Church-led Action Plan for Peace in South Sudan

The Action Plan for Peace (APP) is the home-grown and Church-led strategy of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), comprehensively addressing the root causes and long-term effects of conflict through Advocacy, Neutral Forums, Healing and Reconciliation. PAX has worked with the APP since 2018.

The Action Plan for Peace (APP) promotes a holistic peace process. It envisions “A peaceful, prosperous, and reconciled South Sudan, built on inclusive citizen engagement at all levels” and it signifies an approach to ending violence in South Sudan by building on the decades of church experience in peace building and reconciliation. The church is uniquely positioned to help make this happen, with their ability to convene a neutral forum, even between warring parties, and reach all corners of South Sudan through their regional and local structures in the process of the Community Conversations. As such, it sets an example of cooperation beyond ethnic boundaries and ensures neutral peace mediation and reconciliation work.

Women facilitating dialogue 

One example of the efficacy of neutral forums is in Wau and Yambio in 2016, where neutral forums led to periods of ceasefire. Another example is the Women Peace Tables in Bentiu, Upper Nile, where women facilitate dialogue within and across communities and engage with local actors in governance, in response to conflict between people in the Protection of Civilian sites and people in the city.

Signed peace agreement

Another example is the peace agreement signed between Ibahure and Lohutok communities, resulting from church leaders who denounced hate speech, intimidation and division by political actors and work together within their local communities through dialogue, resulting in positive change from the subnational level. 

PAX has worked with the APP since 2018 and supports four local church partners who implement the APP. In November 2021, a week long reflection workshop was held in Juba, drawing over 20 members of the Council of Churches from Eastern Equatoria, Unity, and Upper Nile. The workshop evaluated the achievements and challenges of the past three years and reflected on what a follow up should look like. Currently, PAX is lobbying for donor commitment to keep supporting this home-grown peace initiative in the upcoming years. 


Sara Ketelaar: 

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