The faith-based leaders further call on those at the helm of the national and State governments to “do the right thing thus, protection of civilians and enhancing of life! Please put an end to the killing of innocent people right now in Greater Tombura.”
“We also insist that the perpetrators of those killings must be brought to justice,” they further say.
Addressing themselves to the parties in conflict, the representatives of religious leaders in Western Equatoria State caution against abuse of some spaces and institutions saying, “Places of worship as cultural property of a community, hospital, schools, prison, embassies are covered by International Protocols.”
They reach out to those involved in the violence, inviting them to reconsider their activities and strive for the alternative values of “love and unity”.
“Stop killing your brothers and sisters! We sincerely invite those of you who are caught up in divisions and pains to know that it is through love and unity that evil can be overcome and the specter of violence broken,” they say.
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The faith-based leaders “invite all believers, Christians and Muslims, to join in praying daily, every day for forty days, which we shall have to conclude with an Ecumenical State Prayers.”
“We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Greater Tombura and all over Western Equatoria State to know that all the believers in South Sudan are praying for them,” they say, and add, “We are praying for Peace in this great land and hoping all of us can live as brothers and sisters in this great nation.”
They encourage South Sudanese to be “instruments of peace and reconciliation, and to be on the part of justice for all.”
“Please do pray for eternal rest (for) all who died in the violence in Greater Tombura, Western Equatoria and in other parts of the country,” they say, and lament, “It is so frustrating that all our appeals through our various socio-political messages have not yet found a consistent response from the people concerned.”
The representatives of religious leaders ask international partners such as the United Nations Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) to “neutrally communicate more about their vision of peace in the country, particularly this very one in Greater Tombura, and that they become involved in strengthening mechanisms in handling conflict, than ever before!”
“As religious Leaders, vehemently condemn inactiveness to respond for the protection of the Civilians. We promise to continue to work for peace and reconciliation among our people and in our land!” the religious leaders say in their September 2 statement obtained by ACI Africa.
Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.