“Blessed are peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God” - Matthew 5:9
As South Sudan moves toward a peaceful era following the recently signed Revitalized Peace Agreement and the formation of Transitional Government on 12 November 2019, I call on every South Sudanese to start peacemaking with ourselves and wherever we are.
Let us share messages of peace with our children and family members at home. Teaches our children to grow in a way that fosters love, peace, and unity. Let us challenge them to detach themselves from tribalism, hatred and all kinds of talks that fuel division. They do not help but promote conflict and divide us as one country.
As parents, we play a greater role in what our children think and become in the future. It is our responsibility to teach them what is good for them and discourage those attitude that is not good. There is hope to build a better South Sudan if we invest both time and resources in bringing up our children in a proper way.
In the community
Each one of us is a gatekeeper for his/her community. Our communities in villages or wherever they live to listen, trust and accept what every information we are sharing. When we go home and talk to our people in the villages, we make sure we only talk about peace and reconciliation. As humanitarian workers, they look up at us and we should use this privilege in a good way. Let avoid sharing sensitive and divisive information that foster hatred. There is still a chance to restore peace in our country if we commit ourselves to be peacemakers.
In social media
Social media apps like Facebook, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Twitter are a way to share great messages of peace and reconciliation. Let avoid spreading negative sentiments either by posting or sharing messages, videos or photos that can fuel anger, negativity and violence. Many of us who have access to social media must help campaign positivity and messages that will encourage kindness, love, and peace.
In the church
Due to our human nature, we sometimes fail to deliver God's Word in the way intended to be. We need to think critically and objectively as we listen and interpret the messages we hear from our preacher. Is it showing us the way to loving and caring for each other regardless of our tribe or affiliations? We should go to church and return home bringing God's peace.
In our place of work
The way we deal with your co-workers, supervisors, and subordinates can foster understanding and peace. We need to look at our differences and promote reconciliation among ourselves. Let approach each other with kindness, love and understanding. In this way, we will be able to make peace in the country as a whole.
In public places
Public places such as markets, airports and even local transports are all a great way to share and talk about peace. In such places, the air is often full of frustration, anger, impatience, and anxiety. The way we react to these behaviors sensitively is an opportunity to promote peaceful co-existence among South Sudanese coming from various tribes. Let us be an example to others in the way we treat and regard people.
God wants us to be peacemakers. We can do this at every opportunity and wherever we are. Let us discourage violence. Remember, sharing harmful information to people around us is as worse as encouraging conflict that can harm and endanger all of us.
Let peace reign and start with us!
By David Amol Akol, Food Security and Livelihood Project Manager