AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - "Stop war: God is watching us and will hold us accountable for disrespecting and disregarding the sanctity of life" warn Christian leaders

Saturday, 20 June 2020 politics   violence   ecumenicalism  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "We the Church in South Sudan are deeply saddened by the escalation of violence in nearly all the States of our country. We strongly deplore the increase in loss of lives and destruction of properties of populations already impoverished by conflicts in the country", say the religious leaders of South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) in a statement
"God is watching us and will hold us accountable for disrespecting and disregarding the sanctity of life" warn Christian leaders in their statement signed by seven members of the SSCC, including His Exc. Mgr. Stephen Ameyu Martin, Archbishop of Juba,
The ecumenical body has called upon the government to find ways of stopping the ongoing clashes in various parts of the country and for people to embrace peace. "We strongly denounce the recent and on-going violence in Greater Jonglei, Ruweng, Warrap, Greater Yei, Lakes and other places in the Republic of South Sudan including Gumba Sherikhat", say the leaders of the main South-Sudanese Christian denominations, that call upon " the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) and all the Opposition groups to bring this multiple devastating violence to an end with immediate effect".
Addressing political leaders to be faithful in honoring their agreements, the Council says, "We call upon all our political leaders in R-TGONU and Opposition to be true to the Agreements and Declarations they have signed and ensure their full and timely implementations". Besides, "We appeal in the name of God to all our political leaders to value the people over and above position, power and party interests". Leaders have encouraged citizens to be remorseful for their acts and ask God for forgiveness.
"We assure our people that the Church will remain true to its divine calling and ministry of reconciliation and we will continue to pray and work for our country, because we believe there is still hope for us and South Sudan will overcome. Let's not give up", conclude the Christian leaders.
The Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGONU) was formed on February 22, 2020. The term "revitalized" refers to the fact that the new executive partially takes over the one formed in 2011 whose President is Salva Kiir Mayardit and one of the Vice Presidents is his direct rival Riek Machar. In 2013 the latter was accused of an attempted coup. After several attempts of conciliation, the formation of the new executive of national unity was reached in February, which will have to bring South Sudan to new elections. Unfortunately, the seeds of many years of war have produced the formation of different armed groups in different areas of the country and the resurgence of ethnic and tribal tensions which, together with the internal power games of the government, have not yet allowed the return of peace. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 20/6/2020)