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South Sudan famine and violence “man-made”: Bishops

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February 26, 2017 (BOR) - A group of South Sudanese Catholic bishops have accused the country’s warring factions of committing war crimes, targeting and humiliating civilians across the county while agitating for justice to be done.

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A group of Bishops in Juba (ST/file)

Nine Bishops, in a letter witnessed by the apostolic Nuncio to South Sudan and Kenya, condemned what they described as the atrocities committed by militants against civilians in the country, saying it constituted a “war crime”.

“While authorities calm situation for people to return to their homes, there is nothing left for people, since the forces used “scorch earth” warfare. The authorities may claim they are free to return to their homes, in practice, they fear to do so. In places the destruction has been described to us as scorched earth, what have people got left to return to? All of this is a form of “collective punishment”, which is outlawed as a war crime under the Geneva conventions”, reads the letter Sudan Tribune obtained.

The violence, the argued in the letter, has mainly been perpetrated by government and opposition forces against innocent civilians in the world’s youngest nation.

“Killing, raping, looting, displacement, attacks on churches and destruction of property continue all over the country. They are killed, raped, tortured, burned, beaten, looted, harassed, detained, displaced from their homes and prevented from harvesting their crops,” further reads the clerics’ letter.

“Even when they have fled to our churches and UN camps, they are still harassed by security forces. Not only are they being killed, but their bodies are also mutilated, and burned. People had been herded into their houses, which were then set on fire to burn occupants. Bodies had been dumped into sewage-filled septic tanks. This is a general lack of respect for human life”, it adds.

The Bishops have planned a meeting with President Salva Kiir and other government officials as they seek remedies to the civil war in South Sudan.

At least 100,000 people, aid agencies said, are facing starvation in parts of the country while 4.9 million of them need urgent humanitarian assistance.

(ST)

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  • 27 February 10:43, by Akook

    Only voices of God’s people can never be corrupted or polarised along tribal line. It gives me hope that Churches are the only one left to tell plainly as it is....
    Crime against humanity. After Khartoum did it onto us South Sudanese! Who in their right minds would believe that even worst we can do it on our own selves?!!!

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    • 27 February 10:52, by Akook

      No land to fight for, no borders no nothing but stupid seat called presidency.
      To hell with presidency. Presidency remain a curse in South Sudan. The world laughs at us behind doors that we are still monkeys NOT real full humans yet! That is exactly how the world views us

      repondre message

      • 27 February 12:08, by jubaone

        Akook,
        Not all of us are the same like those jienge criminals and tailless monkeys that have caused so much misery to our people. Kiir is a hopeless leader, who cant even lead his own family; a failure and hyporite. His greatest fear is; what to do when out of office. He has no profession, no formal education and doesn´t know what next. He rather cling onto office and let SS die than quitting.

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        • 28 February 09:02, by Lango2010

          Jubaone
          you got wrong there,yajama! let us learn from something. let hatred go its way and love and peace to the wright thing. a Government is not a tribe, bishops were talking of mass atrocities committed by both parties but not the dinka as a tribe. leave stupidity and talk viable material that can bring peace to our country.

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          • 28 February 09:08, by Lango2010

            second to that Catholic Church or all the churches are part of the problem sometime because i have witness in several occasion where they homily are citing and preaching hatred. there is no one clean in this country that justify him or herself of not being a part of problem in this country. a country is not Salva Kiir, what has the church done from day one to solve this problem?

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  • 27 February 14:09, by Gbu Na Baranya A Renya Lugor

    It’s true, I always give credit to the church for working for the goodness of all.
    Praise the LORD

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  • 27 February 14:52, by Kat Cok

    Catholic Church leaders in Juba are incited people of Equatoria to stir against Government and against Jieng (Dinka), but Government is wise enough not to take care of them, but one day even God will judge them of their deeds.

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  • 27 February 19:43, by Independent Thinker

    Dear Bishops,

    You are just wasting your time to talked to Kiir and therefore, on 14/3/2013 President Salva Kiir sang a song in Dinka Language. How do you expect Kiir to lead a country in peace?. Mark 11:24

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