UNMISS overcomes barriers to peace through cultural exchanges among communities in Lakes


United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS)

Building peace from the grassroots is the only way to sustained harmony and social cohesion.

In this regard, the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) organized a two-day cultural exchange among formerly feuding communities from Rumbek East and Yirol West, Lakes state.

The UN Peacekeeping mission’s rationale is simple: Culture and heritage inculcate a sense of shared identity, thereby contributing to shaping peaceful societies and inculcating respect for diversity.

Led by the mission’s Civil Affairs Division in partnership with the state ministries of Peacebuilding and Culture, Youth and Sports respectively, the event brought together some 60 participants from both counties. These included traditional and community leaders, youth and women’s representatives as well as religious groups to discuss ways of fostering a durable peace.

“We have been here for two days, interacting with a diverse range of community members and leaders drawn from Yirol West County and the Greater Akot area of Rumbek East, who were in conflict in past times,” said William Koji Kirjok, the state Minister of Youth, Culture and Sports.  

“It is a joy to see them together, conversing, convening, connecting and even eating and shopping together in the local market here,” he added. “Our mission, as the government is to bring people together and I think we have been very successful.”

Furthermore, speaking to participants, Minister Kirjok urged young people to voluntarily and peacefully disarm themselves as well as highlighted the need to fully implement provisions contained within the Revitalized Peace Agreement across the state.

Cultural performances by women’s representatives, storytelling sessions by community elders, and amplification of peace messages were some highlights of this colorful and meaningful event.

 “This is how we as South Sudanese women should be able to lead our lives—sharing equal space with our men, having a market for our daily necessities close by and sleeping peacefully under the stars without fear. There is no conflict and no threat to us,” said Toma Paity eloquently, on behalf of women from Mapuordit payam [administrative division] in Yirol West.

For Ruben Akol Yol, Executive Chief of Rumbek East, true peace comes from the heart.

“We are from the same country; we have the same fears, hopes and we thirst for the same peace. We have embraced our sisters and brothers from Yirol West and vow to do our best to keep open, communicative and harmonious relationships with them,” he stated. 

The second phase of this exchange programme will be held at Aluak Aluak payam, Yirol West, later this month and will involve football matches, wrestling and other sports to solidify unity and teamwork among participants.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).

Send us your press releases to pressrelease.zawya@refinitiv.com

© Press Release 2021

Disclaimer: The contents of this press release was provided from an external third party provider. This website is not responsible for, and does not control, such external content. This content is provided on an “as is” and “as available” basis and has not been edited in any way. Neither this website nor our affiliates guarantee the accuracy of or endorse the views or opinions expressed in this press release.

The press release is provided for informational purposes only. The content does not provide tax, legal or investment advice or opinion regarding the suitability, value or profitability of any particular security, portfolio or investment strategy. Neither this website nor our affiliates shall be liable for any errors or inaccuracies in the content, or for any actions taken by you in reliance thereon. You expressly agree that your use of the information within this article is at your sole risk.

To the fullest extent permitted by applicable law, this website, its parent company, its subsidiaries, its affiliates and the respective shareholders, directors, officers, employees, agents, advertisers, content providers and licensors will not be liable (jointly or severally) to you for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, incidental, punitive or exemplary damages, including without limitation, lost profits, lost savings and lost revenues, whether in negligence, tort, contract or any other theory of liability, even if the parties have been advised of the possibility or could have foreseen any such damages.

More From Press Releases