Guns will not end South Sudan’s civil war, archbishop says

A military solution will not end the civil war in South Sudan, warned the Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and the Sudan. In a radio interview broadcast last week, the Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul, Archbishop of Juba said: “The position of the church has been clear from the start of this conflict. We stated clear that there war never be a solution to political differences. We stated this war is senseless and those affected are the innocent people.” The South Sudanese Civil War began on 15 December 2013 when Vice President Riek Machar and opposition leaders voted to boycott the meeting the next day of the National Liberation Council. President Salva Kiir ordered the commander of the presidential guard to disarm his troops. However the guard commander Maj. Gen. Marial Ciennoung ordered the Dinka members of the guard to then be rearmed. His deputy, a member of the Nuer tribe, protested and fighting broke out between the Nuer and Dinka which quickly spread nationwide. “Any one of the warring parties hoping to win on the battlefield is not realistic,” the archbishop said. “Our contemporary history has proven that even the weakest of the rebellions have never been resolved by war. The differences have always been resolved through peaceful dialogue and reaching some compromises and agreement, and not by way of defeat.” He added, “It is painful that we do not wish to learn from our own history. After all these killings of innocent lives and destruction of livelihood and meager infrastructure, we end up sitting down to reach some sort of agreement. We have witnessed how some of these towns have changed hands, and the destruction this has brought each time this happens. How many more times do we want this to recur?”

 

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