This article was last updated on May 25, 2022
Led by Pastor Peter Lohide Sundar, the State Reconciliation Committee has appealed to the people of South Sudan irrespective of their social, economic, political, ethnic, region, backgrounds to rise up on their knees to reconcile so forgiveness to follow.
Recently formed by the national authorities after the President of the Republic of South Sudan announced that of the national led by Bishop Daneil Deng Bul, the state Committee which is comprised of sixteen Members under the leadership of Pastor Peter Lohide Sundar had prepared for tomorrow’s historic function.
The leader of the committee explained why they were gathering saying it was simply because the new nation has been faced by several challenges ranging from social, economic, political, raidings, killings, border conflicts, among others.
He said it is time to pray and allow the citizens to reconcile because decades of wars created multiples trauma among the country’s citizens.
Pastor Lohide noted that the citizens definitely need elements of reconciliation for healing that is why President Salva Kiir came up with the proposal which aims at letting all the South Sudanese to.
Also, co-taking the lead was a Muslim representative, Yusuf Argestino, who equally spoke similar language as that of reconciliation among South Sudanese.
The state Governor Louis Lobong Lojore Lojore who attended the historic function with his Deputy’s Jerome Gama Surur, congratulated the South Sudanese people on the imminent occasion saying it was good for them all to reconcile so they peacefully celebrate their hard won freedom.
Also, present today was a key leader; Netherlands based Bishop of Sudan Gospel Mission Christopher D. Drale who asked South Sudanese to immediately reconcile so they are able to jointly build their fragile nation of South Sudan.
The Episcopal Church of Sudan Diocese of Torit Bishop, Bernard Oringa Balmoi strongly urged all leaders be religious or political to reconcile instantly though he maintained that the process needs time and patience.
Speaking on behalf of the Civil Society Organizations, Jimmy Killang Silverous said the national reconciliation comes in recognition of God’s nearness.
The East Bank’s African Inland Church’s Bishop Sarafina Oseyek said South Sudan as a Country has lost a focus from God’s closeness saying there is a need for South Sudanese population especially Christians to turn Him.
“Let us make peace with God, let us forgive ourselves,” he loudly repeatedly shouted before the congregation.
The National Committee for Healing, Peace and Reconciliation is being headed by the Episcopal Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul with subcommittees in the ten states of South Sudan.
Bishop Bul last week in his press statement said that all the states will conduct their National Day of Prayers in the state capitals and the bigger event to be conducted in Juba in the presence of President Salva Kiir and his Vice President Riek Machar.
“Our Muslim brothers and sisters will begin the prayer in their mosques on Friday 5th July. It will be taken up in our Christian churches on Sunday 7th July. On Monday 8th July there will then be a national prayer event in Juba, and prayers in each of the State capitals,” Bishop Bul said.
The Chairperson said the prayer the committee is conducted is not a political but based on spiritual values aiming to bring about a possible peace to the people of South Sudan, regardless of their religions, tribes and political affiliations.
“This is emphatically not a political process. It is based on spiritual values, which can be found in our Christian, Islamic and traditional African traditions. This is why we begin with a National Day of Prayer on Monday 8th July 2013, a significant date, as it is the eve of our celebration of Independence,” Bul added.
South Sudanese communities have been at war among themselves now and before the region separated from Sudan.
Most of the tribal wars practised in South Sudan are based on cattle rustling and disputes on land boundaries.
Bul said Khartoum had by then played the politics of “divide and rule” to South Sudanese communities, a game he said, “must stop by now.”
Before the independence of South Sudan and after the general elections of 2010, emerged conflicts carried out by the renegade generals from the former guerrilla movement, the SPLA which is now the national army. Some elections losers said that SPLM party had rigged the elections.
South Sudan President Salva Kiir since 2011 has granted amnesty to all the militias groups that are fighting his government.
Some responded positively to the pardon with few others still left behind.
The bishop said that the reconciliation process in the only two years old nation will come but not be achieved in one night.
“This is a long term process which will take years, not months. While the Committee appreciates that there is a degree of urgency, there are no quick fixes and reconciliation will require patience and perseverance on the part of all citizens,” he said.