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Churches ask soldiers to protect civilians

By Hassan Arun Cosmas-Yei.

The Catholic Bishop of Yei Diocese Erkolano Lodu Tombe has called upon soldiers to protect civilians in the country in order to avoid attacks by unknown gunmen.

Speaking to Juba Monitor yesterday, Bishop Lodusaid that the discipline of the army made civilians fear them.

“The commitment of the Church is to cooperate with the government to move the ministry of God ahead. I urge the army to carry out their duty of protecting the people instead of killing innocent civilians,” Lodu said.

He assuredpublic that they would cooperate with the government in order to come up with a viable solution to the road ambush.

“We will continue cooperating with the government. Anybody who wants to do whatever he wants with the Church; they are here to carry out our duty and let those who are supposed to do their duties do their duties honestly.”

He revealed that the Church would not accept or fear intimidation of religious people by soldiers.

“Religious leaders warn soldiers from intimidating and targeting people but use the guns to defend the citizens rather than using it against them.Anybody with a gun who wants to intimidate us is free. We are not to accept and fear intimidation by anybody with a gun,” he said.

“When we saw too many soldiers last Friday with guns, we were very afraid and we don’t know where they were hiding and we wonder why they were all on the streets in the town.”

The churches called upon the government to cooperate with religious leaders and listen to the cry of the suffering citizens of South Sudan whohave craved peace and security for many years since the onset of war in 2013, shortly after South Sudan gainedautonomy from Sudan.

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