December 12, 2013 (JUBA) – The current political rift within the governing Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) will only be resolved, if its leaders exhibit the spirit of nationalism, religious leaders from various denominations, said.
- Archbishop Paride Taban preaches at the swearing of ministers August 18, 2013 (Photo: Larco Lomayat)
The religious leaders were speaking during an occasion held at their head offices, launching the strategic plan for reconciliation, to last till 2016.
“We do not doubt the capabilities of our leaders to embrace peaceful dialogue. But we pray they do it with sense of responsibility, nationalism, love and forging understanding”, remarked Archbishop Paride Taban, the retired Roman Catholic Bishop of Torit diocese.
We therefore called on them to exercise maximum patience [because] everything needs understanding”, added the cleric, also deputy chair for the country’s national healing, peace and reconciliation committee.
The ruling party, led by South Sudan president Salva Kiir faces a tough test from dissenting members, who insists the party leader should quit after he “unconstitutionally” dissolved its structures.
Last week, for instance, a group led by ex-vice president Riek Machar held a press conference in which they accused president Kiir of allegedly mishandling the party’s affairs, and calling for his exit.
Isaac Dhieu, the Episcopal Church of South Sudan bishop said the late SPLM founding leader, John Garang died at a “very difficult” time when people still needed leadership.
“John Garang was a charismatic leader. He turns political adversaries into friends. He listens to all the people, the same away our current president does it. President Kiir is humble, but it is not easy managing human being”, bishop Dhiew told Sudan Tribune on Thursday.
As religious leaders we pray that they honour John Garang by reconciling within their ranks and continue to be a formidable political party, he stressed.
The two religious leaders neither disclosed if they plans to reconcile the two different camps within the ruling party nor showed signs that the current split could be an alternative to resolve the rift.
“They should always remember that in every movement or organisation, there would be people with divergent views, but the beauty of unity is to accept and come to a common ground”, said bishop Dhiew.
The man of God further wondered why the leaders of the party could not forgive one another and move on with party affairs.
“I think the SPLM should really forget the past; if they can reconcile with the oppressors and live in peace, why can’t they forgive each other and move forward?” he asked.
The urge to fight against poverty and not power struggles should be at the forefront of the ruling party activities, stressed the bishop.
“What do we have to fight in South Sudan? We have to fight poverty and how do we fight poverty? We will develop your country by persevering, working hard so that we lift ourselves out of poverty because the government cannot do it alone,” he remarked.