Juba, South Sudan,
July 21, 2021 – Religious leaders in Western Equatoria State have called for restrain and urged warring parties to cease hostilities that have killed many and left several displaced in Tambura County.
A statement obtained by Nyamilepedia, Interchurch, and Interfaith Council for Peace Initiative in Western Equatoria described the violence and the trail of destruction it left behind as appalling and question the role of the government in calming the situation.
“We Church Leaders, will never go silent and keep mute as our faithful PEOPLE are subjected to violence which [is] harming their very sense of life!
“The rapid increase and expansion of the breakdown of law and order, the violence of all types changing from worse to worst every hour in Tombura Town, the headquarter, is appalling,” the statement reads in part.
“The question is, where is the government of South Sudan at all levels when communities turn harmful weapons against themselves? What is the hidden truth in this senseless violence?”
Archbishop Samuel Peni, the Chairperson of Interchurch, and Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, the Chairperson for Interfaith Council for Peace Initiative in Western Equatoria State said in the statement violence was not a solution to the ongoing crisis.
“The continued and escalating violence in Western Equatoria State particularly in Tombura County is of grave concern. Violence always begets more violence. Violence causes immediate and long-term suffering to all and will not address the pertinent issues that need to be urgently addressed in this country.
“South Sudan which has just celebrated its 10th Anniversary of Independence has long been on a precipice. What we witness is symptomatic of a number of factors that cannot be ignored. The country’s tragic history, endemic corruption, political infighting, moral decay, disregard for the law, and unfavorable economic conditions, exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic, are among them. However, the burning, killings, gun violence, looting, and destruction will not bring about change, it will deepen the crisis,” the clerics said.
“The Interfaith Council for Peace Initiative and Interchurch, all in Western Equatoria urge those involved in violence to stop immediately. It is our own sisters and brothers we are harming, not the elites or political tricksters who live securely and are shielded from the violence and the destruction; they are not affected, they do not suffer. We appeal to you, stop the violence for your own sakes!” they urged.