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Pain. Anguish. Despair. South Sudanese clerics lament troubled decade of independence

Juba, South Sudan,

July 07, 2021 – A group of clerics from the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) says the ten years of independence in South Sudan have produced nothing positive except pain, anguish, and despair.

Pain. Anguish. Despair. South Sudanese clerics lament troubled decade of independence
Fr. James Oyet Latansio, the SSCC General Secretary (photo credit: Anglican News)

In a statement seen by Nyamilepedia, SSCC says it has been a tortuous journey for the country where citizens are yet to realize the fruits of hard-won freedom.

“As we mark ten (10) years of our independence today, with pains in our hearts, there is little to celebrate. It is truly a difficult time and experience for us, the people of South Sudan. Our hearts continue to groan with pain, anguish, turmoil, despair, and misery as lives are lost every day in every corner of our country,” SSCC says.

“Conflict has become the context in which we are evolving with rampant proxy inter-communal violence, increasing cases of sexual violence, revenge killings, land grabbing, and child abduction,” the statement continues.

Fr. James Oyet Latansio, the SSCC General Secretary said when the country attained independence in 2011, expectations were high among citizens. However, they were short-lived.

“On this day ten years ago, we expected a new ray of hope, optimism, and reign of sustainable peace with prosperity. However, those jubilations and celebrations were short-lived as the nation, in just two years, descended into violent conflicts that have devastated all aspects of South Sudanese lives.

“Painfully, millions of our citizens, who were hopeful and jubilant on this day ten years ago, were suddenly impoverished, made hopeless, and reduced to extreme dependence on humanitarian assistance,” he said.

The Secretary-General added that “The Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R­-ARCSS) signed in 2018, was the most viable framework for peace and a beacon of hope for South Sudanese. Unfortunately, its slow and inconsistent implementation is very worrying and shatters all hopes to restore stability through this Peace Agreement; and there appears to be a lack of political will.”

However, SSCC urges the citizens of South Sudan to start on a fresh page heading into another decade.

“On this occasion of commemorating the first decade of our independence, the SSCC declares the Second Decade of South Sudan’s Independence as a period of a new beginning of Peace, Justice, Freedom, Forgiveness, Reconciliation, and Prosperity for all our people. It must not be another lost decade!”

“It is an opportunity to rescue our people from imposed destitution and sustain their livelihoods. In this second decade, we must stop the self-sabotage of our collective future and prosperity. We must reflect on what went wrong in the first decade after independence, learn from those experiences, and rise to the collective responsibility of this generation to deliver our country from its current predicaments. Never again shall our people be merciless victims of our own hands!” the statement affirmed.

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