Interfaith institutions in Yei call for an end to hate speech and religious division
Senior members of the Islamic Council and Christian faith-based institutions in Yei have ended a three-day workshop with a call for an end to hate speech and religious division.
The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese said it was high time all religious institutions showed a unity of purpose by using their moral authority to mend broken ties.
“We as religious leaders cannot continue to shoulder social ills of the past,” said Bishop Arkalano Ladu Tombe. “We want to reconcile and forge a new future – a future everybody deserves.”
“We need to rebuild our broken relationships that have torn us apart for years, especially between the civilians and the army,” Bishop Tombe went further, adding, “We don’t want to hate one another anymore.”
The Bishop said it was time to work together to move the recently signed revitalized peace agreement forward so that it was fully implemented to end the suffering of the people.
His call came at a workshop organized by the Civil Affairs Division of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) which brought together 40 participants from across the religious spectrum.
Topics discussed included using a two-way communication strategy during mediation, identification of conflict triggers, designing early response mechanisms and improving the understanding of the mandate of UNMISS to protect civilians and build durable peace in the conflict-affected country.
The leaders of all the faith-based institutions in the area called for the creation of an atmosphere of peace, love and harmony through preaching messages of peace in their respective religious settings.
The Secretary for the Islamic Council in Yei, Ali Mogga, highlighted some of the key resolutions that came out of the workshop.
“Developing early warning systems, being able to identify conflict arousers before they occur and designing effective response mechanisms to curtail them is critical to their timely prevention or mitigation,” he said.
He said a committee had been established to realise this endeavour.
“We are talking about advocacy that requires partners and allies to stand with us so that we can develop practical steps tailored towards the very success of these resolutions,” said Mr Mogga.
One of the women participating in the workshop, Supa Angelina, said she would encourage her parents, friends and family to forgive those who had done wrong to them.
“I will convince them to embrace peace and talk about it every day and everywhere.”