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Sudan Tribune

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South Sudan: RJMEC convenes workshop for faith-based leaders

July 2, 2019 (JUBA) – The Reconstituted Joint and Monitoring Evaluation Commission (RJMEC) in collaboration with inter-faith leaders in South Sudan have convened a three-day workshop in the capital, Juba.

JMEC Chief of Staff Ambassador Berhanu Kebede during the opening of teacher's workshop in Juba, Thursday, April 19, 2018 (JMEC photo)
JMEC Chief of Staff Ambassador Berhanu Kebede during the opening of teacher’s workshop in Juba, Thursday, April 19, 2018 (JMEC photo)

The workshop, RJMEC said in a statement extended to Sudan Tribune, primarily aimed at updating the religious leaders drawn from different denominations, on the peace deal and progress made in its implementation.

In addition, it further observed, the workshop is expected to highlight the roles the faith leaders can play in the implementation of the peace agreement.

In his opening remarks on Tuesday, RJMEC Chief of Staff, Ambassador Berhanu Kebede said: “In every society, religion advocates for love, which transcends race, class and nationality. This cardinal principal is critical to every peace process, especially in context like South Sudan that is emerging from decades of conflict.”

He added, “All of you (religious leaders) enjoy a high moral ground and acceptance with the local and international communities. These positions that you hold, enable you to shape attitudes, opinions of your members as they recognize and trust you”.

Kabede urged leaders to “continue to be a light in the lives of the millions of South Sudanese who are looking up to you for guidance and information on the peace process.”

He said the peace monitoring body “is optimistic that the people of South Sudan will surmount these hurdles and ensure that the country gets back on its feet again.”

“We urge you to say no to those who are bent on undermining the peace process by engaging in hate propaganda and inciting violence. Your presence in cities and rural areas offers you an opportunity to stand for peace and silence those that seek to undermine it,” he concluded.

RJMEC was established under the terms of the revitalised peace agreement to oversee the implementation of the deal signed in September last year.

In May, South Sudan’s rival parties agreed on a six-month extension to implement next steps in the fragile peace agreement. The extension came after the country’s main opposition group threatened to boycott formation of a unity government on May 12.