South Sudan: Cycling for peace in Nimule
22 February 2012

Three peace facilitators in Nimule show their excitement as JRS presents the new bicycles. Alex Kiptanui/JRS
"The bicycles will serve as motivation to the facilitators to work even harder on peace-building efforts in the three payams.”
JRS peace facilitators in Nimule, South Sudan, have been given the unique opportunity to meet the needs of their communities more effectively with the purchase of nine brand new bicycles.

"We are truly thankful to JRS for this New Year gift. The bicycles will serve as motivation to the facilitators to work even harder on peace-building efforts in the three payams” said Limio Margaret, one of the recipients.

Conflict flashpoints

Nimule is a fast-growing border town and is home to various different communities, including the Madi, the Acholi and the Dinka. Cattle rustling and tribal land clashes are common flashpoints between these groups, and conflicts resulting in death and injury are regularly reported. In addition, many internally-displaced persons (IDPs) reside in the area and this can cause some tension as some would prefer to see IDPs return to their original homes. This, however, is in direct contradiction with the new South Sudan constitution which is clear on the right of Sudanese to live where they wish. Peace facilitators play a pivotal role in helping to resolve conflicts by collaborating with local administration, mobilising community members to attend meetings and workshops, and organising peace-education activities such as football matches.

Faster and more effective

The nine peace facilitators selected to receive the bicycles were drawn from the three payams of Nimule, Mugali and Pageri, to ensure broad geographical coverage. The road networks in South Sudan are very poor, so bicycles are a low-cost and efficient method of getting around. It has been estimated that the facilitators reach over 92,000 people directly and indirectly through their work. The bicycles will ensure that these people are reached much more quickly. "This gesture will go a long way in boosting our work as peace-builders in the community” said Azo Mark, JRS Team Leader for Nimule Payam and a Catechist at a local parish. At the end of a special presentation ceremony, Limio Margaret jumped on her new JRS-branded bicycle and exhibited her cycling prowess, drawing cheers of admiration from the crowd. Her energy is just a small example of that which all the peace facilitators need to draw upon when faced with difficult situations such as domestic violence cases and tribal conflict resolution.

JRS has been present in Nimule since 1997, supporting local communities through education, peace-building activities, adult literacy and gender empowerment programmes. Accompaniment is at the heart of JRS's work and through standing in solidarity with community members and providing support and conflict management techniques, JRS has helped make sure that a united community is a stronger community.

Press Contact Information
Katie Allan
+254 20 3874152