JUBA, 11 February 2016 [Gurtong]: The Committee for National Healing, Peace and Reconciliation (CNHPR) has emerged the most recognized national peace and reconciliation initiative in South Sudan according to the survey recently carried out by South Sudan Law Society in partnership with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and the Government of Netherlands.
The Survey which was conducted in only 11 locations inside South Sudan and with 1,525 respondents reported that CNHPR is the best known initiative after the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) led peace process between the Government of South Sudan and the SPLM-IO.
“…… In the statistics, the CNHPR is the best known structure after IGAD and that NPPR which was conceptualized and brought to life by CNHPR with other entities is the next most. Hence, the outreach of CNHPR could be said to be wide despite the many challenges it faced” said Peter Kuot Ngong, CNHPR Communication and information manager.
Following its establishment by the Presidential order on the 22nd April 2013, CNHPR was expected to hold peace and reconciliation conferences from County to the national level during its formation.
Kuot says, with the understanding that South Sudanese do not need peace and reconciliation events but a process, CNHPR came up with a plan of going down to the grassroots to create space for the people of South Sudan to express their grievances and to seek their opinions about how peace, reconciliation and healing should look like.
“The process started in October 2014 in Yei with a one month training of 75 Lead Peace Ambassadors drawn from all the 10 States of South Sudan and Abyei Administrative Area” CNHPR says.
“The process was planned to be facilitated by 600 Peace ambassadors who would travel and facilitate consultations in all the Payams of South Sudan” it says.
CNHPR further said that the 75 individuals from different ethnic groups lived together for a month and found a common ground of living together appreciating and having love as a symbol of a changed team that would spearhead the process of changing other communities.
CNHPR has trained peace ambassadors from the states of Warrap and Eastern Equatoria from April to August 2015 with training of 55 Peace Ambassadors in each state. It also trained more 600 facilitators in Yei.
However, CNHPR decried that consultations did not take place as planned in Eastern Equatoria due to lack of funding. Donors have since put on hold their funding to CNHPR after the signing of ARCSS as the establishment of the new Commission of Truth, Healing and Reconciliation (CTRH) is developed.
“In regards to the survey report, we wish to point out that the sample area (both locations and respondents) selected was too small to determine the opinion poll of the whole country, however we appreciate the efforts of South Sudan law Society to conduct this survey” CNHPR applauds.
“It should be noted that with the help of Norwegian Church Aid and the Norwegian Government, as well as Catholic Relief Services (CRS) among others, CNHPR struggled to undertake a national programme in the middle of a civil war” CNHPR said.
The organization said it has shared with the public that it will hand over its documents to CTRH while NPPR will be called to do the same as the leaders of CNHPR will now continue their work within the Church under South Sudan Council of Churches which will undertake its Peace Action Plan.
The South Sudan Law Society (SSLS) is a civil society organization based in Juba. Its mission is to strive for justice in society, respect for human rights and rule of law in South Sudan.
The SSLS manages projects in a number of areas, including legal aid, community paralegal training, human rights awareness-raising and capacity-building for legal professionals, traditional authorities and government institutions.
View the Perception Survey Report - Transitional Justice Reconciliation and Healing