U.S. Launches Peace Center in South Sudan

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Peace & Security233-1iug

United States (US) government has recently launched a national peace center in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, to promote peace among the communities in the world’s youngest war affected country.
The new “Reconciliation for Peace in South Sudan” initiative – funded by the US 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.
Announcing the initiative on Thursday during the occasion of the launch attended by representatives of the government and opposition parties, US Ambassador to South Sudan, Molly Phee, explained that the new reconciliation program responds to calls by civil society, political parties and other South Sudanese for a facility to coordinate efforts to promote peace and obtain credible information about the peace process.
He said the US government through its USAID agency allocated 6 million US dollars to fund the initiative which will be run by the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) and other partners.
“USAID will dedicate $6 million to work with communities at the grass roots level to bring citizens together to discuss their injuries and concerns, and to acknowledge wrongs and grievances,” Ambassador Phee said in the speech which copy was seen by Sudan Tribune.
He said for the next 30 months, the money for the program will support the South Sudan Council of Churches as it engages communities in grass roots reconciliation processes.
“The resources I have announced today [Thursday, 3 March] to support the National Peace Center and the South Sudan Council of Churches are resources designed to ensure that success by promoting inclusive and popular ownership of the agreement,” he said.
The program, he added, will reach approximately 1.25 million South Sudanese, in 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.”
The national peace center will make available publications on global peace processes and implementation strategies for use by South Sudanese. The Center will also offer materials – including copies of the peace agreement, legislation, and official policies – which visitors can take away and share with local networks.
Other services will include hosting programs and offering meeting space, computer access, and Internet. Through these activities, he added, the center aims to help facilitate the implementation of the Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.
The launch of the center was witnessed by the deputy chairman of the Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (JMEC), Francois Lounceny, and representatives of the government, Peter Bashir Bandi, SPLM-IO, Stephen Par Kuol, former detainees, Majak Agot, other political parties, Lam Akol, and civil society organizations.

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