Bishops call for peace in South Sudan
South Sudanese bishops said enough is enough in a two day conference held in Entebe, Uganda.
In the search for real peace and harmony South Sudanese clergymen from the Churches of South Sudan converged at the Ugandan town of Entebbe under the theme “Leaders Mediation Initiative” that drew Bishops and Pastors from different denominations and Community Based organizations (CBOs) from South Sudan. The consultative forum on grassroots peace engagement started on 26th and ended on 30th of June, 2017 at Sienna Beach Hotel in Entebbe.
The conference mainly focused on home grown solution that can bring everlasting peace which the South Sudanese people need the most instead of waiting for the international community that can disadvantage the common citizens given their tribes or political affiliations according to His Grace, Paul Yugusuk Archbishop elect of Central Equatoria Internal Province and Chairman of the Church Mediation Initiative (CMI).
On the other hand the Presiding Bishop of African Inland Church, Arkanjelo Wani Lemi, Dean of the Province of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSSS) explained how useful the grassroots negotiated peace and reconciliation can benefit the entire community.
The History of the Church in South Sudan and Sudan started way back from Church Missionary Society (CMS) which began its work in 1899 in Omdurman and later on Christianity spread rapidly among the black Africans in the Southern region until 1974.
By then the Diocese of Sudan was still part of the Jerusalem Archbishop before it was reverted to the jurisdiction of the Archbishop of Canterbury until the new Province which comprised of four new dioceses was established in 1976 to deal with daily challenges of civil and religious strife and constant flow of refugees that have challenged the Church capacity that was why more dioceses were created to care for the people of God and their welfare.
The Church has been leading peace initiatives in the country since Africa’s longest civil war broke out in 1983 and officially ended in 2005 as a result of the Church’s mediation to make sure peace is achieved through nonviolent means, for example the Wunlit peace initiative known as People to People Peace Process (PPPP) which subsequently resulted into the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA), a process that led to the successful separation of South Sudan to become independent through a referendum. The world Churches and the Churches in South Sudan worked tremendously hard to deliver the new born baby called the Republic of South Sudan.
The Wunlit conference ended some of the South to South conflicts which had destroyed hundreds of villages and killed perhaps thousands of civilians from 1991 to 1999. It gave many South Sudanese hope that there was a way to surmount the conflict that had killed many people.
In the closing remarks of the two days forum, the clergymen and women of difference faiths called upon South Sudanese back home and abroad to welcome peace and support the national dialogue to restore the lost social fabric. “Enough is enough, peace must come to South Sudan by all means and more importantly allow grassroot peace initiatives or door to door national dialogue to reunite the great people of South Sudan once and for all,” the Bishops said.