6 February 2013

South Sudan: Machar Calls On Civil Society to Create Awareness On Reconciliation

Juba — South Sudan's Vice-President, Riek Machar, has called on the civil society organisations in the country to play the role of creating awareness and mobilising the populations for the upcoming campaign on national reconciliation.

In a consultative meeting between the organising committee and representatives of civil society groups on Tuesday in Juba, Machar narrated on the initiative to bring peace and reconciliation between rival tribes and clans in many parts of the country.

He called on the leaders of the civil societies present to carry the message correctly to their other colleagues, saying a national committee for the reconciliation will be formed with participation of the civil society representatives.

In a separate meeting with the faith-based groups on Monday which included Christian and Muslim leaders, the Vice-President also urged them to preach about the importance of national reconciliation and healing in their churches and mosques.

South Sudan has initiated the process to forgive the past and instil the spirit of unity and culture of peace among the people so as to unite all communities.

Machar explained that the program for healing and national reconciliation was not a new idea because it was enshrined in the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed in January 2005 between the then Sudan's government and the South Sudan's current ruling Sudan People's Liberation Movement (SPLM) to end decades of war.

The reconciliation process was not done during the six-year interim period due to reluctance of northern Sudan by then as war was still raging in Darfur, he said.

South Sudan however split from Sudan in July 2011 and formed its own independent state following an overwhelming vote for secession in a referendum.

The conference to kick off the campaign in the new country will convene in April. A number of high profile personalities are invited to share their experiences on reconciliation and good governance.

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