The war has displaced thousands of South Sudanese
South Sudan legislators must champion the fight for peace to prevail in their country as one of the solution for sustainable development in the youngest nation on the African continent, deputy Speaker of Parliament Jacob Oulanyah has said.
“I call up on the MPs of South Sudan to ensure that peace is attained to pave way for social, economic political development” said Oulanyah.
He said peace is critical and paramount to economic development of any nation and that without it there is no development.
Oulanyah made the appeal on Monday while interfacing with legislators from South Sudan under the Women’s Parliamentary Caucus who had paid a courtesy visit to the Ugandan Parliament.
The group led by the caucus chairperson, Dusman Joyce James Lesuk, was comprised of Anne Liwo Wuor Abyei, Deborah Ajok, Cecilia Poni Josha and Bill Andrew Cosmas who is in the Transitional Legislative Assembly of Southern Sudan.
They also discussed welfare of women in parliament, women’s rights in Uganda, economic policies that have favoured women in Uganda, and the role of MPs in peacekeeping, enactment of bills, gender equality, and peace perseverance in the country among others.
South Sudan gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011 as the outcome of a 2005 agreement that ended Africa's longest-running civil war.
Made up of the 10 southern-most states of Sudan, South Sudan is one of the most diverse countries in Africa. It is home to over 60 different major ethnic groups, and the majority of its people follow traditional religions.
Oulanyah noted that without peace, business is at standstill in the country and that those who hold guns will always make decisions.
“When President Idi Amin took over power in 1971, the first causality was Parliament, there was no constitution, and Amin ruled by a decree. Peace is central, if there is something which as you MPs must fight to achieve is peace; in the absence of peace, there is little you can do and you may have no business,” Oulanyah advised the MPs.
He said that the conflict in South Sudan has been there for long, affected a number of people so it’s high time it’s stopped hence calling for everlasting solutions to it so that the people of South Sudan can enjoy peace.
Dusman thanked the Ugandan government for hosting many Sudanese refugees but however warned that before peace is achieved in South Sudan, the refugees will continue to put much pressure on the Uganda’s resources.
“While many countries around the globe would close their doors to refugees, Uganda has decided to host over 800,000 South Sudan refugees, we appreciate this. However until peace is achieved in South Sudan, refugees will put much pressure on the existing Ugandan resources” Dusman said.
The war that has displaced thousands of South Sudanese into Uganda pits forces loyal to President Salva Kiir’s and rebels led by Riek Machar, the nation’s ex-first vice president.