Amid violence, South Sudan Catholics outline steps to peace
Refugees from South Sudan. Credit: ACN.
Refugees from South Sudan. Credit: ACN.
Facebook Twitter Google+ Pinterest Addthis

.- Voicing “anguish and dismay” at the deteriorating situation in South Sudan, a Catholic bishop shared his diocese’s ten proposals to help stabilize the country after the outbreak of violence in mid-December.

“As we know from experience in our history, only dialogue can take the peace process forward,” the people of the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio said in a Jan. 8 statement shared by Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala.

“Posterity will be the judge of our courage and patriotism not from the revenge we wreak but from the peace we win in these troubling times and from the progress resulting from such peace. A prosperous and well-connected South Sudan is our brave response to these divisive factions,” the statement continued.

The diocese is in the state of Western Equatoria in the southwest of South Sudan. Its statement was written after three days of consultation between priests, vowed religious and lay faithful as they reflected and prayed about the situation in their country, Bishop Kussala said.

Armed conflict broke out in the national capital of Juba in mid-December following a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and former vice president Riek Machar.

The president accused Machar of trying to overthrow the government of South Sudan.

Machar has denied the claim and accused the president of trying to eliminate political opponents, the Associated Press reports. The United States' leading diplomat in Africa, Linda Thomas-Greenfield, has said there is no evidence of a coup attempt.

The violence has spread to other parts of the country. At least 1,000 people have been killed. Reports indicate that some killings were targeted based on ethnicity.

Another 180,000 people have been displaced from their homes and lack shelter and other basic necessities.

The statement from the Catholics of Tombura-Yambio encourages prayers and fasting for peace, in solidarity with those who lack humanitarian aid. Catholics will hold prayers for peace and justice during morning Mass, Eucharistic Holy Hour and rosary recitations.

“Where and when peace is threatened anywhere in our family or nation, prayer for peace must be our response as Catholics,” the statement said.

The statement acknowledged the worsening humanitarian situation in South Sudan, urging the Catholic faithful to support their fasting through bringing food to Mass for food banks.

Regions that are enjoying relative peace should pray and undertake actions to work for solutions to the conflict, not “add to the fire.”

The statement urged President Kirri to show “an overwhelming readiness of forgiveness and pardon.”

“Please choose peace and your citizens will survive!” it said.

Catholics also urged Riek Machar to show “forgiveness and pardon” and to “take courage to renounce violence.”

It urged soldiers to show their “conscience and true character” by valuing life. Politicians, the media and other public figures should “show restraint” and not take actions that could undermine peace and stability, including “ethnic politics” and a “war of words.”

The statement thanked the international community for its support and advised “sensitivity to our complex problems.” It asked the international community to “be more sensitive to this tragic situation” and help avoid “a war that sows destruction and death.” It also voiced support for the peace talks underway in Ethiopia, calling this a “noble initiative.”

South Sudan became independent from Sudan in 2011.

Tags: Violence, Peace efforts, South Sudan

Ads by AdsLiveMedia(What's this?)

* The number of messages that can be online is limited. CNA reserves the right to edit messages for content and tone. Comments and opinions expressed by users do not necessarily reflect the opinions or beliefs of CNA. CNA will not publish comments with abusive language, insults or links to other pages


Ads by Google (What's this?)
Ads by Google

Featured Videos

Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Cardinal Luis Tagle to Pope Francis
Pope Francis in the Philippines: Manila Welcomes the Pope
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Highlights
Pope Francis in Sri Lanka: Interview with Cardinal Ranjith
Pope Francis in SriLanka: Inter-religious Faith Meeting
Little Sisters of the Poor press conference in Denver
Family thrilled to see Pope Francis in Istanbul
Syrian Refugee, Sara, 14, Before Meeting Pope
Ebola orphans thousands of children in West Africa
One year after Haiyan: Philippines rebuilds homes, lives
An Indian contribution to the Vatican's Synod on the Family
Christ Cathedral CNA video Sept 2014
Alejandro Bermudez of CNA accepts ice bucket challenge
'The Real Albania,' remembering those who fled
Pope Francis in Albania, "one of the most important visits of the post-communist era in Albania"
Pope Francis greets paralyzed man who risked all to see him
Franciscans on the banks of the Tiber in Rome, working for the New Evangelization
Pilgrimage from Czech Republic to Assisi and Rome for intentions
Testimony of young Indian who met Pope in Korea
Preparations of the Closing Mass of 6th Asian Youth Day

Liturgical Calendar

January 29, 2015

Thursday of the Third Week in Ordinary Time

All readings:
Today »
This year »

Catholic Daily

Gospel of the Day

Mk 4:1-20


Daily Readings

Saint of the Day

St. Romuald »


Homily of the Day

Mk 4:1-20