As civilians are increasingly targeted in South Sudan’s civil war, a bishop urged prominent community leaders to unequivocally condemn revenge killings, violence against civilians, and hate speech that ignites tribal sentiments.
‘You have the strength, the power, the influence and obligation to use whatever you have at hand to solve the problems facing the people’ in the town of Wau and other parts of the greater Bahr el Ghazal region, Bishop Edward Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio, president of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference, said in a letter to the elders of the region, on 6th April.
Urging the elders ‘to recognise the urgency and gravity of the situation,’ the bishop told them that ‘Wau, your historical city, is now in a critical situation’ without the ‘beauty and greatness’ for which it was once renowned.
‘The hatred and suffering’ he witnessed on a March visit to Wau ‘brought me into uncontrollable tears,’ Bishop Kussala said, noting that he had found ‘death, hate, hunger, huge displacement, intolerance, empty and destroyed infrastructure, senseless killings and disarray’.
Picture: A boy from South Sudan stands next to his family’s belongings at a camp for displaced people in Lamwo, Uganda. As civilians are increasingly targeted in South Sudan’s civil war, a bishop urged prominent community leaders speak out. (CNS photo/James Akena, Reuters).