Revellers in Bor celebrated Christmas with processions
Thousands of people marched in processions to celebrate Christmas in Bor Town and in the UNMISS protection of civilians site in the area. Dressed up and carrying crosses, revellers marched on both the 24th and the 25th of December. With recent, deadly fighting in Bor South County in mind, messages of hope for durable peace were a common feature at both events.
Reconciliation and forgiveness were other key words in speeches delivered by various leaders, including the state governor, the archbishop of the regional Episcopal Church and the UNMISS head of field office.
An estimated 5,000 people turned up at the diocesan headquarters at the St. Andrew Cathedral. Archbishop Ruben Akurdid called for the disarmament of civilians and forgiveness to give lasting peace a chance in the region.
“We ask the people of Jonglei to forgive each other so that we can have peace in all the corners of South Sudan,” he said.
The governor of Jonglei State, Philip Aguer, also expressed his hopes and optimism.
“Unity, love and reconciliation will prevail in this county and we are working hard to restore peace,” he said.
The UNMISS head of field office, Deborah Schein, reiterated the Mission’s commitment to support peace, dialogue and reconciliation processes.
“My wish for the people of South Sudan is a lasting and just peace; a peace where everyone can move about freely and safely, a peace, in which rule of law prevails, a peace where children are safe to study and pursue their dreams,” said Ms. Schein.
People living in the Greater Jonglei area have frequently been suffering from bad inter-communal relations since the outbreak of civil war in December 2013. UNMISS continues to work with relevant stakeholders to create a platform for dialogue to resolve outstanding issues and grievances.