The framework for peace process aims to establish nonviolent and mutually beneficial relationships across ethnic and religious boundaries, to overcome trauma, and to promote reconciliation in the country, the General Secretary of SSCC told ACI Africa.
Christian Church in South Sudan have, over the years, played an influential role in resolving conflicts, reconciling parties, building trust and confidence between communities as well as brokering cease-fires between warring parties.
APP, established in 2015, recognizes the need for a long-term peace process to resolve not only the current conflict but also the unresolved effects of previous conflicts, which seem to be factors behind the current conflict, Fr. Oyet said.
To implement the three pillars of advocacy, the neutral forum, and reconciliation, Fr. Oyet disclosed, “you need the capacity strengthening of Church leadership, whether they are in the national or the grassroots.”
The strategy designed for implementing APP at the grassroots depends on the structures of each member church, Fr. Oyet said and added, “In the Catholic Church, we use the structure of dioceses, but since we are a Council of Churches, a seven-member ecumenical body, we work ecumenically.”
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So far, the initiative has “reached the refugee camps in Uganda, people in Gambella” and a host of other communities in South Sudan.
In planning for and implementing the peace initiative, SSCC Secretariat is supported by various faith-based charities, among them, the Catholic International Development Charity in England and Wales (CAFOD), Catholic Relief Services (CRS), Finn Church Aid (FCA), Kairos Canada, Norwegian Church Aid (NCA) and Trocáire.
In addition to these organizations, APP initiative has achieved partnerships with a number of overseas governments, Fr. Oyet said.
“Our main donors supporting this peace process are the European Union Commission, the UK government, United states through USAID, government of Netherlands and government of Norway, alongside private donations,” Fr. Latansio said.
He explained, “From the United states, our grunt comes from CRS; from the government of Norway, our support comes through the Norwegian Church Aid; from (the) European Union, we have Norwegian Church Aid and Finn Church Aid (FCA); from the government of Netherlands through PACs for Peace; from the UK we have Christian Aid in partnership with CAFORD and Trocaire.”
The member churches making up SSCC include the Catholic Church, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan, the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan, the Evangelical Church, the Sudan Pentecostal Church, the Sudan Interior Church, and the Africa Inland Church.