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South Sudan bishops demand role in peace negotiations

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August 1, 2021 (JUBA) - Catholic bishops in South Sudan have requested President Salva Kiir to ensure they are included in the country’s peace negotiations process.

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A group of Bishops in Juba (ST/file)

The bishops, led by the Archbishop of Juba, Stephen Ameyu Martin visited the president in Juba last week.

Also present were Bishops Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok of the Malakal Diocese and Emeritus Paride Taban of the Diocese of Torit.

“Since the signing of revitalized peace agreement, we as bishops of South Sudan had not paid visit to the president and we thought it better to do so and assure him of our support towards the process of peace implementation,” said Ameyu.

He added, “We asked him to include some religious leaders in the peace negotiation process since none of us are involved and it is necessary [that] we too take part”.

Ameyu said the religious leaders visited Kiir to show their solidarity towards the implementation of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS).

He stressed the importance of involving the country’s religious leaders in the national reconciliation, justice and peace process currently being implemented in South Sudan.

“We asked the president to include some religious leaders in the peace process since none of us is involved and it is necessary that we too take part,” Ameyu explained.

“Nothing is as good as having peace and guns silenced. When there is peace, people have the opportunity to live normal lives and stay happily,” he added.

The South Sudanese Bishops also expressed the need of striving to have peace in the country regardless of the challenges and no matter how long it takes.

“It will be good for the government to continue implementing peace. Even if it is at the slow tortoise pace, it will have some positive impact,” said the Archbishop.

In September 2018, the warring factions in South Sudan signed a revitalized peace agreement to end the country’s civil war. The peace accord stipulates that there shall be a transitional government formed after eight months of the pre-transitional period.

(ST)

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