The three leaders invoked God’s blessings upon the politicians and all the people of South Sudan.
“Your nation is blessed with immense potential,” the message said, “and we encourage you to make even greater efforts to enable your people to enjoy the full fruits of independence.”
Caritas Internationalis also released a statement for South Sudan’s independence anniversary.
Quoting Aloysius John, the organization’s secretary general, the statement said that “the 10th anniversary of independence could be a starting point for a new South Sudan moving towards political stability, ensuring integral human development through community-based development activities put in place by civil society organizations.”
“But for this to happen, there is a need for strong support from the international community,” it said.
Gabriel Yai, the director of Caritas South Sudan, said that a peace agreement has been signed and supported by the major parties, the armies have been combined and are being trained to form a national army, and the state council and legislative councils have been formed and members of parliament sworn in.
“This is the golden opportunity for the international community to help in nation-building,” Yai underlined. “Our country is more than ever in need of international political support to consolidate the political emancipation of leaders and to build a state army that will protect the people.”
According to the statement, “the Caritas Confederation has accompanied the peace process during these 10 years, which were unfortunately deeply marked by serious conflicts.”
The Catholic charitable organization has both helped people be able to return to the country and improved the living conditions of those living in poverty there.
“With a network of several Caritas member organizations helping Caritas South Sudan, a vast emergency and rehabilitation program was put in place in the seven dioceses to respond to the needs of the poorest,” it said.
The Catholic Church and Caritas were at the forefront of helping internally displaced people, and during the war, Caritas undertook disaster response activities all over the country, “without any distinction of tribal belongingness or other differences,” Yai said.
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