The Chinese Embassy in South Sudan in partnership with the Ministry of Peacebuilding has launched a media support project aimed at disseminating peace messages across the country.
Stephen Par Kuol, Minister of Peace Building, said there is a need to forecast South Sudan in positive light globally after years of conflict ended with the signing of the 2018 revitalized peace deal.
“South Sudan is emerging out of war and the war has been with us for a very long time. We just ended the conflict that resulted in the independence of this country then afterwards we ran into another war,” Par recounted during the launch of the “My Peace” project in the Chinese embassy in Juba, the capital of South Sudan.
Par said positive dissemination of the peace agreement is key to transforming the mindset of the South Sudanese population who has been traumatized by decades of war.
“I think it is a progressive step in the right direction that the media is not only reporting the crisis in South Sudan, war and conflict but also positive developments,” he said.
“I seldom see reports on peace dividend from the media, but more about negativity, pessimism, about wars, conflicts and disasters,” he disclosed.
“As a supporter, participant and contributor to the peace process of South Sudan, the Chinese embassy hopes that the “My Peace” project could enhance South Sudanese people’s confidence and belief in peace, encourage them to better participate in the country’s economic and social development to realize the country’s long-term stability while improving their livelihoods through hard work,” Par added.
Par disclosed that the Council of Ministers recently passed a resolution to disseminate peace in South Sudan, adding that the media will be the vehicle in that process.
Oyet Patrick Charles, the President of the Union of Journalists of South Sudan (UJOSS), encouraged media organizations to set the agenda in peace dissemination in order to reach out widely to the public.
“There are positive things happening and it is our duty to set the agenda. I would be very happy to see every media house having a program designed specifically on peace implementation,” said Oyet.
He disclosed that the dissemination of positive news on the peace process will inform people at the grassroots and also encourage them to participate in the process.
Hua Ning, Chinese Ambassador to South Sudan, said Africa’s youngest nation has witnessed positive progress in the peace process that in turn has led to relative economic recovery.
“The past three years have witnessed the positive outcomes of the peace process one after another. I have seen the gradual recovery of South Sudan’s economy and the improvement of people’s lives,” said Hua.
He noted that despite persisting challenges in the peace process, the positive changes are obvious to all.