Let’s “uphold good morals, cherished values that define our nation”: Bishop in Message on South Sudan Independence Day

Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of the country’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) . Credit: CDTY

On the occasion of the Independence Day of the Republic of South Sudan marked on July 9, Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of the country’s Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) has urged citizens to foster “good morals” and values that give their country an identity. 

In his message shared with ACI Africa, Bishop Hiiboro also urges his compatriots to commit themselves to hard work amid challenging economic times in the country that gained independence from Sudan on 9 July 2011. 

At the celebration of the independence of South Sudan, he says in his audio recording, “May peace, positive development, and harmony guide us through challenging times, and may we always uphold good morals and cherished values that define our nation.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) 

“Let us also unite in the resilience of faith, keeping Jesus Christ, our Savior, and King, at the center of our new Republic,” Bishop Hiiboro says in the recording he shared with ACI Africa Monday, July 8.


He expressed his awareness of the challenges the people of God are experiencing in the country and advocated for a collaborative approach in exploring “solutions to the hardship”.

“With unwavering determination and hard work, we can triumph over our present economic hardships and pave the way for a prosperous future for everyone,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop says. 

He adds, “May this period that we now celebrate the independence of our republic be a moment in which we seek together as a people solutions to the hardship, the economic hardships we go through, that we together can be able to turn things around for the good of all of us.”

The Local Ordinary of CDTY since his Episcopal Consecration in June 2008 goes on to advocate for compassion and love among the people of God in South Sudan, saying, “Let us be compassionate; let us be loving; and let us be caring.”

“Let us exercise the spirit of solidarity among ourselves during this hard time and let us never despair let us remain with hope,” the Catholic Church leader, who serves as the President of the Integral Human Development Commission of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) says.

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“I extend to you all the blessings of God our Creator on this significant day of our national independence - Republic of South Sudan,” he says in his audio recording shared with ACI Africa.

The hard-won celebration of South Sudan’s independence from Sudan lasted just over two years. The country plunged into civil war in December 2013 after President Salva Kiir accused his then Vice President, Riek Machar, of plotting a coup.

The political infighting brought to the light two factions of government forces, one loyal to Kiir and the other to Machar, in the violence that took place the streets of South Sudan’s capital city, Juba.

The violence quickly spread across the world’s newest nation, resulting in the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians by the start 2014. The fighting continued as a brutal civil war that affected the entire country.

In line with the September 2018 Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) signed in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, a Revitalised Transitional Government of National Unity (RTGoNU) was formed in February 2020.


The country had had scheduled general elections before February 2023. An agreement between the RTGoNU and the opposition was to postpone the elections to late 2024. Another possible postponement has been reported, “owing to the continual delays in implementing crucial aspects of the 2018 peace agreement.”

In his audio recording shared with ACI Africa, Bishop Hiiboro reminds all those who are concerned with the elections and “upon whom the responsibility of the decision rest to pray and to take a decision that will not return this country into bloodshed, into another more suffering.”

“We should not also prolong the pains and difficulties of the people but a decision that would be able to liberate us from the war that we go through now to bring our country into a peaceful solution,” he adds, alluding to his earlier caution against postponing the December 2024 poll.

“Please think, pray, and decide out of love with the proper political will and bring peace to this country,” the South Sudanese Catholic Church leader appeals. 

In another audio recording shared with ACI Africa on July 9, Bishop Hiiboro lauds members of the South Sudanese army, who he says turned up at the Catholic Church premises in his Episcopal See for a voluntary cleanup exercise. 

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Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

Acknowledging the members of the army as showing “a very good example” of patriotism, he added, “These are the people who fought to bring the independence of the country through the barrel of the gun. They sacrificed their life and coming to sweep the Church, to clean around the church is the representation of that God was in the center of the liberation.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

“They know that God is in charge of us; for us as a Church, we feel very consoled and I feel very humbled,” Bishop Hiiboro further says, and continues, “I'm so grateful to the leadership of the army within Western Equatoria state, and particularly Yambio for what they have done.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

“I've seen soldiers around the world doing something like that, but this is the first time I'm seeing my own soldiers coming down, lowering themselves to work and to present themselves as humble people,” he says.

The South Sudan army officers, the Bishop said, “put their guns behind their back and took the hoe and the broom to sweep the compound.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

“It is one way also of asking all of us to stand for peace, to stand for goodwill, to stand for work, to stand for good practice,” the South Sudanese Catholic Bishop says.

He adds, “I am blessing all the soldiers and asking them, let us join our hands together to continue to sweep South Sudan, to sweep all the evil and dirt that keep us suffering, that keep us in pain.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

In his audio recording on the of South Sudan Independence Day, Bishop Hiiboro invites the people of God in the East-Central African nation to “remain in prayer.”

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

“Let us continue to pray, because as we pray the dictation that is in our prayer comes upon all of us to do the right thing, to behave well, and to think in the right direction,” he says.

Credit: Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY)

Bishop Hiiboro adds, “We the people South Sudan should never regret to have the Republic that we have, but always let us look at the bigger picture which can provide all the goods that we long for.”

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