Greater Upper Nile Church leaders plan for peace and reconciliation
Church leaders from Upper Nile region together with NCA Country Director
By Scopas Bethuels
Over 40Church leaders from Greater Upper Nile under the umbrella of South Sudan Council of Churches have been brought to Juba this week.
The leaders will be converging at Good Shepherd Peace Center Kit between 5th -7th March to discuss, strategize and jointly plan for activities for community engagement and addressing of the local conflicts affecting their region.
Alumai Godfrey,the Head of Program South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) at the opening day of the meeting said the joint planning was important.
“This joint planning is important to ensure collaboration and creation of synergies on the work of the ICCs from the region to advocate for peaceful co-existence,”said Alumai. He added that the joint planning meeting will enable the church leaders understand the Council of Churches’ Action Plan for Peace and how it tries to resolve conflict and support peace through action by the churches.
The meeting is being facilitated by Christian Aid and Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) that has been a long term partner to SSCC.
Kari Oyen, NCA Country Director was encourage to see the Church leaders together despite the breakdown of the social fabric in the region.
“It is a great encouragement to see all of you here; it is a sign of readiness to participate and contribute towards a peaceful South Sudan,”Oyen said.
Isaac Nyiding, the regional Facilitator of Upper Nile said the plan is to allow the Church leaders engage among them before gradually engaging the community leaders.
Rev. Canon Emmanuel Natania Bandi, the Acting General Secretary while opening the meeting said there is a clear manifestation that there are problems in South Sudan and everybody is looking up to the Church to bring hope to the people.
“Brothers and sisters we are the hope for South Sudan. We therefore need to help our people have hope and get reconciled,” Canon Bandi said.
He challenged those who keep saying “when peace come” arguing that “peace does not come, people make peace.”
He asked all the leaders to be ambassadors of peace and be peace makers as mandated to them by Jesus Christ.
Upper Nile has witnessed massive destruction of property and lives as a result the civil war between the opposition and government since December 2013. The social fabric was so broken that it was getting into the Churches. The Church leaders at some point could not see eye to eye.