Retired Bishop Paride Taban: The peace preacher and a village founder

Posted: February 17, 2018 by PaanLuel Wël Media Ltd. in Awuol Gabriel Arok, Junub Sudan

Bishop Paride Taban peace village is so far the world greatest peace innovative idea.

By Awuol Gabriel Arok, Juba, South Sudan

The outgoing Archbishop, Dr. Daniel Deng Bul

The outgoing Archbishop, Dr. Daniel Deng Bul during the voting process at the All Saints Cathedral, Juba, South Sudan

February 17, 2018 (SSB) — While South Sudanese have their ears and attention in Ethiopian capital city in an effort to have a glimpse of what is going on at the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) table in Addis Ababa the venue of numerous peace initiatives including the popular 1972 Peace Agreement and the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (ARCSS), the world in the opposite mirror is greatly attracted and amused by South Sudan Kuron Peace Village, a bushy and remote village founded by Bishop Paride Taban.

It all started in 1999 when Bishop Paride established the Holy Trinity Kuron Peace Village in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria state. The project, which initially began as a demonstration farm later expanded in 2004. The noble dream of peace village was realized and accomplished in 2005 after his retirement from the diocese Torit, Bishop Paride peace preaching during the bush wars and his 2005 peace village has earned him world attention and adoration making him the world skillful peacemaker.

Paride Taban born (1936) in Opari, Eastern Equatoria is a South Sudanese Emeritus, He was ordained in May 24, 1964, and consecrated as a Bishop in May 4, 1980 in Kinshasa by Pope John Paul II Bishop of the Roman Catholic Church and was the first leader of the New Sudan Council of Churches which was founded in February 1990.

 He was Auxiliary Bishop of Juba and the titular bishop of Tadamata from 28 Jan 1980 to 02 July 1983 and serve as a bishop of Torit from 1983-2004. Taban was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit in what was then Southern Sudan from 1983 until 2004. In the 1990s he and Nathaniel Garang Anyieth were the only two Bishops active in the areas under control of the SPLA/M.

Taban was sent to Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide for reconciliation efforts. Bishop Paride has received numerous awards including the Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Prize awarded by UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in 2013 for his work at the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron.

The Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in 2017 for co-founding the ecumenical New Sudan Council of Churches, building Kuron Peace Village, and chairing the mediation initiative between the Government of South Sudan and the then COBRA Faction of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army led by David Yau Yau, which produced a successful peace agreement on 6 January 2014.

In December 2016, Taban was appointed by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit as a co-chair of the steering committee of National Dialogue. An honour which he later turned down because of his retirement from active national services that need commitment, time and consciousness of mind. In September 2017, Taban received the peace award of the United Religious Initiative for Africa.

Bishop Paride Taban also won Roosevelt Award for his lifelong and selfless dedication to the cause of bringing freedom and peace to the people of South Sudan and his great wisdom and deep respect for different religions and cultures. He will receive the Freedom of Worship Award in May, 2018 from Roosevelt Foundation in Middelburg, Netherlands.

In 2016 the Bishop Emeritus of Torit advised South Sudanese to learn 20 words and eight phrases if lasting peace is to be restored in the country. “The 20 words are Love, joy, peace, patience, compassion, sympathy, kindness, truthfulness, gentleness, self-control, humility, poverty, forgiveness, mercy, friendship, trust, unity, purity, faith and hope.

The eight phrases according to the respected Bishop are: I love you, I miss you, thank you, I forgive, we forget, together, I am wrong, I am sorry,” Bishop Paride said in a statement circulated to Radio Vatican. He urged the troubled nation to return to values of the past and said when he was a youth; various tribes in South Sudan lived in harmony.

May God bless Retired Bishop Paride Taban for his massive work and love for his people

Awuol Gabriel Arok, a Writer and a Poet, has a Bachelor Degree in Social and Developmental Studies from the University of Juba, South Sudan, he is the author of the unpublished book ‘‘The Wisdom Horn’’ and an Initiator of ‘‘Your Tribe is My Tribe’’ and ‘‘Giving Heart Foundation’’ initiatives. He can be reached via his email Address: jjmkamzeearokson@yahoo.com

The opinion expressed here is solely the view of the writer. The veracity of any claim made is the responsibility of the author, not PaanLuel Wël: South Sudanese Bloggers (SSB) website. If you want to submit an opinion article, commentary or news analysis, please email it to paanluel2011@gmail.com. PaanLuel Wël website (SSB) do reserve the right to edit or reject material before publication. Please include your full name, a short biography, email address, city and the country you are writing from.

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