Respect and Implement Peace Agreement, South Sudanese Bishop to Politicians

Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese.

As political leaders in South Sudan struggle to restore peace after forming a unity government on February 22, a Catholic Bishop in the East-Central nation has asked them to respect the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS) in their bid to resolve conflicts in the country.   

Addressing a high-level delegation of Ceasefire Transitional Security Arrangement Monitoring and Verification Mechanism (CTSAMVM) on Thursday, July 23, Bishop Erkolano Lodu Tombe of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese encouraged the parties to commit their efforts in bringing lasting peace to the nine-year-old African nation.

“I encourage our government and opposition leaders to respect the agreement and try to implement it,” Bishop Tombe told the delegates.

He added, “When the agreement is respected, peace will reign in the country and citizens will reconcile with each other. It would be wrong on our side as religious leaders to remain silent on matters affecting South Sudan.”

South Sudan opened a new chapter from a protracted civil war after President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, who heads part of the opposition, formed a coalition government on February 22 after the intervention of regional and international entities.

Presently, CTSAMVM has been dispatched to the states of South Sudan in order to assess areas that need intervention, CRN reported.

According to the CTSAMVM’s Chief of Staff, William Gallagher, “It is very important for the communities to help identify areas that need to be considered by the mechanism.”

The CTSAMVM is mandated by the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to monitor and verify the implementation of the Agreement on the cessation of hostilities as per the peace deal.

Yei County of Central Equatoria state has been undergoing military threats even after the peace agreement was signed in the country six months ago.

“About two weeks ago, over 30 people were abducted, 9 motorcycles and 12 bicycles were looted from the Bandame market,” Yei Former Education Minister Peter Butilli told the CTSAMVM delegates.

He explained, “The area currently remains vulnerable with constant clashes targeting civilians.”

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ACI Africa was officially inaugurated on August 17, 2019 as a continental Catholic news agency at the service of the Church in Africa. Headquartered in Kenya’s capital, Nairobi, this media apostolate will strive to facilitate the telling of Africa’s story by providing media coverage of Catholic events on the African continent, giving visibility to the activities of the Church across Africa where statistics show significant growth in numbers and the continent gradually becoming the axis of Catholicism. This is expected to contribute to an awareness of and appreciation for the significant role of the Church in Africa and over time, the realization of a realistic image of Africa that often receives negative media framing.

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