Traditional leaders’ role in the peace building is key-JMEC

Traditional chiefs attending the celebration of New Pagak. (Photo: Deng Nyantut Malual/Nyamilepedia)

Traditional chiefs attending the celebration of New Pagak. (Photo: Deng Nyantut Malual/Nyamilepedia)

Nov 28, 2016(Nyamilepedia) ——- Traditional leaders in South Sudan play a vital leadership role in building a lasting peace and reconciliation among warring communities, the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC) has said.

JMEC chair Festus Mogae said such leaders have been effective as mediators and adjudicators in implementing peace and conflict resolution.

Speaking during a meeting with Chief Council of South Sudan in Juba yesterday, Mogae said

“We can all agree that traditional leaders have historically been effective mediators and adjudicators in their communities by implementing positive traditional forms of peacekeeping, conflict resolution and intervention on behalf of victims of injustice,” he said

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He said traditional leaders and institutions play a key role in facilitating the process by which hostilities can be brought to an end.

“I appeal to you as I have done to the rest of the leaders of this country to go all out and peace and reconciliation to extend of friendship to all including estranged members of the opposition, offering assurances of safety,” he said.

The chair said the elders’ voice of promoting peace in South Sudan as traditional leaders and community elders “must continue to be heard across the communities and throughout the country”.

He added that the principle of inclusivity in the South Sudan peace process in paramount.

“The key message I have sought to articulate regarding inclusivity is that it is not and should be about individuals. It is and should be about communities and all other parties that have a stake in the peace process.

It includes, he said, other political parties, church organisation, women, civil society and the youth.

“What we need at this stage, is achieving maximum awareness about peace agreement among communities. This is why nationwide campaigns and reconciliation is critical,” he continued.

The meeting was attended by 655 chiefs representing from 28 states and Yei administrative area.

Speaking on behalf of chiefs, the President of Chiefs Council of South Sudan Deng Macham Angui Garang said “the solution to the conflict is in our hands”

“The solution to the conflict is in our hands. We, therefore, need to be partners in the Peace Process together with the international organisation,”

“We know the politicians in the government and those in the opposition. They are our people. We need to talk to them,” he said.

The chiefs pledged to be peace ambassadors among tribes in their jurisdictions.

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