South Sudan

Before gaining independence from Sudan, South Sudan experienced two major civil wars 1955-1972, 1983-2005. In the midst of this violence, civil society actors engaged with the communities and the police to reduce gun violence, and to restore peace and stability. This paper discusses how South Sudanese have resisted and continue to resist violence and militarism and promote nonviolent alternatives to violence.

Moses John (South Sudan) and Jungmin Choi (South Korea) are members of WRI's Council, and attended protests in London against the DSEI arms fair. They both gave speeches about the impact of the arms trade in their countries and around the world - you can hear some of what they had to say in this video.

Each month, we will feature a different WRI affiliate. This month it's ONAD, the Organisation for Nonviolence and Development, from South Sudan!

ONAD works for a nonviolent, peaceful and democratic society through training and advocacy in; nonviolence and peacebuilding, governance & civic education, community empowerment & gender and internal organizational development.

In April UN human rights chief Navi Pillay said that more than 9,000 child soldiers have been fighting in South Sudan's civil war, recruited by both the army and rebel forces. These numbers account for These reports are based on observations of children with armed groups, children wearing military uniforms and carrying weapons, and children undergoing military training.

WRI affiliate Organization for Nonviolence and Development are one of the signatories to the recent joint civil society declaration on 'Civil Society Engagement in the IGAD-Led Peace Prcoess for Sustainable Peace and Development', signed in Addis Ababa, March 17.

A Pastor reported (in a follow up meeting) “Since I attended the nonviolence workshop, I stopped hating Muslims. They burnt our Churches in Khartoum and since that time, I lost respect to Muslims and hate them. Now we are in a new Country, I don’t want Muslims to suffer the way Christians suffered under Islamic regime in Sudan. Its painful to forgive but my Bible tells me to forgive as God has forgiven us”. Since 2011 the pastor, a few other Christians and group of Muslims are working together. They organize outreach workshops to both Christians and Muslims in Juba.

Dear Friends,

In South Sudan, the seeds of nonviolence are being sown and cultivated by the Organisation for Nonviolence and Development (ONAD), a War Resisters' International affiliate.

Despite changes of attitudes and behaviour of individuals and groups as a result of ONAD's nonviolence trainings, many people still believe armed struggle can bring the changes they hope to see. In South Sudan, society is highly militarized with some civilians owning weapons. While some have surrendered their guns to the government, disarmament of both minds and hearts are equally necessary if we are to avoid ongoing militarization of society.

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