Yei River peace accord still holding, serving as model for famine-plagued country.
Dallas, TX, Sept. 21, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- S. Sudan Vice President Taban Deng Gai meets today with Bishop Elias Taban, leader of Yei’s Evangelical Presbyterian Church (EPC) and recipient of the 2013 Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Citizen Award, and Steve Roese, co-founder of Texas-based Water is Basic and SouthSudanNow.com, to implement the NGO’s grassroots peace model throughout South Sudan. The meeting, taking place on the International Day of Peace, follows a successful peace accord Taban brokered for Yei River State, with support from U.S.-based His Voice Global.
On June 4, 2017, a signed peace accord officially ended the armed conflict in Yei River State between warring factions – the South Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) and the SPLA - In Opposition (SPLA-IO) Yei River State. The accord calls for a permanent ceasefire; an assembly area for armed rebels and their security; a planned national dialogue and the securing and opening of all roads to and out of Yei Town.
“Together, we demonstrated our collaborative, grassroots peace approach is successful,” says Roese. “For over a decade, we have served South Sudan in bringing clean drinking water to more than 1.5 million Sudanese, which has brought a glimmer of peace. Now, our efforts can serve as a catalyst for peace across its entire nation.”
President Salva Kiir, who is scheduled to meet with Taban and Roese tomorrow, has requested the grassroots peace model be taken to all 32 states in South Sudan, beginning in Torit and Boma.
Taban has gained significant influence with all parties involved and is generally accepted as a neutral party. He shares the first priority is the successful staging and reintegration of former opposition (SPLA-IO) forces into the local community and SPLA government forces. EPC and its partners are responsible for overall monitoring of the implementation of the Yei River peace agreement and the successful implementation and management of Pre-Assembly Areas and the Morobo Assembly points in Yei River State. This includes registration and screening; supply provisioning and inspection; vocational screening; training and logistical support.
“Survival trumps war,” adds Roese. He says the most urgent needs are supporting the Kendila Assembly points with basic provisions including household, food and medical supplies; preparing for opposition reintegration efforts and provisioning for future Assembly points in Torit and Boma; and funding for peace talks in the other states.
SouthSudanNow is a coalition of His Voice Global, B.A.S.I.C. Ministries, Water is Basic and Impact | AO Foundation, whose supporters are dedicated to grassroots peace initiatives in South Sudan. SouthSudanNow.com
About Water is Basic:
Water is Basic aims to put clean, safe water within reasonable access for every person in South Sudan. Co-founded in 2006, and led by Bishop Elias Taban and Steve Roese, in response to the country’s water crises, Water is Basic has been there from the beginning. Birthed at the grassroots level, the organization is guided by local experience and implemented by men and women who get what it means to go thirsty.
About Impact | AO Foundation:
An impact investment and innovation group collaborating with philanthropists and local impact organizations to create bold change for vital lives, communities and planet. Impact AO first partnered with EPC two years ago.