Friday the 16th of April

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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

South Sudan churches decry warring factions for ignoring people’s needs

The heads of the member churches of the South Sudan Council of Churches criticised the country’s political leaders ‘on all sides’ for placing political and personal interests above the needs of ordinary people, which they said has led to economic decline, famine and ongoing violence.

The council, including Archbishop Paulino Lukudo Loro of Juba, charged that the country’s problems are ‘man-made, a result of mismanagement, blatant corruption, insecurity, lack of governance and the rule of law’.

‘Greed, hatred and the struggle for power have left the ordinary people of South Sudan, on all sides of the conflict, as the losers,’ the council said in a statement on 23rd June at the conclusion of a meeting in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

The Church leaders said that in Ethiopia, they visited refugee camps to talk with South Sudanese people who have fled the violence; the Church leaders said they came away saddened by listening to the refugees’ experiences. They specifically thanked the people, churches and government of Ethiopia leaders for welcoming the refugees.

While welcoming the creation of a forum for national dialogue late in 2016 by President Salva Kiir, council members said that, for the effort to succeed, specific criteria for discussion must be met. They lamented that the attempt at dialogue has gone unaccepted by opposition parties.

Picture: A UN peacekeeper keeps watch as children gather in a camp for displaced civilians in Juba, South Sudan. The heads of the member churches of the South Sudan Council of Churches criticised the country’s political leaders ‘on all sides’ for placing political and personal interests above the needs of ordinary people. (CNS photo/David Lewis, Reuters).