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Explore opportunities, S. Sudanese told

Moses Monday John, Executive Director Organization for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD)

By Opio Jackson
Activist for nonviolence has urged South Sudanese to stop limiting themselves at tribal lines and focus on global affairs.
Moses Monday John, Executive Director Organization for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD) said as citizens around the world are coming together, South Sudanese are busy fighting among them and contributing nothing to the global affairs.
Mr. John who has returned from India after participating in the Kumb Mela festival said he had learned a lot of lessons from the event including how religion and culture could lead to a peaceful society.
The Kumb Mela is celebrated in India in every 12 years. It is a huge gathering of millions of devoted people who take a Holy dip in the river Ganges which flows from the Himalayas. This year the Government of India decided to invite one person from all the 193 countries around globe to participate in the Kumb Mela festival.
To participate in this year’s Kumb Mela, the Government of India had invited Moses Monday John to represent South Sudan. More than 270,000,000 people participated in the event.
Despite the fact that Kumb Mela is mostly celebrated by Hindus; people from other religious beliefs often do attend the celebration.
Mr. John further said religion is an important aspect of culture, adding that if people are educated about their culture there would be a possibility of peaceful coexistence in the society.
Mr. John said the connection between culture and peace was very close saying one thing he had learned from the Kumb Mele was that South Sudanese need to adapt a peaceful culture to transform their lives in the society.
“If our culture is violent it will definitely lead to negative impact on our way of living. For instance India has the second largest population in the world but yet Indians are very tolerant to one another,” he said.
“South Sudan has only 12 million people and if New Delhi alone can accommodate 21 million people then why Juba is not enough for us to live in everybody,” he said.
He continued that if we were tolerance to one another; land grabbing would not be an issue in the country.
“It is very important to build bridges across the divide because if you travel from Equatoria to Jonglei state you feel like stranger and vice versa,” he said
There is no reason for us to feel like a strangers in our own country,” Mr. John said.
He said to participate in a global peace building; South Sudanese should look at themselves as global citizens instead of tribes.
According to John, the Kumb Mela festival enabled him to interact with different friends from different parts of the world which made him to become more of a global citizen.
“There are always conflicts but this does not mean it should lead to violence. Conflict can be managed without violence,” Mr. John.
He said it was important for ONAD to attend Kumb Mela because his organization is founded on a belief that nonviolence is the best way to solve conflict.
The executive director continued that whenever conflict breaks out people either response violently,run away from the conflict or they stay to resist the conflict and response to it through nonviolence.

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