AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN-"The international community must help us to demarcate the border between Sudan and South Sudan," says the Archbishop of Juba

Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "The situation in Juba is not quiet. The population is very concerned about what is happening on the border between South Sudan and Sudan" says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Paulino Lukudu Loro, Archbishop of Juba, capital of South Sudan. Sudan and South Sudan continue to exchange accusations over the Heglig affair, the oil area disputed between the two States, recently recaptured by the troops of Khartoum after fierce fighting, in which, according to the Sudanese, about 1,200 soldiers have died in Juba (a figure denied by the South Sudan authorities). Aviation in Khartoum also continues to bomb some border areas in the State of South Sudan.
"The southern Sudanese government has mobilized more troops to be sent to the border. There are movements of soldiers around Juba" says Mgr. Lukudu Loro. "In the face of these attacks-added the Archbishop - our government is concerned about the safety of the South Sudanese citizens, while the same southern Sudanese are upset with the irresponsible speeches by President Bashir of Sudan."
President Omar al Bashir, visiting Heglig, said: "No'' negotiation with these people (the leaders of the South, ed). With them we only negotiate with rifles and bullets."
According to Mgr. Lukudu Loro "the people of South Sudan do not want war. This is an economic conflict for the control of oil. South Sudan is ready to reach an agreement with Sudan on oil. But what has disappointed the southern Sudanese is the attitude of the UN, of the African Union and other Western countries on the issue of Heglig. In my opinion, these organizations have made premature statements without knowing the reality. In particular, we must understand exactly where Heglig is: is it in South Sudan or Sudan? Representatives of these international institutions must go there to clarify this point, to demarcate precisely the boundary between the two countries" said the Archbishop.
Finally, we ask what the situation of people fleeing the fighting is. "The humanitarian situation is worsening because the rainy season has started, making it very difficult to carry out rescue operations to the people fleeing the fighting areas," says Mgr. Lukudu Loro. In the city of Juba, there are serious problems in the delivery of electricity and other essential services. But the people are trying to help their brothers and sisters in need," concluded Archbishop of Juba. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 24/4/2012)