Bishops press govt to sign South Sudan peace deal

 

Bishops press govt to sign South Sudan peace deal

Author: 

George Conger

The government of South Sudan has declined to sign a peace agreement reached on 17 August 2015 by negotiators meeting in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa that sought to end the country’s civil war. The government of President Salva Kiir (pictured) had initialled the draft agreement, which was endorsed by rebel leader Riek Machar , but requested a further 15 days to consider the accord. In a statement released last week the leaders of the South Sudan Council of Churches declared “The war must stop immediately.” There was “no moral justification for this senseless war. It is unacceptable that people continue to kill and be killed while leaders argue over power, positions and percentages,” said the statement signed by the co-leaders of the Council of Churches, the Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan, Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of Juba and Roman Catholic Archbishop Paulino Lukudu of Juba. In December 2013 the South Sudan army broke apart on tribal lines, supporting President Kiir or Vice President Machar. The bishops’ letter acknowledged the agreement was not perfect, but it was a necessary start to ending hostilities. "End the evil which has befallen our country," they wrote. Writing on her return from the region, Jenny Smyth, Mission Director, CMS Ireland, reported:“Insecurity continues across the north and around our partners in Maridi, Yambio and Ezo. People are still moving towards the towns where they feel safer at nights, fearing random attacks in the rural areas. In Ibba town a senior police Lieutenant and his wife were killed. These incidents cause distrust of the army, build resentment and spark off revenge attacks. Ordinary people find it hard to know who can be trusted.”

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