AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - The Bishop of Yei: "Give me the permission to meet with the rebels to put an end to violence"

Wednesday, 11 January 2017 bishops   violence   armed groups  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "I need the permission to avoid unnecessary suspicion at various checkpoints that I will have to encounter", said His Exc. Mgr. Erkolano Lodu Tombe, Bishop of Yei in South Sudan, to Radio Easter, explaining that he has called on the government to allow him to travel to the jungle to dialogue with rebel fighters in order to try to mediate in the civil war. "The Church is not a spy for any party and its interest in going to seek the rebel fighters is only to make sure that the fighting stops", said the Bishop.
Local political administrators have already approved the Bishop’s request but the Yei State Information Minister, Stephen Lado Onesimo, said the state government is still waiting for a response and clearance from the national government of South Sudan. In Yei, a city in Equatoria, in South Sudan, a wave of murders and massacres attributed to mixed military-civilian armed groups have hit the alleged supporters of former Vice President Riek Machar in recent months. The massacres have been repeatedly denounced by Mgr. Tombe (see Fides 02/12/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 11/01/2017)