AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Bishop of Tombura-Yambio: "Dialogue is the only path to peace: stop to inflammatory speeches"

Monday, 4 July 2016 violence   bishops  

Abuja (Agenzia Fides) - "Language is doing much more violence, sometimes even much more harm than the gun", said His Exc. Mgr. Edward Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio in South Sudan, while speaking to a United Nations sponsored Miraya FM radio. South Sudan has just embarked on a difficult path of peace and national reconciliation, after about three years of civil war, and the Bishop has appealed to political leaders to avoid "harsh and divisive language and instead develop a language that can build the Country".
Mgr. Hiiboro referred to the crisis of Wau, 650 km north-west of Juba, where in the clashes which broke out in late June at least fifty people were killed (see Fides 30/06/2016). According to the Bishop, at the root of the crisis of Wau there is a lack of dialogue, because "when dialogue is missing immediately people resort to violence and fighting".
"South Sudanese - underlines Mgr. Hiiboro - need to learn to talk. It is talking that brought us South Sudan. It is not cowardice to speak to your brother and sister and say look we have gone wrong here, how do we go about this".
Unfortunately, adds the Bishop, in the country people live in deep mutual distrust, they are afraid to talk with each other. Mgr. Hiiboro stresses that although the Church, civil society, NGOs must do their part to start national dialogue, the authorities have a duty to restore peace throughout the Country.
"We prepare people in the church, we pacify them, we need the government to step in and reinforce the messages spread by the church to pave way for a peaceful stable nation", he concluded. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 04/07/2016)