Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Pope Francis has invited Christian religious leaders of South Sudan to the Vatican to discuss the serious crisis that the youngest African State is facing.
This was revealed by His Exc. Mgr. Paolino Lukudu Loro, Catholic Archbishop of Juba, who pointed out that among those invited there is Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, Primate of the Episcopal Church of Sudan and Peter Gai, Moderator of the Presbyterian Church in South Sudan and Sudan.
The civil war between President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar broke out in December 2013, putting the young independent State to its knees in 2011. The peace agreements reached in August 2015 were ignored and the conflict broke out again in July when Kiir's troops clashed with those of Machar in the capital Juba (see Fides 11/07/2016).
An Amnesty International report, announced on October 25, accuses government forces of committing "deliberate killings of civilians, rapes of women and girls, and looting" during the riots in the capital in July. At the same time the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights has launched the alarm on the wave of ethnic hate speech in several areas of South Sudan, particularly in the State of Equatoria where in early October 200 people were killed on ethnic basis (see Fides 13/10/2016).
To try to defuse the hatred instilled in the minds, Christian Churches have just launched a project of reconciliation among ethnic groups (see Fides 17/10/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 26/10/2016)