SOUTH SUDAN – Appeals from the Pope and other religious leaders: “Implement peace agreements and give South Sudan a functioning government”
“In the name of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, I would like to make this special appeal to our government; we have spent a complete full year without a complete government, this has brought upon the country a lot of sufferings; it has brought on the country laziness, psychological inferiority, mistrust, extreme poverty and suffering; it has brought upon our country violence”, said His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio, in his Christmas message. Political forces in South Sudan have yet to fully implement the peace agreement of September 2018.
According to David Shearer, head of the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), “South Sudan has five vice-presidents who lead groups of ministries that are doing well”. “Elsewhere, however, progress has been painfully slow”, he said. “Cabinet meetings happen irregularly and the South Sudanese want to see the president and vice presidents come together and work together”.
“Please, I ask, urge, plead and beg you, our dear government not to delay further in this process of completing the structure of the government so that we the people of South Sudan may feel proud of our government and they of course can deliver their obligations to this country”, continues the Bishop of Tombura-Yambio. Archbishop Hiiboro, who also asks the “international community to support the process the implementation of this peace agreement. Please do not tire to support the needy, the humanitarian workers and also the development work because by so doing, you will be in one way or the other preventing any escalation of violence and crime”.
Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby and Church of Scotland moderator Martin Fair, reminded President Kiir and his First Vice President of their commitments made at the Vatican in April 2019 to implement the revitalized peace agreement and to work tother for peace in South Sudan. They also reiterated their commitment to making a joint visit to South Sudan.
“We remain prayerfully mindful of the commitments made at the Vatican in April 2019 – yours to bring your country to a smooth implementation of the Peace Agreement, and ours to visit South Sudan in due course, as things return to normalcy”, reads the joint letter.
“When we visit, we long to bear witness to a changed nation, governed by leaders who, in the words of the Holy Father last year, ‘hold hands, united… as simple citizens’ to ‘become Fathers (and Mothers) of the Nation’”. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 28/12/2020)