15 July 2019 (Juba, South Sudan): The IGAD’s Mediation Support Unit (MSU) has organized the 4th High Level Retreat for IGAD mediators in Juba, the Republic of South Sudan to discuss the significance of dialogue and mediation in post-agreement phases as a constructive tool for conflict resolution and strengthening of dialogue and mediation initiatives.
While delivering his Opening Remarks, the Peace and Security Director, Hon Siraj Fegessa mentioned that within the region, IGAD has played a vital role in many regional developments, key among hem mediation interventions which have brought renewed efforts and security towards sustainable peace and development.
“It is evident that peace processes can be achieved though dialogue and negation as an apparatus to resolve conflicts and bring sustainable peace. The mediators must continue to dialogue to achieve reconciliation” Hon Fegessa added.
On behalf of IGAD Chair and Federal Government of Ethiopia Amb Dr. Koang Tutlam also emphasized that mediators in the IGAD Sub-region must continue supporting to see through implementation of agreements signed by parties because this is the only alternative for peace and stability to prevail in the sub-region.
The retreat was officially opened by the Guest of Honor, the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation of the Republic of South Sudan Hon. Nhial Deng Nhial, who added that continuous dialogue is not only important but should be coupled with logistical facilitation.
“The necessity for any mediation process to sustain engagement with the parties for any mediation to sustain engagement with the parties during the post engagement with the parties during the post agreement signature phase can not be overemphasized but it not enough, it must be coupled with the necessary logistical facilitation” Hon Nhial added.
Mediation continues to be widely recognized as one of the most effective means for the prevention, management and resolution of conflicts in terms of cost, time and results.
During the 3-day meeting, mediators will explore the role of the dialogue and mediation support in enabling transformative and sustainable change following comprehensive peace agreements; share experiences and knowledge in the post agreement phase; as well as discuss mechanisms for deepening mediation knowledge and practice within communities in South Sudan and all other Member States of IGAD in order to prevent relapses into conflict after the signing of peace agreements.
MSU envisions that at the completion of the retreat, IGAD mediators’ capacities in mediation and dialogue will be strengthened and those in peace agreements will be able to sustain, support and implement peace agreements through a carefully planned and well-coordinated follow-up systems as well as be able to oversee gaps in implementation where need be to resolve emerging challenges.
The High-level retreat is being attended by the IGAD Roster of Mediators, Members of the AU Panel of the Wise, religious leaders, mediation experts from the region as well youth representatives and members from the Young Women in Mediation Network.
The Kingdom of Denmark provided the funding to retreat, and it is jointly facilitated by IGAD MSU and the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD).