South Sudan celebrates International Peace Day: Together We Can Heal the NationSep 22, 2016
“Can we continue to work together to achieve peace?”
The Deputy Chairperson of South Sudan’s Peace and Reconciliation Commission Hon. Peter Gwang Akiec posed this question during the celebration of the International Day of Peace in South Sudan which took place in Juba at Nyakuron Cultural Centre on 21 September 2016.
“It is imperative to consolidate our unity to achieve peace, as well as to support peace process and stop revenge between tribes,” he continued explaining to audience, which included national and local organizations, the United Nations, diplomatic missions, business community representatives, womens groups, and schoolchildren.
Under the theme “Together We Can Heal the Nation,” students from Juba Girls Secondary School, Juba Day Secondary School and Chinese Friendship School expressed their feelings through messages of peace performed in dramas, peace songs and a powerful poem.
“Let us make peace possible for our people. We are five ethnics groups living in peace in Jubek state. If this is possible for Jubek state, it should be possible for the whole country. Today is the day of peace. Yes, yes, yes for peace,” declared the Minister of Information of Jubek State Mr. Salah Rajaf.
“The United Nations is ready to help the country to achieve peace and dignity, and to find a solution for the conflict. We are ready to support a better future for South Sudan and makesure that nobody is left behind,” expressed the United Nations Deputy Special Representative Mr. Soumaré Moustapha.
Vice President of South Sudan H.E. James Wani Igga spoke at the ceremony highlighting the need for unity, and the need for peace to promote and elevate the rights of women and youth in South Sudan.
“If we do not bury tribalism, tribalism will bury us,” he said.
Organized by peace actors from a wide-ranging coalition of civil society, international, and government organizations, the ceremony was the culmination of seven days of peace activities held in Juba to commemorate the International Day of Peace.
The coalition includes Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), Liwolo Women Development Association (LWDA), Dak Organization for Recovery and Development (DORD), Solidarity for Women Rights Association (SOWA), Eve-Organization for Women (EVE), Organization for Non-Violence and Development (ONAD), United Cultural Development Organization (UCDC), United Friends Association (UFA), Community Initiative for Peace and Development (CIPAD), ACCORD, Grassroots Women Network, Unity Cultural and Development Center, Juba University, youth and women-led local groups, UNDP, UNMISS and more.
Each year the International Day of Peace is observed on 21 September 2016. This year’s international theme is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace.”
In South Sudan, International Day of Peace is the beginning of a longer-term effort amongst civil society, international, and government organizations to promote peace and stability, as part of the 100 Days of Peace Activism planned to mobilize action.