OpEd, Politics

Adieu Hero of Peace, Reconciliation; Bishop Paride Taban

By Loro J. Mori


As South Sudan mourns the life of the fallen hero, it is important to remember his legacy. Bishop Paride Taban is widely recognized as a prominent figure in championing peace and reconciliation in South Sudan. Born in 1936, he dedicated his life to serving his community and advocating for non-violence amidst years of conflict and died on November 1, 2023, in Nairobi, Kenya on a day when the Church is celebrating the All-Saints Day.

Bishop Taban’s notable contributions to peacebuilding began during the civil war between Sudan and South Sudan. Despite the challenging circumstances, he relentlessly worked towards bridging divides between ethnic groups, religious communities, and political factions. His efforts were pivotal in creating spaces for dialogue and promoting understanding among different stakeholders.

One of Bishop Taban’s remarkable accomplishments was the establishment of the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron. This project aimed to bring together people from various tribes, providing them with a safe haven to live and work together harmoniously. The Peace Village serves as a symbol of unity, showcasing what can be achieved through dialogue and cooperation.

Moreover, Bishop Taban actively participated in peace negotiations and reconciliation processes, both nationally and internationally. His influential role in mediating conflicts earned him respect and admiration from all sides. His dedication to fostering peace earned him numerous awards and accolades, including the prestigious Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Prize.

Bishop Taban’s vision for peace extended beyond political boundaries. He emphasized the importance of education as a means to empower individuals and promote lasting peace. In line with this vision, he founded schools, vocational training centers, and health facilities to uplift communities and provide opportunities for sustainable development.

As a true hero of peace and reconciliation, Bishop Taban’s unwavering commitment to non-violence and his tireless efforts to bring conflicting parties together continue to inspire others. His legacy serves as a reminder that lasting peace is possible, even in the most challenging circumstances. The world recognizes Bishop Paride Taban as a beacon of hope and a catalyst for positive change in South Sudan and beyond.

Eternal rest grant unto them, O Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them. May their souls and all the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. Amen.

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