Promote peace, tolerance and reconciliation, JMEC Deputy Chair urges faith leaders
The Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) has called on religious leaders in South Sudan to be at the forefront in promoting peace and reconciliation in the country.
“We must all do better in correcting the mistakes of the past and ensuring that the path to peace is firmly grounded on values of peace, justice and reconciliation” JMEC Deputy Chairperson, Amb. Lt. Gen. Augostino Njoroge said.
He was speaking on Tuesday during an Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative Conference in Yambio, Gbudue State.
The three-day conference themed “Peace Within and Across Borders” convened by the Interfaith Council for Peace Initiative led by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura, Reverend Edwardo Hiibiro Kussala. It was organized for representatives of nine neighboring states namely Yei River, Amadi, Wau, Meridi, Rumbek, Tonji, Gok, Tombura and Gbudue.
In attendance, were the SRSG for South Sudan Mr David Shearer who gave the keynote address, the Archbishop of the Episcopal Churches of South Sudan Peter Munde, State Governors, Ministers and Speakers among other stakeholders.
Applauding the initiative by the faith leaders, Amb. Njoroge said, “We salute you for leading the way in inter-communal dialogue as you build bridges across your state borders towards peace and social harmony and economic development for all South Sudanese communities.”
“There is a lot of faith placed in the Church to lead the way in seeking solutions to inter-ethnic and other conflicts, as well as in the promotion of tolerance and reconciliation” He added.
“We are all painfully aware of how continued fighting has worsened the economic and humanitarian situation. The number of people in need of humanitarian assistance is now higher than when the Peace Agreement was signed in August 2015 - a fact which the Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative seeks to address,” the Deputy Chairperson said.
Since the signing of the Peace Agreement, the Deputy Chairperson noted, implementation of its key provisions “has not lived up to the expectations of citizens or the regional and international partners that support the process.”
“In an attempt to address this, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) has engaged in consultations with key Parties and South Sudanese stakeholders in preparation for a High Level Revitalization Forum intended to reach agreement on steps to reinvigorate implementation of the Peace Agreement.”
Calling on all the stakeholders the Deputy Chairperson said, “we must all work together to achieve the ultimate goal of sustainable peace in South Sudan”.