Peace, reconciliation workshop begins in Yei

By Hassan Arun Cosmas

 Peace and reconciliation training workshop organized by South Sudan council of Churches started on Tuesday in Yei River County of Central Equatoria State.

The objective of the workshop was to train members of the inter-Church committees in Yei as facilitators of reconciliation.

Speaking during the opening of the training, Joseph Kido, the reconciliation coordinator for South Sudan Council of Churches said he believed that training the religious leaders on reconciliation would promote peaceful coexistence.

He called on the people of Yei to embrace peace in order to develop the country.Kido cited that there would be no development without peace.

“We came to Yei under the team of Yei reconciliation training to train our members of the inter-Church committee to be in position to train others as people of Yei have been affected by conflict. We want to train our people to be able to build peace and be in position to call people back to their safe places so that they can promote peaceful coexistence,” he said.

“My message is that, let us give peace a chance because peace is development. Without peace our children can’t go to school, we can’t access roads and basic health facilities. So, when there is peace, there is development, ‘cited the South Sudan council of Churches reconciliation coordinator.’”

Meanwhile, Ali Moga, the Secretary of Yei Islamic Council regretted that people were traumatized because of the conflict which affected the citizens of the county.

He said that Yei was known to be a land of love, unity and welcoming people, but stressed that the culture had been changed as a result of the negative events that were happening in the area.

Moga called on the religious leaders to take the opportunity of the reconciliation training to learn uniting the divided citizens and work together.

“Everybody is traumatized. Our history has been destroyed, we are no longer who we used to be. This land was long time ago known as land of love, unity and very welcoming people but the culture has been changed. Therefore, it is an opportunity for us as leaders to learn how to bring back our people and work together in unity and the only way is through reconciliation,” revealed the Secretary for Islamic council.

The Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Yei Levi Marandulu, mentioned that the conflict had seriously affected the citizens of Yei.

He believed that the reconciliation workshop would help in healing the people from the difficult situations they had undergone.

“What remained in the hearts of south Sudanese is the pain and poverty stay, move and sleep in fear especially in the current situation. Today you find people moving on the road talking alone because there is a problem in his or her mind. I thank South Sudan council of Churches for bringing the reconciliation training which will help heal some of the issues of the population. You know Trauma and stress is a sickness that can kill or cause madness if not treated,” cited the ECSS Bishop.

Meanwhile ErkolanoLoduTombe, Bishop of the Catholic diocese of Yei revealed that there was no discrimination in the Church.

He discouraged discrimination against women and called on religious leaders to consider women in every aspect of leadership.

“In the Church, there is no discrimination. Equal or not equal, men or women number or no number. Let is only be said in the politics of the government where they want how many women in the parliament or ministries, state government not only in South Sudan but also in other countries. Because there are many issues in the country.There is discrimination upon women but I call upon us as religious leaders that consider both men and women in responsibilities whether at home, Church or in the government,” appealed Bishop Erkolano.

The training was under the theme, “God has given us this task for reconciling people to him,” brought together 35 participants from different Churches and Mosques in Yei.  

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