August 19, 2016

March in lockstep to peace while accepting differences

As is known to all, our country is endowed with natural resources. Despite this, the country still remains on the list of least developed countries, according to a 2015 report by the Committee for Development Policy (CDP) to the United Nations Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC).
More than half a century of internal armed conflict resulting from political dispute has been sapping the country’s huge potential for graduation from that status. Unless all decision makers dedicate themselves to finding common ground on the critical issues of poverty and development, our country will be in no position to lift itself out of the LDC status.
The failure to reach a consensus on the sharing of powers and resources will bode ill for the government’s approach to peace building. Federalism is a crucial mechanism for building trust, which is absolutely vital to a country with a variety of ethnic and religious issues to deal with.
There is every reason to think that failure to calm nerves among the ethnic groups will continue to inflame tensions and go so far as to disrupt the pending union-level peace conference and political dialogue, thereby undermining the process of finding peaceful means of political resolution in national interests for the good of the people and the country as a whole.
So far, the country has entered ceasefire agreement with eight ethnic armed groups. Plans are under way to hold peace talks with remaining armed groups as part of the government’s election promise to ensure an inclusive and participative democracy. It is one thing to march in lockstep toward peace, but it is another to accept differences and work together on common ground.


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