While music is entertaining, the United Nations Mission in Southern Sudan and local authorities are trying to use it to promote peace and reconciliation between communities in the city of Yei.
It is concerts, like this one, that musicians convey the message. A shows that brought together dozens of residents to celebrate peace with the artists in a country still ravaged by armed conflict.
“Like our commitment to peace, the government of Yei River State will do everything in its power to ensure that a peaceful situation is fully proven and consolidated at all costs,” said Yousto Baba, deputy governor, Yei River state.
Peace is not something you just sing and talk about.
One of the headliner is Emmanuel Kembe, one of the most popular musicians in the country, who performed songs about patriotism, peace and the reconstruction of the country.
“Peace is not something you just sing and talk about. It is not something we want, but it is something we are working for. So with the development that is happening in Yei right now, it is really a sign that our people are ready for peace, nothing less,“said Emmanuel Kembe, musician.
Hope has gradually been restored since the signing of the peace agreement last year between President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar. And despite the difficulties in permanently silencing weapons, the South Sudanese are taking full advantage of the apparent calm that currently prevailed in the country.
“Now that we are living in peace, I feel happy because now my children can go to school and I will be happy. There is no fear of walking at night. Now I can go to Juba, Yei or Khartoum. I am very happy with this peace,“said Saliwa Suleiman, Yei resident.
The peace relieves some of the suffering caused by a civil war that, in five years, has left about 400,000 people dead.