Nov 08, 2020(Nyamilepedia) — In a forum organized by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and the United Nations Development Programme, more than 30 chiefs from different villages and communities in Yambio came out to discuss the provisions of the revitalized peace agreement related to healing and reconciliation, the establishment of a hybrid court and enterprise development fund.
The traditional leaders said that they were pleased with the learning experience.
“I am happy to acquire this knowledge about the different provisions of the peace agreement, especially chapter five, which talks more about the role of the chiefs and the local government to keep citizens informed,” said Edward Mumbasa, acting paramount chief in Yambio County.
The elders appreciate the experience they had and are promising to use it to resolve conflicts in their communities.
“Now I will be able to safeguard my community, help resolve conflicts and refer cases beyond my capacity to the appropriate bodies.” said Priscilla Elikana, Executive Chief for Li-Rangu Payam.
“We can handle incidents of land disputes and marriages, but I have understood that we, as chiefs, should not get involved in politics. We have to be neutral,” Priscilla continued.
Robert Roba, a political affairs officer serving with the peacekeeping mission said that it is important that communities understand the peace agreement, chapter by chapter.
According to him, that way they can stay away from politicians who might try to create conflicts and division rather than peace and unity.
“Traditional leaders are handling a lot of issues of the community. If they can do that well, while sensitizing communities about the peace agreement, it will result in the promotion of reconciliation and peaceful coexistence between communities,” said Robert Roba.
The head of the peacekeeping mission’s field office in Yambio, Christopher Murenga, also emphasized the role of community leaders in the peace process.
“We are here to support the government and people of South Sudan in implementing the revitalized peace agreement, and we can only do so by working closely with traditional leaders at the grassroots level. That way, everyone will gain the knowledge they need to build the durable peace South Sudan needs,” he said.