South Sudanese Diocese Spearheading Peace Initiative, Priest Says Communities “impressed”

Credit: CDTY

The peace initiative that the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CODEP), the social wing of South Sudan’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY), has undertaken to reconcile two warring communities is having a positive impact, the Chancellor of the South Sudanese Diocese has said.

In a Wednesday, May 16 interview with ACI Africa, Fr. Dominic Sasa shared testimonies from members of the Azande and Balanda communities, who, he said, are “impressed” by the peace initiative.

“In our first activity, we met the motorcycle riders of Tombura composed of Azande and Balanda who could not come together,” Fr. Sasa said about the findings of a team involved in assessing the impact of the CODEP peace initiative. 

The team, he went on to say, “was also able to talk to the chiefs of Balanda and the paramount chief of Azande who were ready to reconcile.”

CODEP has conducted workshops, aimed at empowering pastoral agents on peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in view of ending violence in CDTY. 


Focus during the workshops has been to equip pastoral agents with skills to unite members of the  Azande and Balanda communities in Tombura County that has been experiencing violent conflict.

“The Peace initiative organized by the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio is able to make a great change between the communities of Azande and the Balanda residing in Tombura County,” the Chancellor of the South Sudanese Catholic Diocese told ACI Africa during the May 16 interview. 

He added, “Many people we have reached on the ground believe that it’s only the Church that can bring peace and reconciliation among our people.”

“The community leaders from the two sides say it was politicians who misled them to rise up against each other,” the South Sudanese Catholic Priest who is also in charge of Our Lady of Fatima Maridi Parish of CDTY further said.

Fr. Sasa said that Tombura County “is currently calm and the members of the two communities are doing their different activities although there was fear of violence.”

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“Building lasting peace is what the Church will continue to do for the two communities to coexist together,” the Chancellor of CDTY told ACI Africa on May 16.

In April, religious leaders in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State expressed concern about rising insecurity in the South Sudanese State.

In their communique issued, April 27, members of the Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative also decried hate speech among politicians, and advocated for constructive language.

Earlier, on April 25, the Local Ordinary of CDTY, Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala announced the postponement of the launch of the centenary celebrations of Ave Maria Ngboko Parish that had been scheduled for April 29, citing “ongoing insecurity” in the area.

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.