On September 21st, South Sudan joined the rest of the world in commemorating the International Day of Peace. This year’s global theme for the celebrations is “The Sustainable Development Goals: Building Blocks for Peace”. However, the South Sudanese national theme for this year is “Together We Can Heal the Nation” to relate to the country’s context following outbreaks of violent conflicts which affected mainly women and children leaving thousands displaced and traumatised.
A coalition of peace partners and actors, including ACCORD, joined in the commemorative events led by the South Sudan Peace and Reconciliation Commission, in coordination with the National Platform for Peace and Reconciliation (NPPR). In the run up to the 21st, several activities took place in Juba including youth sports events, a panel discussion of academics on the prospects of peace in the country and a prayers day led by the women and faith groups. On the 21st at the celebrations venue in Juba’s Nyakouron’s Culture Centre, traditional dances, poems and drama were performed by schools. The Deputy chair of the Peace and Reconciliation commission opened the day’s event. The UNSG’s message on the commemoration was delivered by the Deputy SRSG in South Sudan, Mr Mustafa Soumare. The final message was delivered by the Vice President of the Republic of South Sudan. The 21st September marked the beginning of 100 days of peace activism by peace actors in South Sudan in pursuit of theme “Together we can heal the nation”.