Response to Religious leaders call for inclusive dialogue to end South Sudan conflict
By Rev Daniel Amum Odwel,
May 23, 2017(Nyamilepedia) —– First and foremost the call for genuine inclusive dialogue is welcome by all, if it is initiated by neuter patron, who is not part of ongoing atrocities in South Sudan. Honestly, the religious leaders seem to support ‘ national dialogue’ of Kiir and his in circle groups blindly.
Public in these days are too disappointed with contrary words uttered by the Bishop Isaac Dhieu which he said ” he denounced the voices that advocate war and glorify violence in the name of reforms”. Those words were preached by the government against opposition, so when people heard those words in the month of Bishop Isaac. Immediately, they concluded that Bishop Isaac and his colleagues are agents of government in clerical rob.
Critically, Bishop Isaac and his colleagues were not authentic and genuine in their remarks. It is much easy to notice that they were supporting one side of coin that is the government. Did they want to convince the public that violence is only caused by reform forces? In case the answer is yes, they must illustrate to the public that the massacred that took place in Waw town is committed by reforms? The atrocities which occurred in the whole Equatorial regions is committed by them? The exodus that taking place in Upper Nile at moment was carried out by reforms you proclaim in your remarks?
Bishop Isaac and your colleagues, now you look odd in sight of nation, for they saw you hardliners support of Salva Kiir. The Church must stands on it ground without being weave by worldly pressure, look John the Baptist was able to challenge the criminal leaders of his times by telling them that they are ‘brood of vipers’ (seeLk.3:7).
The true Church leaders should uphold the right things, and should never be conforming to the world but should be the transformers of the world into harmony and tranquility, peace and justice. Indeed, any church leader who supports criminal entity whether government or opposition are also criminals.
People thought that your positions should have been to advice Salva Kiir, that he shouldn’t be patron of national dialogue and also to plead with him that this dialogue can’t take place at this moment because true owner of dialogue, the communities in South are on run for their safety. Look Salva Kiir calls it inclusive and contrary he stresses that he don’t want Riak to take part in this claims national dialogue. To me it is not national dialogue but party dialogue that has nothing to do with national issues.
Her let me point out another loose, vague and compromise statement that the church leaders, who support the government cited ” The country’s political leaders (should) use the national dialogue as the opportunity to resolve the differences and called on religious leaders to persevere in their role as educators, by preaching love and brotherhood within families, communities and places of worship”. Who are religious leaders you are indicating here? Your provocative statement betrayed the church and implied that you are agents and government appointee’s propagandas and not God appointee’s leaders.
Ironical, any agent of the government or IO in clerical rob, can’t play the role of educators or proclaimed the gospel of love in the communities because they will only uphold the message of their party. When they stand before congregations, people will recall tragedies committed by their party on the communities, and people instantly become skeptical and suspicious. Indeed, could such agent of government or IO in clerical rob reconcile such communities? I real doubt it; will the agents of the government be ready to admit offenses and holocausts committed by their party against targeting communities?
The fact is, will church leaders who are supporters of the government, do have courage enough to tell the members of their party to leave grabbing of land, the invaders to leave to their original land peaceful, and the raiders to give back livestock to owners and the kidnapers of kids to give children back to the parents. Moreover, will the church leaders who support the government be able to encourage their party to come up openly to apology to nationwide and asked for forgiveness. In case the church leaders, who are part of system, failed to ensure what were mentioned above, then they shouldn’t speak about national dialogue or reconciliation. For it is hard for targeted communities in South Sudan to believe what had been initiated by killers.
In relate to extermination that was committed by warring parties in Bor, Bentiu and Malakal, Waw and Equatorial region what was the position of so-called Church leaders, the agents of doom in that regard? Are the agents of the government in clerical robs ready to come out publicly to admit their deadly mistakes and accept their responsibilities? If not it will be difficult to accomplish national dialogue.
The reconciliation at this moment is quite difficult to be attained because atrocities are fresh, vivid and obnoxious in the minds of people, for they are still mourning for love or missing one in the family. In South Sudan, it is too hard to achieve the reconciliation easily in traditional societies whereby the idea of forgiveness is obscure and avenge is only thing they know.
We know that ministry of reconciliation is God ministry that He entrusted to His appointed ministers, in order to maintain peace, harmony and tranquility among his creatures. For sure it can’t be accomplished by agents of government within the church. Christ has given himself to die on the Cross as ransom to reconcile the world to God the Father. The question that post itself is, will Kiir and Riak be ready to step down from their positions as ransom for reconciliation?
Reconciliation is God motto, this is why Christ reconciled us to God and gave the ministry of reconciliation to God agent that is the church, but not to church leaders who support criminal institutions that killed their own people. Indeed, the church leaders, who are agents of government or IO couldn’t be peacemakers, peace builders or reconcilers because they are part of evildoers. Tell me, can pastor that support warring parties preach about reconciliation in communities murdered by their party members and be welcomed? The answer is big no.
Jesus Christ rendered his life for the sake of humanity, but tribal church leaders in South Sudan are part of problem rather than being part of solution. In most cases they politicized everything to pass tribal agendas. To champion the reconciliation in South Sudan, the church leaders should stop being partial in their approaches to public issues.
The church must know it mandatory power, that she is voice of voiceless, and must speak against injustice, discrimination and marginalization of any member of any community.
I strongly oppose that the government of Salv Kiir in the South Sudan can’t and will not champion national dialogue or reconciliation because he is a part of holocaust. Indeed, the question of national dialogue or reconciliation must be suspended because the government and its agents within the church are not qualified to shoulder that task.
Imagine there is good slogan used in South Sudan‘’ One nation and one people’’, but the speeches and languages uttered by those who initiated the slogan are deadly poison and will not make South Sudan to be one nation and one people. In case the government of Salva Kiir and its agents within the church are serious to achieve the national dialogue and reconciliation, than the following giant’s diseases must be dealt first: laws must be put in place to avoid segregation, nepotism, favoritism, superiority and inferiority complex among one people; People must avoid undermine the rights of minority communities and discrimination of others in expense of not being members of particular party; provision of opportunity to every individual on equal base using educational qualifications and skill experiences.
The war in South Sudan claimed many innocent lives because the church leaders lost the right path and started to worship the government and IO and forgetting why they were called. Let me refer you to what God said to Jeremiah: ”Cursed is the one who trust in man, who depends on flesh for his strength and whose heart turns away from the Lord. Blessed is the man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him” (Jer.17:5, 7).