Creation of more states generated conflicts
State Communities Dialogue for Peace and Reconciliation which visited Wau, Yei, Imotong, Magwi and Rumbek last month has identified creation of more states, counties and payams, cattle raid, widespread guns in the hands of civilians as some of the major concerns that the government should address in order to see the light of peace and stability in the country.
The State Communities Dialogue for Peace and Reconciliation has been touring the five areas meeting religious leaders, women, youth, state government officials and chiefs to get their views on effective peace building in the country.
Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, the Secretary of the State Communities for Peace and Reconciliation, Dr. Jaafar K.J. Mori from the University of Juba and Director of the Proposed Islamic University of South Sudan said people also recommended for strong leadership to minimize killings in the villages.
“Generally people give this type of recommendation. They said strong leadership should be put in place. So, it means if you don’t want villages to be villages of the dead people, there must be strong leadership,” he said.
“They also mentioned about bad governance. It means if things are to be addressed in the National Dialogue, these are some of the issues that should be considered,” Dr. Mori said. “They talked of the creation of many payams where people say the border is here and there which has resulted in conflicts,” he added.
Dr. Mori said the people resolved that there should be transparency in the peace mediation in order to bring an end to the conflict in the country.
“They also talked of transparency and impartiality of those involved in the peace mediation. They again talked of creation of jobs by the private sector instead of waiting for government employment,” he said.
He said the objective of community meetings on peace and reconciliation process was to support structures that help to strength and solidify peace so as to avoid a relapse to conflict.
“This is a situation in Rumbek where you build peace and tomorrow there is a relapse to conflict and revenge which is the major issue,” he said.
He said the other objective of community meeting was to facilitate the return of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) to their homes.
“Like in Wau, people abandoned their villages where they now stay at Church compounds and Protection of Civilian (PoC) Sites at the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) there,” he said.
He said the other objective of the community meetings in Wau, Yei, Imotong, Rumbek and Magwi was to pave a way for trauma healing, reconciliation, trust and confident building among ethnic groups.
He said the youth of Rumbek had recommended that youth should not be their brothers’ killers but keepers.
Dr. Mori said the recommendations from the meetings with various groups in the states would be forwarded to the Bureau of Religious Affairs in the Office of the President for decision making.
The Director for the Bureau of Religious Affairs in the Office of the President Moses Telar Cindut advised people not to worry about their resolutions reaching the President.
“We should not be worried that the leadership will not pick the idea and implement what people want. It happened in Wunlit where there was people to people dialogue. And then when people united, Dr. Riek Machar and Dr. John Garang were called to resolve their issues because the people had already agreed,” he said. “They said if they went ahead with fighting they would not be with them,” Cindut added.
He said the State Communities Dialogue for Peace and Reconciliation would also visit Upper Nile region to gather similar views of the people as to how they think peace should be brought in the whole country.
“We shall be going to greater Upper Nile and carry out the same findings and then we shall evaluate on what people have decided. “May be we can call for a conference such that a decision can be made to be adopted by the leadership,” he said.
State Communities Dialogue for Peace and Reconciliation was led by Bishop Enock Tombe of the Episcopal Diocese of Rejaf, Rev. Peter Tibi, Maria Gideon, Abraham Kuc, Antipas Nyok and Moses Telar Cindut.
The programme was carried out by the Bureau of Religious Affairs in the Office of the President in collaboration with the religious leaders in the country.
The programme was sponsored by Greater Upper Nile Greater Equatoria and Greater Bahr el Ghazal (GEBU).
By Sworo Charles Elisha