Tambura Community dialogue ends with calls for peaceful co-existence
A peaceful community dialogue organized for traditional leaders in Tambura County of Western Equatoria State ended on Monday with a call for peaceful co-existence between the two communities of the Balanda and Azande.
There have been tensions between the two ethnic groups over borders and sharing of leadership positions in the state.
The Catholic Church organized a one-day dialogue that attracted over 20 traditional leaders from different communities in Tombura County intending to unite the two communities of the Azande and Balanda.
Edward Hiboro, the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura-Yambio called on the community leaders to desist from violence, embrace peace, accept one another, and co-exist as one people.
"People need to work together and I am so happy and pleased with the commitment that I have seen from these community leaders here. Peace is a process that does not come out of the blue,” Bishop Hiboro said. “It needs time, it needs patience and it needs to be worked on. People slowly need to accept themselves and accept others by way of dialogue. People need to slowly converse with one other. That is what we need for Tambura."
The Bishop applauded the traditional leaders for their efforts in keeping the peace in Tambura County, saying that they should continue with the good work.
"I appreciate the effort of these elders to calm things down and this is what we have seen. We are committing ourselves and we are going to work on all those things which are disturbing us and we also ask everybody who is in Tambura and anywhere to join us to work for peace to grow these communities,” Bishop Hiboro added.
Meanwhile, the traditional leaders promised to continue working together for peace but castigated some politicians and social media for being behind the conflicts.
The chief from the Balanda community, Peter Kolowo, said, "From today, we the people from Tambura have a change of heart from violence to good. God has put it in our hearts because he sent us the Bishop,” Chief Kolowo said.
Amboribamu Renzi, the Azande Paramount Chief of Tambura County, said it was some politicians and social media who mislead the communities.
"What has happened has happened. But if you follow the root cause, this may not be from the communities. According to what we are getting on media, if it was a conflict between the Balanda and Zande, there could have been a genocide. Media is another weapon used to destroy the communities,” Chief Renzi said.