R. TGoNU urged to emulate the Kenya handshake initiative for durable peace
AUTHOR: Losike Elia | PUBLISHED: May 19, 2022
VP James Wani Igga (Left) President Savla Kiir (Center), Rt Hon. Raila Odinga (Centre) and FVP Dr. Riek Machar (Right) singing of national anthem at Freedom Bridge on Thursday 19 2022
The former prime minister of Kenya, Raila Amolo Odinga, has encouraged the South Sudanese leaders to emulate the handshake initiative to end their differences.
The Kenya Presidential candidate for the August 2022 polls says his country restored peace after the 2017 elections crisis.
The handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and Raila Odinga was a public declaration to cease all hostilities and instead find common ground to move the country forward economically and politically.
The African Union Envoy for Infrastructure development, Raila Odinga, attended the inauguration of the Freedom Bridge in Juba.
He says the leaders are obligated to keep their country united and resolve their differences peacefully.
Odinga narrated his experience saying political disputes need mutual understanding and compromises to fulfill a public interest.
“We sat down with my brother Uhuru Kenyatta, and we talked and understood Kenya was bigger than us. So, we said we must now our home ground solutions to our problems, and we talked and said this is the problems that were failing country since independence up to now and we can resolve them.” Raila narrates.
Rt. Hon. Raila discourages the spirit of the conflicting parties from waiting for external bodies or the regional countries to come and solve their problems which could be solved internally.
“We shook hands together with Uhuru Kenyatta, which brought peace to the country. Similar to my brothers here in South Sudan, Brother, you also have a crisis. I want to tell them the solution is here. The answer is not in Addis Ababa, not in Kampala or Entebbe, not in Nairobi, not in Khartoum. It is right here.”
The Kenyan presidential candidates have called on the leaders to end the mentality of thinking that other countries will solve their problems.
Raila also criticized the South Sudanese soldiers for the fight and killing civilians but rather for defending the country from external attacks.
“I want you people to talk as brothers and let the guns go to the barracks and the country to be protected by civilian police,” he said.
South Sudan First vice president Riak Machar acknowledges the slow implementation of the revitalized agreement but reiterates the parties’ commitment to peace.
He says stability in the country will attract development and economic stability.
“We are committed to peace, the implementation is slow, but we are committed to it to see that our country becomes peaceful, competitive, and prosperous. This is the commitment we want to tell you, on your way back home, that the people of South Sudan are committed to peace.”
Machar stated that the experience of Kenyan leaders is essential, which can give South Sudan political elites confidence to build durable peace.