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Religious leaders irked over comments by South Sudan minister

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May 25, 2014 (ADDIS ABABA) – Religious leaders currently taking part in ongoing peace talks between South Sudan’s government and an armed opposition faction of the ruling (SPLM) led by former vice-president Riek Machar have expressed disappointment over comments by the country’s information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, in which he allegedly labelled clerics as “rebels”.

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South Sudanese president Salva Kiir (L) and rebel leader Riek Machar (R) hold the hands of two clergymen during the opening prayer of the signing of a cessation of hostilities agreement on 9 May 2014, in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa (Photo: AFP/Zacharias Abubeker)

Various media outlets last week quoted minister Lueth as saying that the religious leaders taking part as mediators at the peace talks in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia were always siding with the views presented by the rebel group during their consultations with them and that the two Christian leaders were “behaving like rebels.”

Lueth made these remarks after his return to the capital, Juba from Addis Ababa. However, although he never mentioned names of the two spiritual leaders accused of taking sides with rebels, Sudan Tribune understands that Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan is one of the clerics involved in the talks.

Archbishop Bul, like minister Lueth, hails from the greater Bor county of Jonglei state. He led a prayer in which held the hands of president Salva Kiir and opposition leader Machar during the signing of a road map agreement on 9 May in Addis Ababa.

However, a spiritual leader currently in the Ethiopian capital, said the religious leaders were disappointed by the minister’s remarks, denying they had joined the opposition.

“We are disappointed by these unfounded remarks. We have not joined either side in the conflict. However, as humans and citizens of this country and in the course of bridging the gaps between the parties we have the obligation to express what we think is right to bring back peace to this beloved country of ours,” said the spiritual leader on condition of anonymity.

The rebels are demanding restructuring of the state on the basis of a new peace agreement and a federal constitution.

The two parties to the conflict agreed in the 9 May agreement to involve various South Sudanese stakeholders in the negotiations in order to find a lasting political settlement to the five-month old violent conflict, which has left tens of thousands of people dead and over a million more displaced internally and into neighbouring nations.

(ST)

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  • 26 May 11:12, by Akol Liai Mager

    Easy saying that never move! Mohammad Saeed Al-Shahab once said that; Pagan Amum and his group are all criminals and will face death penalty or at least life-imprisonment.

    repondre message

  • 26 May 11:37, by Bravo Nuer

    Makuei Lueth, as I stated last week,he is an ignorant dog who dare collision with any hard bodied vehicle thinking that his having a four legs like a car means his having equal powers. Makuei attributed rebellion to everybody everywhere under the sun even US and UN leave alone clerics. whoever tells truth is a rebel to Juba Idiots.evil Makuei and evil kiir will quench hellfire with a lot of urine.

    repondre message

  • 26 May 17:58, by Mapuor

    Now is happening in Jonglei?It looks like Twii people are all pro Machar.Its even shown by Nuer attacks on only Bor,Hol and Nyarweng Dinka clans.Twii and Piji are hardly attacked by Nyagaats.Some clerics are uttering devilish remarks which can not be tolerated.Bravo Makuei Lueth.Long live president Kiir Mayardit.

    repondre message

  • 27 May 00:08, by Jubawe

    Hahahah Even Pope Francise is rebel acording to Information Minister, all the church leaders who ever is telling the truth is rebel. All the Dinka’s are going crazy, they lost their vision and location than attacking Church leader’s, Now All Dinka’s are begging Equatorian not support Federation. Stupit Kirr and his Dinka’s.

    repondre message

    • 27 May 06:56, by Bentiu son

      The foolish Dinka Bahr el Ghazal should notice that the Dinka Bor idiot,gossiper,natter,rude,barbaric and jealousy man Makuei Ngooth is working had to destroy their brutal regime unacknowledged.Makuei Lueth’s barbaric behavior had caused tension bt UNMISS personals with Juba Government,rebels and Now with cleric men of God.There is hidden agenda play by Dinka Bor South who pretend to rep Governmen

      repondre message

      • 27 May 07:40, by Good South in Ruin!

        Thank you, Bentiu Son. Makuei is a very destructive, power hungry and hopeless politician who thinks he will always gain favour of the president.
        He has spoilt the image of his own people in Bor and South Sudan at large.
        He is not happy with the clerics because they represent the views of the civil society; stopping war at all costs to stop the continuing loss of lives.

        repondre message

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