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Yambio holds Ecumenical prayer service for peace

By Richard Ruati

February 18, 2009 (YAMBIO) — An ecumenical prayer service for peace in Western Equatoria was held in Yambio at the Yambio freedom Square. The liturgy was used and adapted for Christian prayer services around the state to show solidarity for peace in the State.

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Bishop Edwardo Hiboro Kussala (R. Ruati)

About one thousand Christians from the Episcopal Church in Sudan, African Inland Church, Seventh Days Adventists, Pentecostal, Evangelical Lutheran Church and Catholic Church attended the prayer services. The state governor and a web of senior cabinet officials and civil servants also joined the prayer services.

The main preacher and celebrant in the prayer services was Right Reverend Bishop Edwardo Hiboro Kussala.

Hiboro told the prayerful congregation that, “[we] are gathered here at the heart of Yambio to pray and to raise our prophetic voice together. We meet as living churches in Western Equatoria State in order that the voice of WE, which is the voice of truth. We meet to join our voices with the other voices of the Christian world – African continent and Caribbean, Vatican, Asia, Europe, the USA and Scandinavia, Australia, so that all these voices together will become the voice in the wildness.”

The Bishop perceptively said that, “the churches know the meaning of destruction, death, oppression, injustice, and even abduction, kidnappings, enslavement.”

The churches repudiated the unrest and violence on the innocent children, women and citizens in Western Equatoria, as it destroys the infrastructure of any society.

The spiritual leader called on the, "donors associated with any funding for arms which is used for, destruction, killing and bloodshed to be used instead to eradicate the chronic poverty and suffering created by LRA, Ambororo and cattle keepers, and used for education, for building a culture of peace instead of a culture war, anarchy and fear, for building bridges between ethnic groups, states, political parties, individuals Sudanese."

He stressed that, "reconciliation should be accompanied by justice, and otherwise it will not last. While citizens’ hope for peace should not be peace at any cost but peace based on principle and justice."

Government need to do more to protect the civil rights of its people. The bishop called on the state authority to invite the GOSS president to come down and witness the plight of WES people.

The state governor Jemma Nunu Kumba thanked the churches for initiating prayers for total peace in the state, as everything government does is blessed by the Almighty God.

She encouraged the churches to continue with their peace mission in the state, "this should not be the last, but time to time, this has to be done as it is the only way to achieve total peace."

She added that, there is must be peace among the communities and neighboring states.

She blamed insecurities in WES on the violence transplanted by LRA, Ambororo and cattle keepers, "the insecurity we face as a state is not our inception but imposed on us." "The government is doing its best to provide peace to all citizens in the state." added the governor.

The prayers service for peace in WES comes after four years since the CPA was signed. Since then WES has virtually never felt total peace. Plunged by tribal fighting in 2005, 2007 and 2008, LRA attacks since 2006 and Ambororo environmental impact, WES citizens barely enjoy peace.

The latest violence by LRA have scattered thousands of WES citizens away from their houses. LRA over the X-mass stepped up attacks and reprisal killing, burning, looting and abducting many children and women in the region.

(ST)