South Sudan: Include religious leaders in national peace initiative, Bishops urge President Kiir
This week, Catholic Bishops in South Sudan paid a solidarity visit to President Salva Kiir Mayardit.
The three prelates who represented the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) at the talks with the President include Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin Mulla of Juba Archdiocese, Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of Malakal Diocese, as well as the Bishop Emeritus of Torit Diocese, Paride Taban.
Bishops pledge support for the peace agreement
The Bishops pledged their support for the Revitalised Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) upon which the Soputh Sudanese unity government is anchored.
“Since the signing of revitalised peace agreement, we as Bishops of South Sudan had not paid a visit to the President, and we thought it better to do so now and assure him of our support towards the process of peace implementation,” Archbishop Ameyu told AMECEA Online in an interview, Thursday, 29 July.
Religious leaders have a stake in the peace process
Archbishop Ameyu said that religious leaders should also be involved in the national reconciliation, justice and peace process currently being implemented in South Sudan.
“We asked the President to include some religious leaders in the peace process since none of us is involved and it is necessary that we too take part.”
“Nothing is as good as having peace and guns silenced. When there is peace, people have the opportunity to live normal lives and stay happily,” Archbishop Ameyu said.
Church appreciates warm relations with the government
The South Sudanese Bishops also expressed the need of striving to have peace in the country regardless of the challenges and no matter how long it takes.
“It will be good for the government to continue implementing peace. Even if it is at the slow tortoise pace, it will have some positive impact,” said Archbishop Ameyu.
Appreciating Catholic Church-state relations, Archbishop Ameyu said, “The government has been helpful to us, we are able to travel securely wherever we are to go, and any time when we have a new Bishop in the country they (government) have been very supportive,” he said.
Sr. Jecinter Antoinette Okoth