Enhance “military-civilian relations” to Facilitate Return of Refugees: Bishop in S. Sudan

Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo and Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony. Credit: Office of the Governor - CEG Media Unit

The Bishop of South Sudan’s Yei Catholic Diocese has underscored the need to enhance relations between the military and civilians saying such relationships can facilitate the return of refugees to their respective homes.

Addressing journalists Wednesday, July 13 after a courtesy visit to the Governor of Central Equatoria State in South Sudan, Bishop Alex Lodiong Sakor Eyobo said good military-civilian relations fosters mutual trust.

“There is need to work collectively with the State authorities in enhancing military-vivilian relations on ground to lure those in the refugee camps to return to their respective places,” Bishop Lodiong said.

Such initiatives, the South Sudanese Bishop said, have the ability to “instill trust and confidence (in) the people at the grassroots and (can) facilitate their return home.”

Speaking about his meeting with Governor Emmanuel Adil Anthony, Bishop Lodiong said they talked about “the pivotal role that the church plays in fostering peace, unity and service for humanity.”


The Local Ordinary of Yei Diocese also briefed the governor on his “forthcoming pastoral activities slated to take place across the Diocese with the aim of instilling trust and confidence to the people at the grassroots through propagation of the gospel of Christ.”

In his maiden speech following his Episcopal Ordination on May 15, Bishop Lodiong called on those blocking people from reaching remote areas of the South Sudanese Diocese to allow him to reach out to the people of God under his pastoral care in person. 

“Please give me a chance to visit them because I go there in the name of faith,” Bishop Lodiong said, and added “After this visit, we will come and sit down with all the groups and plan for this Diocese.”

Also addressing journalists on July 13, Governor Adil of Central Equatoria State congratulated Bishop Alex for the trust bestowed upon him by the stewardship of Pope Francis, which he said has culminated the South Sudanese Bishop to his consecration and installation as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Yei.

The Governor highlighted the need for the “church leaders regardless of their religion to use their respective positions of influence by engaging the holdout groups who are still opposed to the Revitalized Peace Agreement to denounce violence and join the wagon of peace to lead this country into sustainable peace and development.”

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He reiterated his administration’s readiness towards working in a cordial partnership to advance service for humanity across the State.

“The Catholic Church is a credible partner to the Government especially in delivering holistic services to the various communities following the social-economic crisis crippling the Nation,” Governor Adil told journalists July 13.

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.