The implementation of R-ARCSS “has lagged behind especially in the areas of the Security arrangements and the Boundaries and number of States,” the Christian leaders have stated, bringing forth some of the reasons Dr. Riek Machar has given for his reluctance to return to Juba.
Similarly, Dr. Machar has given the reason of cantonment to which the Christian leaders have noted some progress but still think “the process is far from complete.”
SSCC leaders are keen on a legitimate government since, in their considered view, “the new government will only have legitimacy if it addresses the root causes of conflict and provides Peace, Justice, Security, Basic Services and Good governance for the people.”
Therefore, the SSCC leaders think the latest extension provides for the opportunity of time and engaging relevant human resources to address the “root causes” of the protracted conflict.
In this regard, the Christian leaders have outlined their active involvement at the grassroots stating, “We are working together across the nation to stand in solidarity with our communities and work with them to address the root causes of conflict, as realized through the Action Plan for Peace (APP), which connects us in peace across local, national and international levels.”
SSCC leaders encourage constructive dialogue that can lead to political consensus and lasting peace so that “the violence of 2013 and 2016 will not be repeated, and critical issues are adequately addressed.”
Going forward, SSCC leaders state, stakeholders to R-ARCSS need to go beyond the politics of sharing positions of power and instead focus “on the dignity of every human person; prioritizing the safety and prosperity of the South Sudanese people, the maintenance of the ceasefire, and should continue to work towards an inclusive government.”
The Christian leaders have reminded the political leaders of the words of Pope Francis in Rome when he “knelt with visible suffering to kiss the feet of the political leaders … a gesture of the purest humility.”
In particular, the leaders have recalled the Holy Father’s plea with the key political leaders in South Sudan to have open minds and heart and to “turn away from violence, abandon conflict and hatred, put an end to war, and (lead) the people of South Sudan to God’s promised land of unity, harmony, joy and prosperity.”
Fr. Don Bosco Onyalla is ACI Africa’s founding Editor-in-Chief. He was formed in the Congregation of the Holy Ghost Fathers (Spiritans), and later incardinated in Rumbek Diocese, South Sudan. He has a PhD in Media Studies from Daystar University in Kenya, and a Master’s degree in Organizational Communication from Marist College, New York, USA.
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