AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - The news of the death of Benedict XVI in areas of the country exacerbated by ethnic conflicts

Tuesday, 3 January 2023

Malakal (Agenzia Fides) - The news of the death of Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI reaches the most remote and critical corners of the planet every day. Among these, Agenzia Fides received a testimony from the outskirts of South Sudan. "I am in a very isolated region, Mayom, in the north-west of South Sudan. These localities are so isolated that the news comes little by little - writes Sister Elena Balatti, Comboni missionary. Someone has learned the news of the death of Benedict XVI through the internet and especially during the liturgy of thanksgiving at the end of the year. Immediately, a prayer was made for the Lord to welcome his faithful servant into eternal life. A person whom I met there told me that she appreciated Pope Benedict's fidelity until the end," writes Sister Elena.
In the country, where the majority of the population is Christian, conflicts continue. The situation is particularly serious in Jonglei State, where even Christmas did not grant a truce between the Nuer and Murle armed militias.
Several peacekeeping organizations, including the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMIS), African Union Mission in South Sudan (AUMISS), Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), Troika, European Union and Reconstituted Joint Monitoring and Evaluation Commission (R- JMEC) urged the parties concerned to immediately cease hostilities, exercise restraint and respect human rights. South Sudanese leaders have been called on to take urgent action to end the fighting and ensure the safety and security of civilians, as well as unhindered humanitarian access for those affected by the fighting. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 3/1/2022)