AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - A missionary: "In South Sudan there is an ethnic but above all political and power conflict"

Saturday, 9 September 2017 missionaries   war crimes  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "It is too easy to describe the conflict in South Sudan as exclusively ethnic. The struggle for power, corruption, poor management of military, political leadership, of resources and the lack of basic freedom are real situations that complicate the conflict strongly", writes to Fides Fr. Daniele Moschetti, a Comboni missionary who served in South Sudan for six years, a Country devastated by a dramatic civil war which broke out in December 2013. "Ethnic divisions have remained a constant feature of southern Sudan society for many decades. In the past, they weakened the struggle for liberation and this is an important factor in the current civil war. The rich ethnic diversity of this beautiful Country should be a cause of celebration, not of suffering", the missionary said.
Fr. Daniele emphasizes the violence suffered by civilians, especially women and children, reporting some testimonies such as that of Mary, 23, a mother of five, who says: "The only way to be safe for women and girls is to be dead. There is no way of being safe if you are alive. It is horrible to say, but this is the situation... ".
Even the Comboni saw some of their missions destroyed such as LominKajoKeji, in the province of Equatoria. "It fell in the hands of rebels before and governors after. It was plundered and totally destroyed; one of the best organized missions in our southern Sudan province, and situated in what was the most fertile and peaceful area, now devastated", comments Fr. Daniele. "Our Comboni brothers and sisters have decided to follow the people who have moved to refugee camps in Uganda. Life there is really tough, there are no necessary services to live but not even to survive. When you have millions of refugees to handle, the humanitarian problem becomes big for everyone. Hope is not dead, it continues to live in these people who struggle every day to survive with the desire of redemption and to return to their land one day".
Fr. Daniele Moschetti has just published a book ("South Sudan: The Long and Suffered Path to Peace, Justice and Dignity", with an introduction by Pope Francis) on the drama in South Sudan, based on his missionary experience in the Country. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 9/9/2017)


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