Paramount Chief Peni addresses crowds in Yambio at this year's third Independence Day celebration [picture by Joseph Nashion]
By Joseph Nashion
YAMBIO, 16 July 2014 [Gurtong]- The chief said the current violence has affected all South Sudanese, country wide; and therefore all must be a part of the solution. “We are all children of one God and together we are children of this new nation South Sudan. No body shall ever come to develop or bring us peace if we the nationals are not ready to advocate for peace”, he stressed.
Peni was among the few traditional leaders who went to the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa, for peace negotiations. He said there was need to involve traditional elders in the process because they have extensive experience in the area of mediating peace for their communities.
“I want to speak on behalf of the local citizens. We are part of this government. Therefore, when there is a problem there is need to share the problem,” Chief Peni said. Adding that peace comes as a result of hard work, he strongly urged the churches and traditional authorities from different parts of the state to take the lead in the peace process.
He said once peace is acquired, all must take it upon themselves to protect it as one people. He urged the citizens in WES to utilize the peace they have got to cultivate seriously, so that they are able to support their brothers and sisters who are short of food, as part of their love and sharing of problems. He also expressed the hope that, in future, people should focus on developmental matters, rather than taking up arms against one another.
Paramount Chief Peni specifically addressed those who say that the independence being celebrated today was brought by them by one tribe only, saying that this was not true and that it was the achievement of all the different ethnic groups in the Republic of South Sudan.
He said the people of Western Equatoria state (WES) have been of supportive of the SPLM party and have participated in the party. He added that people of (WES) are peace loving and have a genuine love for the party; he said that they would never let the party fail.
Wilson Peni said on behalf of the traditional elders, the people of western equatorial and church groups, he is appealing to the national government to try as hard as possible to bring peace to the people of South Sudan. “Peace is very expensive item to posses,” he concluded, saying that for peace to prevail in the region is not an easy thing and requires a lot of patience.