AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Promote reconciliation between communities for sustainable peace

Thursday, 24 November 2022

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - The civil war that has lasted for years continues to cause the death of thousands of people, the displacement of different areas and the destruction of infrastructures. Failure to comply with the 2018 peace treaty (see Fides, 6/7/2018) fuels political instability that gives rise to violence and inter-ethnic conflict. Despite the compromise reached in February 2020 between the rival groups led by Salva Kiir, president, and Riek Machar, the country's first vice president, to date there is neither peace nor stability. Many provisions of the 2018 deal remain unimplemented due to ongoing disputes between the two rivals. The Archbishop of Juba, Stephen Ameyu Martin, launched an appeal to promote peace and unity in the East Central African nation. The occasion was a thanksgiving mass celebrated on November 21 in the Cathedral of Saints Peter and Paul on the occasion of the centenary of the diocese of Torit. "Be pillars of stability, peace and unity in your communities and work for the good of your people", said the Archbishop, noting that members of the clergy must be aware of the role they have before the people of God. "You must be an instrument of reconciliation between people of the community, it is your role as priests as messengers of God. We priests must promote reconciliation between communities for a sustainable peace". The local ordinary of the Archdiocese of Juba, who is also apostolic administrator of the diocese of Torit, urged those present to practice good deeds in their daily lives for the good of the Church and the communities. "We must learn to do things the right way, commit ourselves to think the right way", he said, adding that by living the mission fully, everyone will be safe in the Church and will continue to be safe in the State. "May God give us peace to live together and be able to work for the good of our Church and our country", the leader of the Catholic Church said in conclusion. There are 8.9 million people who need help in South Sudan. The crisis that is plaguing the country is due to various causes, to which must be added the climate impact due to the floods that increase every year and worsen the conditions of agricultural land and livestock, the main sources of subsistence. The transition period that was supposed to lead the country to elections in 2023, after several postponements, was extended by 24 months in early August due to the lack of progress on many provisions of the agreement. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 24/11/2022)