Tea group ‘flags off’ peace caravan in Juba

Tea group ‘flags off’ peace caravan in Juba
Members of the ‘Take Tea Together’ for Peace and Community Cohesion interact. [Kitab Unango, The City Review]

A peace and cohesion champions group has resolved to shun discriminatory practices fueling ethnic hatred in the violence-prone South Sudan.

On Sunday, the group known as ‘Take Tea Together’ – (TTT) launch an anti-discriminatory campaign in the country.

With a slogan ‘‘64 children of one mother’’, the TTT group said that most South Sudanese have been subjected to stereotypes, denial of rent, and exclusion in public service.

“Division amongst South Sudanese is so wide and it has affected every dimension of life including even intermarriage,” said Rose Maimuna, a resident of Gurei Residential Area.

 “Ladies and young men who want to get married from other tribes are discouraged that they should not marry certain [from a certain] tribes as if the whole tribe is bad.”

Maimuna, 29, who hails from Western Equatoria and is a tea seller under Gurea Peace Tree, said that just like she attends to her customers without paying attention to their social background, other citizens should pick up this example. 

“This is very important because it brings peace and peace is what everyone needs. We cannot achieve peace if we do not forgive the past and reconcile.  Stop generalising certain tribes because of individuals’ behaviour,’’ Maimuna said.

Aken Ajing from Warrap State, who made a dozen friends at the event, said the conflict created enmity among South Sudanese communities, which TTT has managed to address.

“When someone tells me now that a certain tribe is and bad do not associate with them, I will not accept,” Mr.Ajing said. “See how many friends I have now from different states of South Sudan? Are they from my tribe? No, so the only thing is to recognize our past wrongs and stop them.”

 Francis Lomeling Samuel, who hails from Central Equatoria State, said: “Unity is very important and I am very happy that we are united under this tree (Gurei Peace Tree). We will not deny renting houses to anyone because of his ethnicity. They are our brothers and sisters.”

 “All of us under this tree are representatives of all the 64 tribes in South Sudan, and as we have resolved to stop all that creates division among ourselves, let us also be ambassadors of peace in our communities.”

Polarised along ethnic lines, the South Sudanese communities have a long way to bridge the gap and coexist peacefully as some peace campaigners take it upon themselves to preach peace across the country.