February 13, 2012 (SSNA) — Jonglei Peace Initiative (JPI), formed by concerned citizens of Jonglei state living in Diaspora, aims at bringing a comprehensive and lasting peace among the warring communities in the state. Formed in 2009, the initiative’s core vision is to provide grass-root peace-building and education, encourage peaceful coexistence among all the Jonglei citizens, and work with the national and state governments to formulate policies and modalities for a sustainable peace and security.
Having learned with regret the continued killing among the tribes, we want to take this opportunity to pass our sincere and heartfelt condolences to the families of those who have lost their loved ones while urging for calm and restraint as we, with the help of church and community leaders, both at home and in Diaspora, look for a solution.
Having gained its independence exactly seven months ago today, the Republic of South Sudan, otherwise known as the world’s 193rd country, has had its share of challenges particularly in the area of security. While the government has a responsibility to provide services, not the least of which security, citizens, too, have a role to play when the government is short-handed. This is the mindset of the JPI.
Jonglei state is currently engulfed in an endless cycle of intertribal violence, and as such, we regret the massive lost of lives and properties. The recent deterioration of security compels the JPI leadership to release this press appealing to all communities to stop the violence and help us help you pursue peaceful means.
All the stakeholders, including the governments, state and national, need to understand that further escalation will result in continued hardship, extermination of livelihoods, personal liberty, and denial of basic services delivery to all citizens in Jonglei state. As a result, we need to contain the current crisis with a consistent personal and collective efforts characterized by unparallel unity and tolerance among the citizens of the state.
Furthermore, this crisis needs major contribution from other stakeholders such as the UN, UNMISS and the US government in order to bring these communities together. With your help and support, we are confident we can change the course of the situation.
JPI members believe that peace is the only viable option, and for this, we are appealing to individual and community leaders of Lou-Nuer, Dinka (Bor), Murle and Anyuak to establish working groups on peacebuilding, dialogue and reconciliation from Juba to Bor as we are doing here and we will serve as facilitators.
However, this cannot happen unless we all refrain from releasing intimidating and inciting press releases to the media or dissuade those who do it on our behalves. These press releases are not conducive to peace initiative, reconciliation and cooperation among our communities.
We believe that if a conducive environment is created, the coalition of community leaders, youth, spiritual leaders (Sudan Council of Churches and others), chiefs, and elders under the JPI can appeal to the youth to immediately cease further attacks and the status quo can be changed by bringing everyone together for a dialogue.
We are also appealing to the South Sudan Government to intervene in the conflict by deploying enough army contingents to prevent retaliatory plans. We further urge the members of the Jonglei legislative to be proactive by calling for cessation of hostilities among communities and organizing dialogue and reconciliation starting with you. The MPs’ participation in the call for cessation of hostilities will add a healthy and peaceful environment for peace and reconciliation since these MPs represent each constituency at the state and national levels.
In conclusion, the JPI is committed to finding sustainable peace if all the stakeholders assume active role in our initiative. We are very optimistic that peace is still possible and can be achieved in our state. There is never a better time than now. With your help and support, we will bring peace to our state.