In South Sudan, a gathering of over 500 people was held in Freedom Square, Terekeka County, to renew a commitment to peace ahead of elections scheduled for December 2024.
The outreach event was a collaboration between the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the African Theological Leadership School and the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Peacebuilding.
Targeting community leaders and citizens alike, the event emphasised the need for South Sudanese to come together to build peace and prosperity.
The Director General for the state’s Ministry of Peace Building, Laurence Musoke Samuel, said that it was the responsibility of all to foster peace.
“Our families are vital to fostering peace at the community, county, state, and national levels. It begins with each one of us, and it is in our homes that we should pass on the values of social cohesion and unity,” he said.
Women as peacebuilders
The role of women in peacebuilding was also highlighted.
“Inclusivity is a must. Women are the first line of educators in every society, because everything starts at home. It is a necessity that we are all involved in the peace process,” said Hellen Kaku Kula, a local women’s leader.
“The plans that the political leadership has for our country must be aligned with the expectations of its grassroots.”
During the event, the UN peacekeeping mission also reminded attendees of their mandate in the country.
UNMISS’ mandate, renewed in 2023 until 15 March 2024, is focused on preventing a return to civil war, building durable peace and supporting, accountable governance.
After becoming an independent country in 2011, South Sudan descended into civil war in 2013 ultimately killing 400,000 people and displacing a third of the country’s population.
The war ended in 2018 with a peace deal between President Salva Kiir and rebel factions led by Riek Machar.
Source : AFRICANNEWS