Peace, Justice “necessary rights of citizens”: Catholic Commission Official in South Sudan

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There is a need for political leaders in South Sudan to view peace and justice as “necessary rights” for all citizens in the East-Central African nation, the Coordinator of the Commission for Justice and Peace (CJP) in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese has said.

In an interview with ACI Africa on the sidelines of a training on peacebuilding, Nyabol Ezekiel underscored the value of peacebuilding initiatives, saying they are capable of realizing peaceful coexistence among members of South Sudanese communities.

“Political leaders should consider peace and justice as necessary rights of citizens,” Nyabol said during the October 6 interview. 

She added, “I am urging the leaders to take peace as something necessary, and justice should also be taken as something more essential. We can talk about peace but if we don’t talk about justice there will be no lasting peace.”

“Peace building initiatives with focus on dialogue and mediation is important for the people in communities to live together,” she further said, adding, “Politicians should help facilitate this process.”


The South Sudanese officials of the CJP explained, “If you have peace and you address the root causes and try to give the rights to whoever has the right … there will be total peace among the people.”

Speaking about the October 5-7 training, Ms. Nyadol said, “We all know that people have gone through trauma as a result of what happened, particularly in Upper Nile State during the 2013 civil war, and people are still suffering today.”

“That is why we decided to train some traditional leaders, youth, women and the elders to serve as agents of peace in their respective communities,” she said.

She added, “We all know that every society has a building process but it depends on how they carry issues concerning peace.  We are training this group to know how to spread the messages of peace across.”

The Coordinator of the CJP in Malakal Diocese spoke about what is expected of the beneficiaries of the training. The section of the people we selected are expected to go and disseminate information gathered to others,” he said. 

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“After the training, we will bring the communities together to come up with peace building initiatives on how they should live in peace in society,” Ms. Nyabol told ACI during the October 6 interview.

The CJP Coordinator said that her office is reaching out to young people in the territory covered by Malakal Diocese with income generating activities to help divert their attention from violent conflicts.

She said in reference to the young people in the South Sudanese Diocese, “We give them the money not because we want to give money but we want to change their minds because most of them are engaged in war; it’s not because they want to be soldiers but because there is nothing that will keep them busy forgetting about conflict other related issues to the military job.”

“If you give them something, you will see that they are involved in businesses and not in conflict; this is what justice and peace is doing.” Ms. Nyabol emphasized. 

She added, “We also train women in tailoring beads, bedsheets and bread making. These are the kinds of training we are giving them. Sometimes we give them  materials depending on the funding that we have,” the CJP Coordinator in Malakal Diocese told ACI Africa October 6.


Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.