End “ongoing inter-communal conflicts to attain a peaceful South Sudan”: Church Leaders

Church leaders in South Sudan with Pope Francis in Rome. Credit: Vatican Media

Representatives of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) want an end to inter-communal violent conflicts in the East-Central African country.

In a recent statement, SSCC members decry the fact that “the country continues to witness several inter-communal fights, often triggered by cattle raids, land grabbing, and child abduction, heightened by ethnic tension and revenge attacks.”

They bemoan the failure, on the part of parties in conflict, to respect “many peace processes and agreements”, particularly in the last three years, from the dramatic gesture of 11 April 2019 when Pope Francis knelt and kissed the feet of President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Dr. Riek Machar among others.

This following the two-day spiritual retreat involving political and ecclesiastical authorities of South Sudan that had been held as a fruit of a proposal by Archbishop Justin Welby to the Holy Father.

“Three years since the Peace retreat visit of our leaders to the Vatican in April 2019, since then, many peace processes and agreements have been developed to restore lasting peace and security in South Sudan,” the representatives of church leaders in South Sudan say in their statement dated April 11.


On March 21, local authorities in South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria State confirmed the killing of at least seven people and the displacement of hundreds of villagers when rustlers clashed with cattle herders in the Owinykibul area of Magwi County.

In their statement, SSCC members say, “As we enter the holy week of Easter, we call for an end to the ongoing inter-communal conflicts to attain a peaceful South Sudan.”

They make made reference to the planned visit of Pope Francis to South Sudan, saying, “As we prepare for the Papal visit in July 2022, we urge all stakeholders and actors of peace to continue working towards a wave of sustainable peace, reconciliation, and forgiveness.”

In their collective Easter Message of April 11, Catholic Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan expressed the hope that political leaders in the two neighboring countries will foster “justice, peace and reconciliation”, and not “take us back to war”.

“We remain hopeful that our political leaders in both countries (don’t) take us back to war so as to eliminate the humanitarian crisis and pave the way for justice, peace and reconciliation,” members of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) who comprise those at the helm of Catholic Dioceses in Sudan and South Sudan said.

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Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.