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Some of the stakeholders in Gumbo-Shirkat pose for a picture after attending (Photo: Faida, ACSS)

Non-violent skills-based training brings stakeholders together in Juba

A training aimed at imparting knowledge on non-violent and peacebuilding has attracted a number of stakeholders in Gumbo Shirkat -suburb of Juba city to learn more about non-violent approaches when tackling violent-related conflicts among the communities.

The event was conducted by Active Citizen South Sudan, a youth-led organization in the country, in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) as it provides a strategic framework for local peacebuilders and youth to transform violent conflict and advance peace.

About 52 participants in the skills-based training. These included police, youth, women, traditional leadership and the church representatives.

Gai Makiew Gai, the project officer at the Active Citizen South Sudan (ACSS) said the initiative was undertaken to engage the stakeholders on peacebuilding and community transformation.“Synergizing on non-violent action and peacebuilding (SNAP) is critical for building peace and harmony in the community. So, we need the stakeholders to have understanding of non-violent approaches and skills in building peaceful society,” he explained during the opening session in Shirkat. “This enables the locals to apply skills where necessary. These the people who represent the majority in the society,” Gai added.

According to the activist, it was high time to also build synergies among the communities so that the peace prevails among the people. “The other objective is to build synergy among the stakeholders in case there is any problem, they will always work together as the stakeholders to address the situation the nonviolent approaches,”

According to the agencies in South Sudan, communal conflict is threatening peace and stability in the country.

Mr. Gai urged all the South Sudanese to focus on the prospects for sustainable peace and peaceful coexistence.

The peace activist admitted that the SNAP approaches have worked in the parts of the country and it was high time for the people in eastern bank of the city to adopt the approaches. “We examined in other places and it is working in other areas. It was successful helping people in Mangateen,”

Mr. Gai revealed that the initiative would be sustained by the trainers of trainees who were being capacitated.  To him, the participants will reach out to help the communities. “Sustainability comes when people have the skills and the knowledge. The institutions we have capacitated will continue with the same skills,”

He also believes the faith-based groups will embark on the conflict sensitization to resolve the non-violent.

Abang Garang, one of the participants said the training would impact the communities as it contributes towards realization of peaceful coexistence. “Applying these approaches for non-violence can reduce conflict, anger and violence on personal and local levels. So, we wish to educate the locals about it and we wish to achieve disengage our people from violent conflict,” she explained.

She hopes that the initiative will help the communities in addressing and transforming the internal conflicts.

Deborah Yar, another participant revealed that the training was also key in influencing the communities to live in peace with each other.  “Basically, this has taught us not be agents of conflict among our people. We should rather preach peace and harmony. For example, if children fight, we should always prevent any escalation. The children are our future. They are for all of us,”

According to the reports, the nonviolent crisis intervention program is a safe and efficient to build conflict free communities.

Michael Biphal, the executive director of the organization said the non-harmful behavior management system would aid educators and communities in the management of disruptive and violent people especially during the most violent moments.

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