Central Equatoria State, News

Civil-Military leaders urge nonviolence

By Staff Writer

A civil-military relations meeting that was held in Kajo-Keji County of Central Equatoria State of South Sudan last week concludes with demands for promotion of peaceful coexistence in communities.

Community leaders, women, youth, chiefs, religious leaders and members of the military representing the government attended the dialogue that seeks to restore peace and social harmony.

The three-day civil-military dialogue, organized by Community Empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO), attracted more than 70 participants.

Kenyi Nason Felix, a field officer with CEPO stated that the dialogue aimed at identifying the issues affecting the relationship between civilians and the military in the greater Jalimo boma.

“The dialogue facilitation was centered on mediation approach where civilians and the military identified issues that affect their relations,” he explained.

Lack of mutual respect between civilians and military personnel, lootings, harassments, killings and disruption of agricultural activities were identified as some of the issues affecting peaceful co-existence among civilians and the military.

For his part, the Director for Peacebuilding in Kajo-Keji county, Evans Amos Pere said he was optimistic the dialogue would help enhance the relationship between civilians and the army to support the implementation of the peace deal.

“I am happy because this military-civil relations dialogue will promote confidence between civilians and the army. This means we shall continue living in peace and harmony,” said Pere.

He added, “I call on CEPO and its partners to continue conducting similar dialogues in other parts of Central Equatoria State so that we all walk together”.

Akol Tong, who spoke on behalf of the military during the dialogue, described the relationship between civilians and government forces as cordial and peaceful.

The army officer appealed to soldiers to respect and protect civilians in the area.

According to the report of a community needs assessment conducted in Kajo-Keji County in October 2021, local authorities, chiefs, religious leaders, women, and the youth recommended for civil-military as well as military-military dialogues as strategies for restoring peace and social harmony among the communities.

Led by the UN migration agency (IOM) with support from the UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the Reconciliation, Stabilization and Resilience Trust Fund (RSRTF) project is designed to help communities in Yei, Lainya, Morobo and Kajo-Keji counties reconcile and end violence, bring stability where they live and create new incentives for peaceful coexistence.

The RSRFT project is implemented by a consortium led by International Organization for Migration (IOM) in partnership with CEPO, Finn Church Aid (FCA), Whitaker for Peace and Development Initiative (WPDI) and Support for Peace, Education and Programme Development (SPEDP).

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