South Sudan: Aweil town cultural festival calls for unity

Hauwa Mustapha

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Thousands of South Sudanese revelers gathered for Aweil town’s cultural peace festivals, a two-day happening where vibrant singing and dancing kept visitors thoroughly entertained.

Organized by the Northern Bahr El Ghazal’s State Ministry of Culture with support from the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), the theme of the event was “Unity in diversity”.

The state’s Minister of Peacebuilding used the festive occasion to call for peace and unity among different ethnic groups living in Northern Bahr-El-Ghazal State, and also between them and communities living in neighbouring Warrap State and Abyei.

Recent intercommunal conflicts have raised concern that peace in the region may be threatened.

South Sudan is a culturally diverse country with more than 60 ethnic groups.

Some 20 of these groups coexist in Northern Bahr El Ghazal State alone.

This cultural event was the first of its kind in the state, with communities proudly exhibiting songs and dances, expressing the cohesion of their diversity.

With seven ethnic groups participating, this was indeed a show of peace.

At the event, the Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports urged those in attendance to promote peace and unity amongst the different ethnic communities in the state.

He also called for a public platform where leaders of different ethnic communities can speak publicly about the need to preserve the relative peace in the state through cultural events.

For the young and old, women and men, this day was indeed one to remember.

It is now hoped that frequent events like this one, will continue to encourage and foster peaceful coexistence amongst everyone living in the region.

Hauwa M.

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