Catholic Bishops’ Commission in South Sudan Invites Authorities to Investigate Child Abuse

South Sudanese Refugees at a water point in Yoyo Zone II Bidibidi Refugees' Settlement. Credit: Rurugene

Officials of the Catholic Bishops’ Commission for Justice and Peace (CJP) in South Sudan’s Rumbek Diocese have called on authorities to investigate cases of violence and abuse against children in the East-Central African nation.

On May 5, police authorities in Aweil, Northern Bahr el Ghazal State said they were investigating three suspects arrested for killing a 6-year-old girl, No.1Citizen Newspaper reported. The deceased girl in the South Sudanese State covered by the Diocese of Wau was reportedly raped by a suspected 42-year-old Sudanese businessman, Police Commissioner, Philip Madut Tong, has been quoted as saying.

In a Thursday, May 12 interview with ACI Africa, CJP Coordinator in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek that neighbors that of Wau said children need to be safeguarded from all forms of abuse.

“We need to safeguard and protect children in all aspects; that’s why the diocese is very much concerned with the well-being of children because the dignity of the children needs to be considered and protected to help them grow and reach their full potential within the community,” Malual Wanthok told ACI Africa.

Mr. Wanthok added, “I also appeal to authorities to look into the incident of the child that was abused in Aweil and another one where a child was thrown into a pit latrine.”


“The law has to take its course and the perpetrators brought to book so that such things don’t happen again,” he said.

The CJP official further said, “We are currently working with the government to address such issues not to happen again within our communities through safeguarding and protection training.”

He indicated that the leadership of Rumbek Diocese has an ongoing training on child safeguarding for dozens of pastoral agents.

“On Tuesday, May 10, we started a five-day training on child safeguarding and protection for 36 counselors and teachers under our Diocese,” Mr. Wanthok told ACI Africa during the May 12 interview.

The training has the purpose of building “the capacities of the target groups that deal with the protection and safeguarding of the children either in the parishes or schools.”

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“When we started the training, we invited some representatives of the government, especially those dealing with juveniles because we want to keep this collaboration in order to end these abuses,” the CJP Coordinator in the Catholic Diocese of Rumbek said May 12.