By Tesfa-Alem Tekle
January 3, 2015 (ADDIS ABABA) – As heavy fighting between Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) rival factions re-erupts this week, South Sudanese musicians in Ethiopia on Saturday stage a peace concert in Addis Ababa, calling for an end to the bloodshed in the troubled East African country.
The Chairperson for South Sudan Artists Association in Ethiopia (SSAAE), Khor Deng Jang, told Sudan Tribunethat the aim of the concert is to advocate for peace and reconciliation in the young nation.
Jang urged the two warring parties to reach an immediate peaceful settlement on the crisis.
The South Sudan plunged into conflict in December 2013, after political dispute within the ruling SPLM party led to fighting between troops loyal to president Salva Kiir and those allied themselves to his former vice-president Riek Machar.
IGAD led peace talks were put on hold on December 21 Christmas and New Year festive season however there are reports of renewed fighting in Nassir, Upper Nile State, and near Bentiu, Unity states of South Sudan.
The secretary for the SSAAE, Paul Bayoy said that the main point of holding the peace concert was to aware the communities on federalism, peace and New Year wishing to all South Sudanese.
Lul Tuach Dojiok who is deputy chairperson of the group pointed out that artists must act neutrally and work for peace, but warn the parties to promote the national interest.
Also attending the concert was South Sudan Peace Ambassador, Gatwech Koak Nyuon, who called on the leaders of the rival parties to advocate for peace and not war.
“Stop advocating for war but focus on how these two warring parties should return to one country, one beautiful party as well as one nation,” he said addressing the crowd.
“South Sudan belongs to South Sudanese and not to Nuer and Dinka alone,” he said adding “I believe a Nuer man and a Dinka man would peacefully check hands after sometime”.
“We need to collaborate to make peace happen and ignore the divide so that peace would quickly come,” Nyuon added.
The peace campaigner, who in July was named by Kale Hiywot Church of Ethiopia as Peace Ambassador further called on all regional and international actors put more pressure on the two warring parties in order to bring them to strike a lasting peace deal, ending the one-year-old conflict that has killed over 20,000 people and forced over two million civilians to flee their homes.
The peace concert which took place at Gerji Hall near Unity University attracted some 800 people.
Among Artists performed at the show were well known musicians Khor Deng Jang and Kilany Gatkek Tut.