More than 100 people attended a lively town hall meeting titled "Peace Building and Unity in South Sudan" that was hosted by Voice of America in Juba on Thursday.
The audience and panelists discussed subjects ranging from inter-communal relations, reconciliation efforts, the new constitution and how everyone can get involved in the review process; as well as governance and equity.
The debate was hosted by South Sudan in Focus host and editor John Tanza.
Four panelists -- Hilde Johnson, head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS); Jehan Deng, Minister of Health and Environment in Jonglei state; Alfred Sebit Lokuji, former dean of Juba University’s College of Community Studies and Rural Development; and Chuol Rambang Luoth, chair of South Sudan’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission -- gave opening remarks and responded to questions from audience members.
Participants agreed that South Sudanese need to identify as citizens of the new nation rather than members of specific tribes, if unity is to be achieved.
The audience also made clear that they feel the South Sudanese government isn’t doing enough to provide social services to the people.