By Alex Digi
The Politicians of Western Equatoria State in Juba and Yambio on Thursday agreed to work together to bring lasting peace in Tambura County.
This development came as a result of a communiqué from the political leaders of Western Equatoria particularly Greater Tambura after attending 3 days Consultation meeting in Juba aimed at finding amicable solution to the inter-communal conflict that had torn the area apart.
The workshop which was organized by South Sudan Council of Churches with support from the Government of Switzerland and UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) brought together participants from the State and National government hailing from both the Azande and Balanda communities respectively.
In a peace communiqué that emerged from the consultative meeting, the Political leaders promised to conduct a Peace Conference in Tambura before the end of this year, to create conducive environment for the IDPs to return to their homes.
“While appreciating the role of South Sudan Council of Churches, and support from our peace partners to bring peace in Greater Tambura, we have resolved here after. 1. Committed in working together to bring durable peace to our people, 2. Commit ourselves to hold an inclusive peace conference in Tambura before the end of the year to address the ways and means to live in peace and harmony” the communiqué partly stated.
It further appealed to people on the ground to cease all violence and hostilities and start to restore peaceful coexistence and harmony in Tambura and beyond.
“We believe there can be no better Tambura in the absence of peace. We therefore commit ourselves to work for sustainable peace in Tambura and ready to accept one another,” the communiqué added.
The Governor of Western Equatoria State Alfred Futuyo Karaba in his closing remarks at the meeting appreciated the Council of Churches for the initiative to bring the political leaders to reconcile and accept peace. He said as State government they are going to support the peace conference to be held in Tambura this year.
Governor Futuyo also appealed to churches to pray for those who didn’t attend the workshop to be able to participate in the conference in Tambura saying the people who attended the meeting should carry the positive messages to people than using language of hatred.
Meanwhile the Bishop of Sudan Pentecostal Church (SPC) Dr. Isaiah Dau Majok called on the leaders of Western Equatoria to bring peace to their people than violence, saying as leaders they should open their hearts to everybody.
“The leader has a big heart to accommodate everybody both bad and good, a leader also has a fatherly heart, a father to many people and the leader has a forgiving heart. Everything can be a success or failure depending on the leadership, so it is important for the leaders to play their roles first, either in Parliament or in any other position, we are the ones to make our people strong,” Bishop Dau said.
“If we talk bad language they (citizens) will also use the same language, if we say it was just a workshop then you have spoiled and disorganized those people (citizens) if we all stand strong as leaders then peace has come,” he added.
About two years back there have been serious inter-communal conflicts between Azande and Balanda communities in Tambura County which claimed the lives of hundreds and thousands more were displaced from their homes and properties destroyed.
According to some reports, the conflict was instigated and fueled by senior politicians and military high ranking officers in Juba and Yambio, hailing from both the Azande and Balanda communities.