South Sudan Churches Condemn Killing of Nine Children, Women in Two Attacks

Logo South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC)

Two separate attacks in South Sudan have left nine children dead in less than a month, a situation that has drawn the attention of religious leaders in the East-Central African country who have condemned the killings and called for external intervention to tame violence in the nine-year-old country.

One of the incidents is the August 1 killing of three siblings aged 4, 7 and 9 whose lifeless bodies were found in their house in Juba where they were reportedly watching television, a murder that shocked and saddened Catholic leaders in the country.

In their August 6 message, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) strongly condemn the murder of the children, terming it as “barbaric.”

“This is a barbaric, heinous and demonic act that cannot be tolerated,” officials of SSCC say, describing the children as a wonderful gift from God.

In their three-page statement signed by seven-member Churches including the Catholic Church, they add, “Children are to be loved, protected, nurtured, and cared for by the community and society; they are not to be taken advantage of, neglected or abused.


 “We also pray to the almighty God to comfort the bereaved family in this very difficult time of great loss,” the SSCC officials say in their statement seen by ACI Africa.

The incident that was widely condemned by Catholic Prelates in the country as heartbreaking was highlighted in media days after six children were abducted and killed alongside 32 worshippers at a church in South Sudan.

Media reports indicated that 20 other worshippers were wounded when unidentified gunmen stormed the Anglican Diocese of Athooch compound in the country’s Jonglei State on 27 July.

Over the weekend, the World Council of Churches (WCC) joined the SSCC and the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC) to condemn recent violent killings of people in South Sudan and thus called for an end to brutality in the country.

On the attack of the Cathedral of Episcopal Church of South Sudan (ECSS) in the Athooch Diocese, WCC officials expressed profound sorrow and offered condolences and prayers for the families of the victims.

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“It is particularly distressing that the attackers killed all the children they abducted in the bush. These are innocent souls who do not even have any idea as to what the conflict is all about, and to kill them is very cruel,” the council members said.

They added, “We pray for their families, their friends, and the extended community that grieves this loss. Kindly receive our heartfelt condolences.”

SSCC officials further called on all parties to the conflicting parties in South Sudan to condemn all kinds of violence and refrain from using it to destroy their fellow citizens.

They additionally called on the regional and international bodies, the East African Community (EAC), the Intergovernmental Authority for Development (IGAD), the African Union (AU) and the United Nations Security Council to take the attacks as an assault on world peace, and to “demand for the full implementation of the long delayed peace agreement in South Sudan.”