Juba (Agenzia Fides) - On the occasion of the second anniversary of the independence of South Sudan (proclaimed on 9 July 2011), a number of civil society groups have launched an appeal for the abolition of the death penalty in the Country and to commute all death sentences in other forms of punishment.
The appeal, addressed to President Salva Kiir, was also signed by the Comboni Missionaries.
The signatories also express their concern for the fate of 11 men sentenced to death by hanging in Wau, in the state of Western Bahr el Ghazal, accused of killing six farmers in December 2012.
The signatories of the petition also call the governors of the Lake States, of Warrap and Unity, to solve the problem of cattle raids without resorting to the application of the death penalty or to ask for it when the accused refuses to pay "blood money".
The Catholic Church held a national prayer of reconciliation and penance in the capital Juba to celebrate the anniversary of national independence. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 09/07/2013)