OpEd, Politics

FOCUS on peace, good governance-Archbishop

By Bosco Bush

 

Archbishop of the Central Equatorial Internal Province, Episcopal Church of South Sudan has called for reflection on the true values of liberation Struggle, which he said are peace and good governance.

In his Independence Anniversary message, Archbishop Paul Benjamin Yugusuk noted that the failure of the government has inflicted doubtful thoughts into the minds of citizens towards stability of the nation.

Reflecting on the fundamental principles of peace and good governance, the Bishop said the Church and Civil Society have been advocating since the attainment of the country’s Independence.

South Sudan, on Tuesday, July 9, 2024, celebrated its 13th Independence Anniversary after seceding from the North in 2011, through a popular referendum vote.

However, 3 years later the country plunged into a political turmoil that has since destabilized her socioeconomic and political fabric.

Property worth millions in cash value was destroyed, thousands of lives lost and over 2 million people displaced as refugees or Internally Displace Persons (IDPs) as a result of the 2013 and 2016 incidences.

“As we celebrate this year’s independence, we must accept that our governance system has failed,” he commented.

According to him, in best governance practices, citizens delegate power and responsibility to the government to govern on their behalf.

“Today, as we celebrate the 13th year of our independence, several of our citizens are asking the question – Is independence still worth celebrating in our context of conflict?” he recounted.

The Primate encourages citizens to have a positive thought, based on the essence of the 2 decades of liberation struggle that the South Sudanese fought for.

“Indeed, whatever answer one may want to give, it is certainly necessary to acknowledge that Independence Day will forever be a reminder about the values of our liberation struggle,” he consoled.

Archbishop Yugusuk said the Independence Day presents the opportunity for citizens to reflect back and ask themselves the question – “what must we do to redeem the dream of a united, just, democratic and prosperous South Sudan that we so passionately fought for?”

Meanwhile, since the signing of the Revitalized Peace Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCISS), relative calm has returned in the country.

However, the implementation of the peace accord has hit several deadlines for the country to transition into a democratically elected government at the end of the transitional period as enshrined.

Currently, the National Unity Government is negotiating with the holdout groups known as the South Sudan Opposition Movement Alliance (SSOMA) through the Tumaini Peace Initiative in Nairobi, Kenya with an effort to reach a consensus and strengthen peace across the nation.

Primate Yugusuk urges the government and citizens to prioritize reconciliation and forgiveness for the country to move forward.

“We must acknowledge that over the years, our struggles, our differences, our disagreements have resulted in wounds that need to be healed.  It is now time for us to put forth a reconciliation, healing and forgiveness agenda. We must now prioritize this agenda,” he said.

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