South Sudan Initiative
Australia’s South Sudan Peace Initiative (SSAPI) is a network of South Sudanese Australians and other supportive Australians who are committed to building peace. This initiative started in January 2012 as a relationship between two people (Nyok Gor & Peter Kaka) who are from two different ethnic groups from South Sudan whose communities have been involved in a cycle of tribal conflicts for long time. From these two people the group grew in Melbourne, Victoria, connecting with various networks in other places in Australia. They form a diverse group of different ages from different ethnic backgrounds. Since SSAPI started, the group had regular gatherings every fortnight to share together and empower each other to explore personal and communal opportunities to build peace.
South Sudan is divided along many lines, mainly ethnicity and economic status. In recent years, ethnic divisions have led to killings and much trauma. These tragedies affect South Sudanese both inside the country and around the world. South Sudanese diaspora have the potential to be powerful advocates for healing and reconciliation. We work from the understanding that change starts with each of us and that as a community in Australia, we have a critical role to play in creating peace.
This initiative is facilitated by Initiatives of Change, which is a movement that aim for global social transformation based on personal transformation.
1. Engage Australian South Sudanese in building peace in South Sudan
2. Support Australian South Sudanese to build strong relationships with each other to speak as a common voice
3. Addressing root causes of conflict through:
a. Building trust between people and groups
b. Finding a collective story of pain and forgiveness
c. Searching for solutions through healing
d. Connecting with South Sudanese around the world
These issues compelled us morally as a team to ask ourselves the following questions:
- What can I do as a person to help build peace amongst South Sudanese?
- Can I/we stop blaming other clans and be open to a new honest dialogue?
- How can I, my family, clan, community, tribe look for what responsibility we have in perpetuating the conflict?
Members of this network have participated directly in efforts to build healing and reconciliation in South Sudan. During 2013 several volunteered to assist the initiative of the Government of South Sudan to launch a ‘Journey of Healing for National Reconciliation’, in which Initiatives of Change was a partner.
For more information, please contact:
Nyok Achouth Gor
Co-founder, South Sudan Australia Peace Initiative