By Yiep Joseph
Mundari community peace and reconciliation conference kicked off in Juba under the theme “May they all be one. John 17: 21”. The conference is meant to reconcile Mundari communities in order to realize sustainable peace that could pathway for development.
The three-day conference (11-13 January) that brought together all the church leaders, traditional chiefs, intellectuals, county commissioners, youth leaders and other state executives was organized by the church Leaders Peace Initiative with support from UNMISS and its partners.
In attendance was Emanuel Adil governor of Central Equatoria state who was the patron of the day, Primate Dr. Justin Badi Aram of Episcopal Church of South Sudan, Archbishop Dr. Stephen Ameyu Martin of catholic among others.
In his opening remark, Emmanuel Adil cautioned all the community members not to use the conference for blames and criticism on each other but use it to bring everlasting solutions to the conflict in the Mundari areas. “Violent has no benefits therefore we need to completely avoid it and only focus on the peace that can easily lead to development,” Adil said.
He called on the Mundari community to expose any politician who was responsible for instigating the violence in the area.
“If there is that person or politicians who is responsible for these divisions in Mundari land, let him be removed, if there is also one youth causing trouble and divisions among youths he can also be removed,” he said
Adil reaffirmed the support of the national government in bringing sustainable peace to the Mundari community in particular and among other communities in the country.
He called on the communities to accept themselves as one in order to move the country forward.
Geetha Pious UNMISS head of field office for Central Equatoria state urged all the communities to love themselves and preach words of peace citing that peace is only possible if all communities are really behind the partners.
Justin Badi Aram of Episcopal Church of South Sudan appreciated the Mundari community for starting the new year with peace
“I congratulate the Mundari community for starting the new year with peace and reconciliation,” Badi said.
“The church is always behind you to see that there is total peace among the communities” he added.
Archbishop Dr. Stephen Ameyu Martin of Catholic Church added that the main aim of the conference is to bring complete transformation among communities.
“This conference is an opportunity for all of us to transform ourselves and our communities,” Ameyu said.
According to most of the incidences that occurred within the Mundari community, it is reported that the conflict among Mundari communities that started in 2017 up to date is majorly caused by land grabbing, cattle raiding and other related issues. numerous peace initiatives had been conducted with supports from the government and the partners but still, the conflict exists due to a lack of action by the communities.