Peacebuilding Initiative in South Sudanese Diocese Has to Go Beyond Townships: Beneficiary

Some beneficiaries of the peacebuilding training that the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CODEP), the social wing of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)organized. Credit: CDTY

The peacebuilding training that the Catholic Organization for Development and Peace (CODEP), the social wing of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY), is realizing in the South Sudanese Episcopal See “should” go beyond townships, a beneficiary of the latest worship has said. 

In an exclusive interview with ACI Africa following the June 1-3 training, Jackson Pai spoke about the need to extend to villages the CODEP initiative aimed at empowering pastoral agents on peacebuilding and reconciliation efforts in view of ending violent conflicts between the Azande and Balanda communities in Tombura County.

While the program fosters the “efforts to reduce the incidence of violence which occurs partly due to little misunderstandings,” Mr. Pai said, the initiative “should not only end in town but go to those in the villages because this is where conflict always starts.”

“It will help to respond peacefully to internal events which otherwise might have triggered violence,” the 29-year-old South Sudanese who lost one of his younger brothers during the violence said during the Wednesday, June 7 interview.

He went on to underscore the need “to empower community members with knowledge to prevent further violence,” and added, “The Diocese needs to continue supporting the program so that our people will act” to prevent violence whenever conflict arise.


Also speaking to ACI Africa about the CODEP peacebuilding initiative, John Zingo called upon the Diocesan entity to “continue uniting the two communities through this program for us to build and have sustainable peace.”

“It should also help those who have plans to take revenge against others to stop thinking about it,” the 37-year-old South Sudanese who was forced to flee his home in Tombura County during the 2021 violence said.

Mr. Zingo called on the people of God in CDTY to be agents of peace at the grassroots, saying, “Our people need to promote peace not only at the national level but also local level, with families, tribes, and communities.” he said.

By promoting peace, Mr. Zingo who was one of the 60 participants in the June 1-3 training said, “people will stop the violence and abuses against others in the community.”

On May 16, the Chancellor of the CDTY,  Fr. Dominic Sasa, lauded the success of CODEP peace initiative, adding that members of the rival communities are “impressed” by the program.

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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 on April 27, members of the Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative decried hate speech among politicians and advocated for constructive language.

Patrick Juma Wani contributed to the writing of this story

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