In Freedom Square, Terekeka County, South Sudan, a gathering of more than 500 individuals convened to reaffirm their commitment to peace in anticipation of the scheduled December 2024 elections.
This outreach event was a collaborative effort involving the United Nations Mission in South Sudan, the African Theological Leadership School, and the Central Equatoria State Ministry of Peacebuilding. The primary focus of the event was to stress the importance of unity among the people of South Sudan in their collective endeavor to construct a peaceful and prosperous nation.
Laurence Musoke Samuel, the Director General of the State’s Ministry of Peace Building, emphasized that the responsibility for nurturing peace rested on the shoulders of all citizens. He articulated the vital role of families in fostering peace at various levels, ranging from the community to the national level. Samuel remarked, “It begins with each one of us, and it is in our homes that we should pass on the values of social cohesion and unity.”
In Terekeka, #SouthSudan, some 500 people recently gathered at an #UNMISS event aimed at raising awareness on the status of the implementation of the country’s peace agreement ahead of elections scheduled for the end of next year.
— UNMISS (@unmissmedia) September 18, 2023
The event also shed light on the pivotal role of women in peacebuilding efforts. Hellen Kaku Kula, a local women’s leader, stressed the importance of inclusivity and the influential role women play as educators within society. She stated, “Inclusivity is a must. Women are the first line of educators in every society, because everything starts at home. It is a necessity that we are all involved in the peace process, and the plans that the political leadership has for our country must be aligned with the expectations of its grassroots.”
Furthermore, the United Nations peacekeeping mission used the occasion to remind attendees of its mandate in South Sudan. UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) had its mandate renewed in 2023, extending until March 15, 2024. The mission’s primary objectives revolve around preventing a return to civil conflict, facilitating the establishment of enduring peace, and supporting accountable governance.
1/ Side deals between South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir and major opposition commanders could jeopardise the fragile 2018 peace deal.
The country is now headed towards more crisis.
Why, and what can be done?🧵 https://t.co/ylna6KPoNl
— Crisis Group (@CrisisGroup) February 28, 2022
South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011, experienced a devastating civil war in 2013 that resulted in the loss of approximately 400,000 lives and the displacement of one-third of the country’s population. The conflict was ultimately resolved in 2018 through a peace agreement brokered between President Salva Kiir and rebel factions led by Riek Machar.