News / Africa

South Sudan Prepares for National Reconciliation

South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, shown here in his office in Juba, is leading the country's reconciliation project.South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, shown here in his office in Juba, is leading the country's reconciliation project.
x
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, shown here in his office in Juba, is leading the country's reconciliation project.
South Sudanese Vice President Riek Machar, shown here in his office in Juba, is leading the country's reconciliation project.
Charlton Doki
South Sudan's Vice President Riek Machar met this week with civil society groups to discuss a national reconciliation project, aimed at healing the wounds left by years of war and unrest in South Sudanese communities.

“The war has created barriers among our people... The war has created trauma to all of us," said Machar, who has been at the forefront of reconciliation efforts in South Sudan.

He urged the South Sudanese to look to the future instead of dwelling on past grievances.

"What has happened in the past... let’s leave in the past. War should not be continued in our minds because many people are still fighting in their minds. We will not build a strong state unless we overcome this,” he said.

The reconciliation campaign, titled “A Journey of Healing for National Reconciliation”, is due to launch in April and would follow the model of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in South Africa, where victims and perpetrators of apartheid-era injustices met and reconciled. 

South Sudan's healing and reconciliation campaign was approved last month by the Council of Ministers.

Machar, who last year apologized for his pivotal role in the massacre of hundreds of civilians in Jonglei state in 1991, some eight years into the civil war in Sudan, heads a committee in charge of preparing for the launch of the reconciliation effort.

But during meetings this week, civil society leaders questioned Machar's motives for leading the reconciliation effort and voiced skepticism about the government-led effort to heal South Sudan's wounds.

Steve Goi Gatluak of the community-based organization Dark Organization for Recovery and Development questioned the vice president’s motives for championing reconciliation.

“Could it be because, perhaps, you are intending at some time to lead this country?  Are you doing it out of the quest for leadership of this country or are you doing it for the betterment of this nation?” he asked Machar.

Sarah Ajith Awel James, who chairs the South Sudan Women General Association, said many South Sudanese, and women in particular, are weary of the violence that continues to roil parts of South Sudan, eight years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, which ended Sudan's long civil war.

"People are bitter, people are frustrated. Even some of them are asking: 'Why did we vote for independence? It would be better for us to remain as one country,'” she said.

More than eight million South Sudanese Pounds have been earmarked for the reconciliation project, and some 200 youths are expected to be trained to mobilize communities and get them to take part in the process, which is due to be formally launched in April by President Salva Kiir.

You May Like

India PM Modi's Party Distances Itself From Religious Conversions

BJP under fire for being slow to rein in hardline affiliate groups allegedly trying to promote Hindu-dominant agenda by luring Muslims and Christians to convert More

Anti-Whaling Group Found in Contempt of Court

Radical environmentalists who threw acid and smoke bombs at Japanese whalers in the waters off Antarctica continue their campaign to disrupt Japan's annual whale hunt More

UN's Ban Urges End to Discrimination Against Ebola Workers

Ban was speaking in Guinea on the second day of a whistle-stop tour aimed at thanking healthcare workers of the countries at the heart of the epidemic More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid