Communities in Torit have reiterated their commitment to unite and foster peaceful existence among the different ethnic groups in the area.
“My advice as a leader of the Pari community is to be united. Whatever we are doing or work we need to do, let us do it together with happiness,” said Dario Ukello Pari.
Mr. Ukello spoke at the launch of a series of joint cultural outreach activities to take place in different locations within the Torit Municipal Council over the next three weeks. Four cultural groups from the communities of Pari, Ketebo, Iyire and Horiyok were dressed in traditional attire to highlight social cohesion and diversity, as well as a common national identity.
The assistant chairperson of the Iyire community, Ongodok Fangarasio, appealed to those in attendance to shun division and build trust among themselves to pave the way for reconciliation.
“The good way of handling peace is by acceptance, by accepting the mistakes we have committed [against each other]. Let us come together and say, look we are here, able to unite and forgive each other,” Mr. Fangarasio said.
The series of events, focusing on cultural performances, dramas and messages of peace, is a joint initiative by the United Nations Mission in South Sudan and the local Ministry of Information and Culture.
Margret Idwa, Minister of Information and Culture, advised the communities to hail cultural differences to live together in harmony.
“From today we have started celebrating peace, and everything will be peaceful. Our tribes should embrace each other so that South Sudan can have a lasting peace,“ she said.
A total of sixteen cultural groups, religious leaders, artists and youth peace ambassadors have been engaged to showcase educational activities aimed at fostering peaceful coexistence, diversity, inclusivity and national identity.