenda.

The governor revealed that he and his colleagues came up with the idea to overcome challenges resulting from a lack of collegial coordination and decisions affecting basic social service delivery to the people of Eastern Equatoria State.

“As political leaders [in Eastern Equatoria State], there was a need for us to meet and discuss how we could implement the peace agreement.

“[I said] that let us implement the peace agreement with a full understanding of ourselves and what is required of us as political leaders to implement and disseminate the peace,’’ he said.

Governor Lobong told a visiting Dutch delegation to the state, “If we are not together and we are not united as political leaders, we will not be able [to do all these.”

Governor Lobong said the three-day political forum held last week brought together state government officials such as ministers, advisors, county commissioners, and officials of state independent commissions who resolved previous grudges among parties.

The governor said without unity among the various parties to the agreement, services could not reach the citizens facing multiple challenges, including lack of safe and clean drinking water, healthcare services, education, and food insecurity in the country.

“So we need to come to an understanding and consensus on how we can deliver services because we love our people, we love our state, and we love our country,” said Governor Lobong.

“I brought this idea for [political parties] to come together for dialogue and agree on how we can deliver services to our people in the state,” he further revealed.

Setting example

Lobong said some of the resolutions that ironed out their political differences would be passed to the national government for consideration and adaptation to assist other states to forge cultures of unity through collaborative decision-making as well.

The Head of the Eastern Equatoria Parliamentary Caucus in the National Parliament, Julius Moilinga, commended and described it as a critical move by the state government to address not only security but also bring co-existence among the communities.

“We are doing it for the interest of the people, working together is the decision and it is the will of the people,” Moilinga told the City Review following the conclusion of the forum last week

According to Chapter One of the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan, all parties shall work in harmony. They include the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in the government (SPLM-IG),  Sudan People’s Liberation Movement in Opposition (SPLM-IO), the South Sudan Opposition Alliance (SSOA), Other Political Parties (OPP), and Former Detainees (FD).

It adds that no decision shall be reached unilaterally by an individual party, but all decision-making processes shall be in consultation among parties.

Party wrangles                                                                       

However, there have been wrangles among some parties since the commencement of the state revitalised government in 2020, resulting in a lack of cooperation and collegiality among the various parties to the September 2018 revitalised peace agreement in some states.

President Salva Kiir, during the swearing ceremony of the deputy governor of Western Bahr el Ghazal State, Zacharia Garang in August, urged parties to the agreement to work together to deliver services to millions of vulnerable citizens in need of services.