South Sudan: The Youngest Nation’s Move For Peace
July 9, 2011 is a profound day for a nation not yet eight years in its existence — South Sudan. The land-locked country had been embroiled in civil war for over six decades, and the years of conflict yielded dilapidated infrastructure, economic calamity, food insecurity, poverty and a fatigued people. Several humanitarian groups and NGOs have aided to provide medical and basic needs such as water; however, the demands for a steadily growing population are great and require more awareness and support from first world democracies.
Public Democracy America became active in South Sudan upon meeting now Archbishop Elias Taban, a former child solider and man of intense faith of Evangelical Presbyterian Church in Yei State River, South Sudan. Bishop Taban joined a global coalition to advocate the Arms Trade Treaty in 2012. Within the same year, he addressed the UN General Assembly in support of ATT. Taban’s boldness and intimate understanding of unregulated weapons that kept his country in turmoil fueled his advocacy for peace and stability. The success of Bishop Taban and representatives of the coalition’s commitment was recognized by then UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in a handover ceremony.
Public Democracy America partnered with Bishop Taban and his wife, former military officer Reverend Ann Grace Taban, to raise awareness of his grassroots efforts for peace. An opinion piece published in the New York Times gained the attention of former Secretary of State, Hillary Rodham Clinton – Secretary Clinton was moved to visit Bishop Taban and his home country shortly after. Bishop Taban was awarded the Clinton Global Initiative Award in 2013 for his peace-building work and recognized by the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir. President Kiir called for Bishop’s model for peace to be duplicated across the nation’s 32 states.
Our campaigns are intentional — Public Democracy America is proud to maintain support for a leader whose goal for his country is to ensure peace is realized for the present and future generations of the world’s youngest nation.