Tombura-Yambio (Agenzia Fides) - "The struggle for liberation was founded on the pillars of a law-abiding, prosperous and peaceful South Sudan", said Mgr. Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the diocese of Tombura-Yambio in reference to the recent end of the stalemate for the division of the States to the 3 partners involved in the peace agreement (see Agenzia Fides, 8/5/2020).
Calling it "a new beginning in Christ for all", the Bishop thanked the presidency for this step towards establishing state governments. Mgr. Hiiboro, who is also president of the inter-confessional initiative of the Council for Peace in the Western Equatorial State, extended his congratulations to the entire population for the new allocation that the State places, which includes the entire diocese of Tombura- Yambio, under the government of the Sudan People's Liberation Movement to the opposition (Splm-Io) of Riek Machar.
"Right now it is essential to pray for the healing of our republic, but also for our brothers and sisters in the presidency and all those who are in charge of the government to make the change happen", said Hiiboro.
"I firmly believe in a strong, stable and free South Sudan, so it doesn't matter which faction the western equatorial state will belong to", he added, saying he was in favor of the decision he called "a courageous step forward that will lead the country to have a nation based on justice, freedom and prosperity".
The agreement reached between the president of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, and the vice president (former rebel leader) Riek Machar provides for the appointment of six governors by the Sudan People's Liberation Movement at the government (Splm-Ig) of President Kiir , three by the Splm-I of Machar and one by the Southern Sudan Opposition Alliance (Ssoa).
Mgr. Hiiboro reiterated the Church's support and urged political leadership to achieve peaceful coexistence and improve development in all sectors of the western equatorial state. "We will be ready to facilitate a dialogue for all in order to mitigate any differences. We must move South Sudan away from the tyranny of violence to protect our Great Republic", he stressed. The bishop also urged leaders to involve young people to help reduce unemployment and poverty and to work towards alleviating hunger.
When South Sudan gained independence from Sudan in 2011, the country had 10 states as established in its Constitution. However, in 2015, the federated states were increased to 28, then 32, to then be reduced to 10 plus 3 administrative areas. The hope is that the assignment of States will put an end to all controversial issues and guide the Country towards peace, ending the years of war and conflict.
Based on the agreement reached on 17 June 2020, the northern Bahr, El Ghazal, Warrap, State of the Lakes, Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria and State of Unity will go to the opposition (Splm-Io); the ruling party (Splm-lg) will be assigned western Bahr El Ghazal, western Equatoria and upper Nile, while Ssoa has obtained the State of Jonglei. The stalemate had been determined by the opposition of opposition parties to grant the presidency of six States to the party in power; however, the impasse was overcome after the grouping known as Other political parties (Opp) agreed to hand over a part to the Splm-Ig. (TA/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 23/6/2020)