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TORIT - 17 Jun 2021

Greater Torit politicians attend retreat, reflect issues affecting the state

MP Grace Abalang, representing Ikotos County,  of Eastern Equatoria State at the national assembly
MP Grace Abalang, representing Ikotos County, of Eastern Equatoria State at the national assembly

Politicians in greater Torit gathered at the Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church on Tuesday and Wednesday to discuss issues affecting the state.

The politicians-legislators from state and national levels from Torit, Ikotos, Lafon, and Magwi counties- were brought together by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC).

Politicians have been blamed for the recent upsurge of insecurity within the region.

Fr. James James Oyet Latansio, the SSCC Secretary-General, said if the politicians of Torit unite, the crises will also come to an end.

“These politicians, men, and women are sons and daughters of greater Torit of Eastern Equatoria State. We have come for a consultative retreat with them. Eastern Equatoria state is going through a lot of challenges, pains, cries and we want to consult with the leadership what is all this, what is the cause, is there hope in this context?" Oyet said.

He says it is high time the people of Eastern Equatoria state enjoy the dividends of peace including the free movement across counties and states.

“The youth listen to somebody in the leadership. So, you need to target the head. If you want to hit the snake you hit the head, not the tail or the body. So to stop the revenge killings and attacks we need to hit the head which is the political brothers leading this state politically," he added. 

The catholic priest urges youth to embrace the spirit of dialogue, particularly as the state strives to resolve the unemployment issues in the state.

A lawmaker representing Ikotos County of Eastern Equatoria State at the national assembly Grace Abalang believes the retreat will change the minds of leaders and the people they represent back in villages

“Our role is to talk to our people especially about service delivery, we have to deliver services. When you deliver services then there will be peace and when you go to your constituencies or your regions because people listen to their leaders, so if we are peaceful our people will be peaceful," she said. 

She acknowledged the presence of gaps in service delivery causing widespread insecurity in the state.

“There are very big gaps, one is education, employment, unemployment of the youth has created a very big gap and also when we stayed for one year without leadership it created a very big gap. So there is a need for us to strategize as people of greater Torit to deliver services like roads, hospitals, schools for both girls and boys," she advised. 

The MP appealed to fellow lawmakers to abandon decisive politics and embrace unity and service delivery for the people they represent.

Dominic Otwari Theodore, an MP for Torit South West constituency number 2 in the yet-to-be reconstituted state legislative assembly says the forum was an opportunity for leaders to speak out about their grievances. 

“This forum is very good this is bringing all the politicians those who have grudges against each other and I believe talking when you take water from the bucket it will remain empty so today each one is emptying all the grudges then reconciliation becomes possible, the hope for this state will be there," Otwari said.

The SSCC also plans to hold similar retreats for politicians in greater Kapoeta namely Budi, Kapoeta South, Kapoeta North, and Kapoeta East counties in the wake of increased revenge killings, attacks, murders, cattle raids, and general crime in the state.