AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - "Do not ignore our tragedy otherwise the tide of refugees reaching Europe's shores could be swelled" says a Bishop

Tuesday, 2 August 2016 bishops   armed groups  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "If South Sudan is ignored, the tide of refugees reaching Europe’s shores could be swelled" says His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura- Yambio and President of the Inter-Faith Council for Peace Initiative (ICPI) in Greater Western Equatoria, in a statement sent to Agenzia Fides.
Mgr. Kussala launched an appeal to the international community to "continue to play her pivotal role in persuading President Salva Kiir and former Vice-President Riek Machar, to return to the negotiating table and implement the power-sharing agreement they signed last August".
The new fighting between factions of Kiir and Machar which exploded in July (see Fides 12/07/2016) have forced the latter to flee the capital Juba. Machar who, according to the agreements in August 2015, became First Vice President, was dismissed from office. His place was taken by Taban Deng Gai.
The humanitarian situation in Juba and in the rest of the Country is precarious (see Fides 25/07/2016), and are mostly Catholic organizations and other Christian denominations that have to deal with the emergency. "With international support, and that of the Catholic Church and other members of the South Sudan Council of Churches, as well as the aid agencies, such as Cafod and Trocaire, Caritas, and other humanitarian agencies, which are helping people stay alive, we can make sure that our country has a future", said Mgr. Kussala. The Bishop stressed that South Sudan is potentially very rich, not only in oil but also of different minerals and has a strong agricultural potential. But the conflict, caused by "a small minority" prevents the country from developing. The tragedy of South Sudan is overlooked in the media by the terrorist attacks in Europe and in other parts of the world, but Europe, concluded Mgr. Kussala, cannot ignore it otherwise it will be overwhelmed by another wave of refugees. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 02/08/2016)