AMECEA Eulogizes South Sudanese Bishop as “faithful servant” Who Lived the Beatitudes

Late Bishop Paride Taban. Credit: CRN

Catholic Bishops in Eastern Africa have eulogized the late South Sudanese Bishop Paride Taban who passed on the Solemnity of All Saints as one who was dedicated to the nation’s peace and reconciliation. 

The pioneer Local Ordinary of Torit Diocese in South Sudan died while receiving treatment after a long illness in Nairobi, Kenya, at the age of 87.

In a Friday, November 3 statement shared with ACI Africa, members of the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in Eastern Africa (AMECEA) say they take Bishop Taban’s demise “as an opportunity to thank God for giving us such faithful servant to living the Beatitudes ‘Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God (Mt. 5:9)’.” 

“Bishop Taban was a great shepherd of Torit Diocese but more so for South Sudan where he dedicated all his life for reconciliation and restoration of peace,” the Bishops say in the statement signed by AMECEA Chairman, Bishop Charles Kasonde of Solwezi Diocese in Zambia.

“His retirement as Bishop of Torit in 2004, at an early age of 68, could not be understood except in the context of his passion for peace which is reflected in his involvement in establishing the Peace Village,” they say.


Bishop Taban proceeded to complete the establishment of the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, an initiative he had founded in 2000, following his retirement.

According to the information provided on the website of the Peace Village, the late Bishop established the project in Kuron in Eastern Equatoria State, the Southeastern part of South Sudan that borders Kenya and Uganda “to unite the population in the area and set an example of peaceful cohabitation in war-torn South Sudan.”

Bishop Taban was one of the members of the AMECEA Peace Delegation to Burundi in June 2016.

In the statement, Bishop Kasonde says Bishop Taban’s participation in the Burundian delegation is “a clear testimony of his passion for peace.”

“Together with you and the people of South Sudan, we mourn the death of this man of peace, a consoler of his people in the country, in diaspora, and more importantly those in refugee camps in neighboring countries whom he frequently visited to show his solidarity,’ Bishop Kasonde says. 

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The late South Sudanese Prelate received awards for his work at the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron, including the Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Prize awarded by former UN Secretary-General, Ban Ki-moon.

The first leader of the New Sudan Council of Churches (NSCC) is also a recipient of the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation given by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, for co-founding the ecumenical body, building Kuron Peace Village and chairing the mediation initiative between the Government of South Sudan and COBRA Faction of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army.

Magdalene Kahiu is a Kenyan journalist with passion in Church communication. She holds a Degree in Social Communications from the Catholic University of Eastern Africa (CUEA). Currently, she works as a journalist for ACI Africa.