A vibrant multicultural gathering in Yambio, South Sudan, saw hundreds of community members from nine different ethnic groups come together in a celebration aimed at promoting peace, unity, and cultural diversity. Organized by UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan) in collaboration with local partners such as the Ministry of Culture, Youth, and Sports, the festival aimed to underscore the pivotal role of culture in fostering harmony amidst diversity.
The event resonated with a profound message of unity and peace, as highlighted by Mama Hellen Mading, a participant and dancer, who emphasized the collective longing for tranquility amidst the hardships faced during conflicts. She expressed the urgent need for peaceful coexistence, especially for the sake of the children and the future generations.
James Amabele, a resident, echoed similar sentiments, emphasizing the significance of such gatherings in fostering peace among various communities within South Sudan. He emphasized the importance of unity, viewing the event as a significant step towards achieving enduring peace across the nation.
For UNMISS, the event represents a vital stride in fostering lasting peace among communities that have endured successive crises. Emmanuel Dukundane, a Civil Affairs Officer at UNMISS, highlighted the festival’s role in celebrating cultural diversity and promoting social cohesion. He emphasized the importance of understanding and appreciating each other’s cultures as a means to move forward from past challenges.
The festival was marked by a joyous atmosphere filled with lively music from whistles, vuvuzelas, drums, and xylophones. These diverse musical elements created a spirited soundtrack, inspiring revelers to join in dances and celebrations, ultimately fostering a sense of unity among participants from various backgrounds.