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Episcopal Church calls for reconciliation in Northern Bahr el Ghazal


By Ngor Arol Garang

September 29, 2010 (MALAKAL) — The Episcopal church of Sudan on Wednesday issued a strong appeal, calling for immediate initiation of the reconciliation and forgiveness processes among political leaders and supporters in the southern state of Northern Bahr el Ghazal.

Reverend Abraham Yel Nhial, a bishop of the Episcopal diocese for Aweil, in an appeal statement addressed to the state governor and his deputy, advisor for peace and reconciliation, the state peace commission, ministries, assembly, religious leaders, citizens and concerned groups, said it had become evident that the Church in Aweil needs to lead with a strong message of forgiveness and reconciliation in order to promote the holistic transformation of the “beloved state”.

"The urgent need for peace and reconciliation is very important to people of Aweil because with war still going on in Darfur and signs of tensions building up elsewhere in the country, no one knows what is going to happen in 2011,” said Bishop Nhial, in reference to the January vote in which southerners hope to vote on secession from northern Sudan. Preparations for the plebiscite a woefully behind schedule and there are fears that delays could renew violent tensions in the region.

The bishop expressed the urgent need for peace, reconciliation and forgiveness as the effects of the civil war, which saw north and south Sudan fight for more than two decades, remain fresh and visible. He said he did not want “children to be slaves anymore; enough is enough.”

The hostilities were ended in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement, one of the stipulations of which, is the right of the southern Sudanese for their right to vote for independence.

“As part of my ministry, I want all the people of Aweil to live in peace and get involved in peace building because the long history of conflict in Sudan has created deep wounds of hatred within the parameters of our communities, but we could solve this by thorough training of government officials, chiefs, elders and church leaders to be peace makers in our State”, Nhial explained.

He added that the long history of conflict in southern Sudan, including Aweil, has created a mentality within communities that will require careful and well laid strategies to change, if people are to experience lasting peace.

Nhial was critical of the “Khartoum based governments which have advanced divisive policies of divide and rule in order to weaken unity among Sudanese people across the country.”

He observed that innocent Sudanese, mainly from the war affected and marginalized areas “succumbed to deception at the hands of successive governments in Khartoum which led them to kill each other,” with the use of religious rhetoric, adding that, “they continue their tyrannically rule of the country and enjoy fruits of our nation.”

At God’s bidding, the bishop said he was “called not only to reconcile broken relationships between the south and north or Christians and Muslims but also broken relationship between our communities, neighbors, families, and people of different ethnic backgrounds.”

“We should not be divided along political lines,” warned Nhial, as the maintenance of peace is “for the sake of upcoming referendum and unity.”

Reacting to the reconciliatory call made by the bishop, Garang Aher Arol, distinguished as Mayiik Aher, applauded the call and commented, “a man of a truth can’t and will never deny that there are injustices and discriminatory practices in Aweil.”

“It is our political leaders that have to be in the forefront in the reconciliation and dialogue process. It is also church leaders (who are God’s representatives in our communities) that should take a leading role in reconciling our people,” Arol explained.

Arol further added that Aweil needs a lot of work to heal and defuse post-election suspicions and mistrusts and a great deal of work is needed to put people to right developmental paths


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  • 30 September 2010 09:37, by Bol Pur

    I don’t understand and I doubt the credibility of this story of Ngor Arol writing in Malakal about ECS calling in Aweil.

    I know Bishop Abraham Yiel Nhial very well and we met with him mid of this month in Nairobi while going to America for one month. When did he came back and make this statement. He also send me email two days ago in America on how is doing.

    This story must be check and it has given me doubt on Tribune website publishing incredible and uncheck stories. Simply cook stories from Rumbek here are being published in Tribune. I am not attacking anybod, but I am trying to highlight professional and facts reporting system.

    I would Like to urge Tribune editor to be checking stringers and correspondents stories, because they are selling and that might make them sending wrong stories or cook one.

    Please viewers Bishop Abraham Yiel is in US and Arol need to make it clear whether they have talked on phone or through email, but not in Aweil.


    repondre message

    • 1 October 2010 13:57, by Mou

      Sorry indeed for the tone and words you used to respond to Sudan tribune. Do you want to mean that all American phones and internets are off? Haven’t you realized that our world is already electronized in term of communication ssystems? Or you Don’t think that Bishop Yel can talk to someone anywhere so long there is network lines? mind you, what you are up to is still contigence in my understanding.

      repondre message

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