Tombura Yambio (Agenzia Fides) - "July 9 has always been a joyful moment for me dedicated to planning, reflecting and reuniting with family and friends to thank God for the freedom and gift of our beloved nation". These are the words that the bishop of the diocese of Tombura Yambio, Msgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, addressed the population on the occasion of the anniversary of the independence of South Sudan.
"The celebrations this year - continues the Prelate in the note sent to Fides - were very spiritual, crowned by the visit of Pope Francis' special envoy, Cardinal Pietro Parolin, who was in our capital Juba for three days, praying, encouraging and blessing all of us as a nation!".
Msgr. Hiiboro also specified how different this year’s event is certainly: "we continue to suffer from the effects of the pandemic, internal conflicts and various forms of violence that limit our meetings and celebrations. It is also different because we must strive to recognize more consciously that all people are created equal and are endowed by God with the inalienable rights of life, freedom and the pursuit of happiness. We are called to help shape our nation to help preserve these rights. As Catholics we must pray and work for a nation in which peace and justice reign for all, respect for every single individual".
"We are grateful for all the blessings we have received, but we also dare to ask for more, we implore the Lord to help us remain peacefully united, protected by divine love".
Msgr. Hiiboro concludes by assuring his prayers to families: "God bless the Western Equatorial State, the Republic of South Sudan and each of you with a sustainable peace!"
On July 9, 2011 the southern region of Sudan separates and becomes South Sudan, the 54th independent state on the African continent (see Fides, 10/7/2021). Independence was achieved after long years of civil wars, following the referendum in January 2011 in which 99% of the population chose separation. (EHK/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 9/7/2022)