Inter-Church Council Peace Committee Visits Yambio

The Inter-Church Council Peace Committee has held a meeting with the Western Equatoria State government in Yambio.

By Joseph Nashion

YAMBIO, 07 May 2013 [Gurtong]-Speaking during the meeting, Rev. Mark Kumbonyik said the purpose of the meeting is to explore together on non violent approaches and solving existing conflicts and pre-empting emerging conflicts in the community.

Father Mark added that the LRA with their activities and the impact on the community is a concern and the government should be able to come up with a solution on how to end these activities in the state.

He further added that due to the LRA activities in the state and in the neighbouring countries people have continued to be displaced and have not gotten time to be productive to sustain them in their livehood.

Many have been killed and others have been abducted and not accounted for and orphans have been left without direction since people still live with fear because they are still open and venerable to attacks at any time.

He also stated that a quick reality check of the situation at Sakure Payam where they had just held a community peace building workshop last week calls for urgent action by all the stake holders to strengthen civil protection mechanism in the area.

Rev. Mark also told the gathering that there is need to carry out a systematic program for integration and reconciliation of the returnees and the host community and also rebuild the lively hood of the affected by carrying out training like sustainable agriculture, tailoring, provision of agriculture input and trauma counselling that can help them fit in the community.

He also noted land conflicts which manifest in very many ways, the territory boundary ongoing conflict and has been witnessed in Mvolo, wulu and Rumbek east counties. He also added that other communities have created false tendency of land occupation in the names of grazing of animals and water point and also individual land disputes.

The other notable issue is the political conflicts Rev. kumboyik said since the last election, low intensity conflict continues to manifest between the supporters of the winning candidate and the one who lost his votes and the tension between the two groups tends to even take tribal undertone.

He further said programs initiated by the winning candidates in officers are always de campaigned or sabotaged, according to father mark he said to the ICC it means people have not received enough civic education to deepen democratic anti practices but given the extensive structures the inter church committee is uniquely positioned to work with the government in the aspect of civic education and can be real agent for change in that direction.

Finally the Rev. Mark urged the members to get to their toes and participated freely in the meeting so that appropriate solutions are noted to down in line with the problems mentioned above.

Mean while the state governor Col. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro told the gathering that such meeting is a strong way that can continue to support peace in the state and probably in the all of south Sudan.

He added that when you are living in peace you must continue to discuss peace because you can see that people are writing a lot of things on internet so the purpose of being here is to brain storm especially in areas of potential conflicts we need to do a lot.

Joseph also told the gathering that there so many ways but in his opinion church has done a lot in peace building so he urged them to fight corruption as the first element but corruption is not only money it can be recruitment of people for job opportunities you will only take people of your tribe so when you do that you are causing insecurity which is a source of conflict.
Governor pointed out the boarder issues among the communities as government plans to extend towns to the communities the tradition of that land belongs to my father yet the boundary falls beyond the his father’s land he begins to claim what is not falling to the newly created county.

He also said poverty is another threat in the community so he urged the church leaders to see how the issue of poverty can be addressed to the community so that they can work hard and make sure there is no more hunger amongst because when there is poverty the people think of doing bad things as such increasing the on the number of crimes in the state.

The governor also said during that another area of conflict that requires a lot of mobilization is election. He appealed to the church leaders to educate the community on how to carry out peaceful elections.

“You have seen how Kenya has demonstrated peaceful elections go down to our people and address them so soon south Sudan is going for election so if the community is not aware then it’s a threat,” Bangasi added.

Additionally Col. Bangasi urged the committee to find a better ways to stop the issue of cattle raid in the state. He further state that of recent Mundiri west community complaint of such practice and there is no way communities can work closely when such threats are existing.

Hon. Bangasi urged the members of the church committee to think of the feature, the upcoming south Sudan constitution. “I believe church can do more to fight for the right of its people in the country as you can see and hear the president of the republic of south Sudan chose the church leaders in the committee for the peace reconciliation progress because people who were involved in the war cannot be the same people to discuss peace its unfair.

Finally the state governor urged the church to help the government to be at the lead in solving areas of conflict because they being close to the community the people listen to them more than the officials because they are the one who can provide tangible security since it’s the most fundamental right of every human being.  

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