22 Sep 2018

 

Mukaya Community Leaders Express Readiness To Promote Forgiveness And Reconciliation

Community leaders in Yei River State’s Mukaya County have expressed readiness to champion a community based approach in promoting forgiveness and reconciliation among community members.

Mukaya Community Leaders Express Readiness To Promote Forgiveness And Reconciliation
A section of some Mukaya Community members participating in the peace dialogue [Gurtong photo|Daniel Friday Martin]

By: Daniel Friday Martin     

YEI, 11 September 2018 [Gurtong]-Mukaya County is one of the areas in Yei River State that has witnessed a gruesome human rights violations and abuses as a result of inter-rebel fighting among armed groups that left more than 10,000 internally displaced persons since the beginning of this year, according to local officials.

Last week, a leading civil society, Organization Community Empowerment for Progress organization (CEPO) brought together forty participants including chiefs, elders, women, youth, councilors, and local administrator’s representatives for a two days peace dialogue aimed at promoting social cohesion and peaceful co-existence in the area.

Robert Moga Head Chief of Gili Payam in Mukaya County said he was one among other villagers who lost all his belongings and properties during the conflict. Moga said he is ready to forgive, reconcile and start a new life with his community members after the devastating conflict.
“I have not been happy at all because my home was burnt down, my properties including animals were taken and some of my relatives have been killed by the armed men. But even after all that has happened to me, I am ready to offer forgiveness and reconciliation to all those who offended me” he added.

Moga continued saying “ during the  dialogue workshop,  we had sessions on trauma healing, conflict resolution, counseling, peace building reconciliation and forgiveness and because of the new ideas I have learnt, I am ready to apply the same skills to help others in promoting reconciliation for peaceful co-existence” he concluded.

Joice Dudu Mukaya County women chairperson appreciated CEPO for bringing them together to discuss freely and work towards peace, reconciliation and forgiveness at the community level.

“I am very happy because we have been told to open a new chapter for forgiveness and work for peace in our communities, with this new skills, I am ready to forgive the people who wronged me and also encourage other fellow women suffering down in the villages to stand up, offer forgiveness and begin a new journey without remembering the past” she said.
Bismarck Soro another youth participant representative expressed his readiness to talk to his peers about the importance of reconciliation, forgiveness to make Mukaya County a better place again.

Soro said he has gotten new information that restores hope in advocating for peace building especially on the Khartoum signed peace agreement on security arrangements and governance of the country.

Soro urged the warring parties to the conflict to show full commitment during the implementation period so that people build hope, confidence and bring to an end the suffering of the civil population.

“In this peace dialogue we were also given a presentation of the signed Khartoum peace agreement, I am very happy to begin a new life of promoting forgiven and reconciliation. As we play our part in peace building, my appeal to the Government is that let this be the end of the fighting through the peace agreement, we don’t want our leaders to drag us into war again because we are too tired, we want to work for peace starting from our family levels, Boma, Payam, County, state up to the national leve.l”  

Meanwhile, Jojen Clement John, the Commissioner of Mukaya County applauded CEPO and appealed for more of the same dialogues to be extended to the other uncovered parts of his County so that people live in peace and harmony.

“We need more workshops of such kind to the youth groups in other parts of the County. I also want to call on those who attended this workshop to share the learnt knowledge with the rest of the other colleagues who did not attend this workshop so that building peace becomes a local community ownership for all.”

Meanwhile, Bishop Hillary Luate Adeba of the Episcopal Diocese of Yei called on the participants to be trainers of trainees and propagate messages of peace and reconciliation among communities.

Luate called on the Mukaya Community members to embrace peace welcome the return of the people who fled their area due to the conflict to their respective areas of settlement.

“I have said in the beginning of this dialogue that if you feel you were offended, please I want you to open your heart, reconcile, forgive and lead a new journey for peaceful co-existence in Mukaya County. Let’s open a new chapter for peace and unity of our people” he ended.
In a statement to Gurtong, CEPO’s Yei State office said; “the overall goal of this peace project is to support in building peaceful constituency or communities in Yei and its surrounding areas. This dialogue marks the beginning of our 16 community peace dialogues and meetings for exchange of ideas to promote peaceful communities through workshops like this, on air Fm radio talk shows also additionally civic education on the dissemination of the Khartoum signed peace protocols.

CEPO said the six months project was designed to target at least 3,000 or more people who are living in and around Yei area.

“We would like to reiterate our full commitment and cooperation as Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) in working together with our religious groups, youth, women, chiefs, elders, peace actors and partners in achieving the objectives of building trust, confidence and create the space and tools for peace building through a community based approach” the statement added.

The speakers made the remarks at the end of a two days peace dialogue organized by the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) with funding from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).
 

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