Greater Lainya peace forum ends with calls for reconciliation
A two-day peace conference ended in Greater Lainya County of Yei River State on Tuesday with calls for reconciliation, peace and stability.
The participants were from Kupera, Mukaya and Lainya counties. The event was attended by more than 800 stakeholders.
Joice Kiden, a forum participant, told Radio Tamazuj Tuesday that they have forgiven all the warring factions for all crimes committed against civilians, despite the hardships encountered in past years.
“With all the bad things committed against us, we as women have forgiven them for peace. We want peace and we want them [government forces and rebels] to turn away from the bad things and unite for peace in the interest of the people of Greater Lainya,” she said.
Simon Ladu, the Lainya County paramount chief, said communities want peace and reconciliation to promote socio-economic development in the area.
“We need to unite with the chiefs, elders, women, youth, landlords, army and the government to restore peace in the Greater Lainya. We need to stand together with the commissioners and the government for development,” Ladu said.
While speaking on behalf of his counterparts, the Lainya County commissioner, Stephen Stegol said they all agreed, as leaders of the counties, to beef up security in the area.
“We agreed that we don’t want our land to be used for war. We denounced war in our areas. We are committed to disseminate the contents of the revitalized peace agreement because we are for peace and we need to join hands to ensure that peace prevails in the Greater Lainya County,” Stegol stressed.
On his part, Yei River State governor, Emmanuel Adil Anthony, said authorities are committed to restore peace and encourage non-violent approaches with other armed groups to end conflicts.
“Whoever is still carrying arms in the name of the people, the people have spoken and they need peace and they should listen to the call of the people on peace. As a state government, we need our people to return home and it is time for all of us to embrace peace and resort to dialogue to salvage the suffering population,” Adil said.
Several chiefs, women, youth, soldiers, elders, religious leaders and politicians attended the forum organized by the state government in collaboration with the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS).
Lainya County is one of the areas affected by the country’s civil war in 2016.