The Government of the United States Thursday announced a new initiative to support community- level reconciliation. It also launched the National Peace Center in Juba for all South Sudanese who wish to take an active role in promoting peace and reconciliation.
The new “Reconciliation for Peace in South Sudan” initiative – funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and implemented by Catholic Relief Services – will address the deep and painful rifts within and between South Sudan’s diverse communities. Over the next 30 months, this $6 million program will support the South Sudan Council of Churches as it engages communities in grassroots reconciliation processes. This work will reach approximately 1.25 million South Sudanese, responding to a nationwide need for healing and reconciliation
It will have a special focus on women, youth and others that have been marginalized by years of conflict.
U.S. Ambassador to South Sudan Molly Phee announced the new reconciliation program at the launch of the National Peace Center, a USAID-funded community center that responds to calls by civil society, political parties and other South Sudanese for a place to coordinate efforts to promote peace and receive credible information about the peace process.
The National Peace Center provides publications on global peace processes and implementation strategies to prepare South Sudanese to take a more active role in public debate.
It also offers materials – including copies of the peace agreement, legislation, and official policies – which visitors can take away and share with local networks.
Other services include hosting programs and offering meeting space, computer access, and Internet. Through these activities, the Center aims to help facilitate the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
“By funding both the Reconciliation for Peace in South Sudan initiative and the National Peace Center, we hope to ensure that the peace process is inclusive, and sustained by the active participation of all South Sudanese,” said Ambassador Phee. “We hope to empower every South Sudanese to take a more active part in their country’s future.”