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Kiir, Machar told to invest in peace and people, not positions

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Archbishop Robert Gosselin, of the Archdiocese of the Middle East and North Africa of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches after speaking to Eye Radio in Yambio, South Sudan on Sunday August 11, 2019. PHOTO: Charles Wote/Eye Radio

A visiting Israeli -American Archbishop has told President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar to invest more in uplifting the lives of their people and not in positions within the government.

Robert Gosselin says the current peace agreement is the only test for both leaders to demonstrate to the world what type of country they hope to build.

Kiir as President and Machar as First Vice President are expected to lead a government of national unity this November with four other Vice Presidents represented by the Former Detainees, and the Opposition Alliance.

The main task of the coalition government will be to restore permanent and sustainable peace, stability and security in South Sudan.

Robert Gosselin is the Archbishop for the Archdiocese of the Middle East and North Africa of the Communion of Evangelical Episcopal Churches.

He told Eye Radio in Yambio town that it is time the leaders show more concern to the plight of the ordinary person and not their interests.

“I will say to President Salva Kiir and [first] Vice President [designate] Riek Machar and anyone else involved in the process that, we must expect you to invest your today for the nation tomorrow,” Gosselin said.

The parties are expected to share various portfolios in the next coalition government -at the national and state level. Each party shall recommend -to Kiir -officials to fill ministerial posts, head of commissions and other sectors of governance.

But the Archbishop said the only price the parties have to pay is “peace.”

“Peace is the price both parties must be willing to pay and be concerned more with peace then power, more with the people than with positions,” he said.

“Let us build a nation that can stand strong and be a shining light in the world,” Archbishop Gosselin stated.

Kiir and Machar are also expected to oversee and facilitate a people-driven process of national reconciliation and healing through an independent mechanism per the peace deal, including budgetary provisions for compensation and reparations.

The agreement also mandates the leaders to carry out radical reforms and transformation of public financial management systems to ensure transparency and accountability.

It further stipulates that the leaders shall rebuild and recover destroyed physical infrastructure and give special attention to prioritizing the rebuilding of livelihoods of those affected by the conflict.

Archbishop Gosselin said all these are possible if the leaders forgive one another for past mistakes, and accept to work collaboratively.

He said their good intentions will be replicated in the country -and it may begin to heal.

“Maybe someone had their homes burnt down, they don’t know if it was SPLA-IO, or NASS, or the government, they don’t know the men who did it, but in their hearts, they can choose to forgive them and choose to release them and say let ‘it go’ and that begins the healing process,” the Archbishop added.

“But it begins with the healing process in a relationship,” he affirmed.

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