24 Jun 2018

 

Clerics Criticise Leaders For Not Achieving Peace At HLRF

Catholic Bishops of South Sudan have criticised the leaders of the country for not reaching an agreement at the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) that would bring peace to the country.

Clerics Criticise Leaders For Not Achieving Peace At HLRF
Archbishop Paulino Lukudu Loro with retired Episcopal Bishop Enock Tombe(R) and Bishop Peter Pal (L) [Gurtong file Photo]

By Ojwe Lumara

JUBA, 25 February, 2018 [Gurtong]-The Bishops who had a meeting in Juba from 21st to 23rd February 2018, expressed their gratitude to the Holy Father Pope Francis for calling the whole world to pray and fast for peace in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and other conflicts.

“We are dissatisfied that our leaders, in both government and opposition, have so far been unable to put their own interests aside and make peace for the good of the people and the nation. We implore them in the words of Psalm 95:8, “Harden not your hearts”,” the bishops said.

They called on end the South Sudanese conflict which has displaced millions of people from their homes since 2013.

“We reiterate our past messages; the killing must stop. It is unacceptable to be negotiating positions and percentages while the killing continues,” read a statement from the Catholic Bishops conference.

 “We are encouraged by the Holy Father’s personal interest in our nation and we renew our invitation to him to visit us when the time is right,” it added.

The Catholic Bishops thanked the international and regional bodies for their commitment in the revitalisation process of the peace Agreement and hoped that phase three of the High Level Revitalisation Forum will end the violence.

The bishops said that they fear the leaders do not know how to make peace, for they are confused and are military people who see the world through the lens of violence.

They added that the leaders need help, not so much with the technical and political details but with the spiritual and moral courage to make peace, to hold a vision of the future which includes peace.

“Many of them are traumatised, like many of the people of South Sudan. Trauma can paralyse people, make them behave inappropriately, erode their morale and morals and lead to self-pity and denial. They need trauma healing,” the statement of the bishops said.

 “To continue fighting is easier for them than to take the risk of making peace. They fear not only international justice, but they fear what their own people will do to them when they fail,” the statement stated.

“They have already failed. More than four years of war, tens of thousands of deaths, millions of people displaced, looting, rape, hunger, economic collapse, breakdown of the rule of law, destruction of the nation’s infrastructure, children denied education, families denied health care… these represent failure. How many more deaths does there need to be, how many more failures, before they will admit that they have failed and that they don’t know what to do?”

The Bishops called on the people of good will to join them in prayer and fasting for peace and to continue with the prayer and fasting on a regular basis in the coming months.

The statement was signed by His Grace, Archbishop Paolino Lukudu Loro, the Metropolitan Archbishop of Juba, H.L. Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe, the Bishop of Yei Diocese, Monsignor Roko Taban Mousa, Apostolic Administrator of Malakal Diocese, Bishop Paride Taban, Bishop Emeritus of Torit Diocese, Fr. John Mathiang Machol, Diocesan Coordinator of Rumbek Diocese and Fr. Marco Mangu Adilio, the Diocesan Coordinator of Wau Diocese.

 

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