In Terekeka County, South Sudan, over 500 people gathered at Freedom Square to reaffirm their commitment to peace ahead of the December 2024 elections.
This outreach event was a collaborative effort between the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the African Theological Leadership School, and the Ministry of Peacebuilding in Central Equatoria State. It targeted both community leaders and citizens, emphasizing the imperative for South Sudanese to unite in building a peaceful and prosperous nation.
Laurence Musoke Samuel, Director General for the Ministry of Peace Building in the state, stressed that fostering peace was a collective responsibility. He stated, “Our families play a pivotal role in nurturing peace at the community, county, state, and national levels. It commences with each one of us, and it is within our households that we must impart the values of social cohesion and unity.”
During the event, the crucial role of women in peacebuilding was emphasized. Hellen Kaku Kula, a leader for women in the local community, stressed the significance of inclusivity by saying, “Women are the primary educators in society as everything starts at home. Everyone needs to participate in the peace process, and the plans created by our political leaders must align with the expectations of the people at the grassroots level.”t the grassroots level.”
The United Nations peacekeeping mission, UNMISS, used the occasion to remind participants of its mandate in the country. UNMISS’s mandate, extended until March 15, 2024, is centered on preventing a return to civil conflict, fostering lasting peace, and supporting accountable governance.
South Sudan, which gained independence in 2011, descended into civil war in 2013, resulting in the loss of 400,000 lives and the displacement of one-third of the nation’s population. The conflict came to an end in 2018 with a peace agreement between President Salva Kiir and rebel factions led by Riek Machar.