April 23rd 2018 (Nyamilepedia) – South Sudan government on Sunday said church leaders are to blame for promoting violence in the country. This come two month after reportedly the pope Francis expressed the frustration with the government after a South Sudan Council of Churches delegation met him in the Vatican.
Speaking to congregation at the All Saint Cathedral Church of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan in Juba on Sunday, Vice President Igga accused unnamed church leaders of portraying President and the government to the “believers” of as bad.
“Some clergymen have resorted to preaching against personalities in this country. They misinforms the believers that President Salva Kiir an the government are bad,” Igga said without naming who is exactly responsible for this portrayal.
South Sudan descended into civil war in December 2013 after forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and his then Northern Bahr Al-Ghazal governor – now rebel leader – Gen. Paul Malong Awan went door-to-door search for Nuer men in the capital Juba killing them afterwards. 20 thousands Nuer men, women and children were killed during the first three days of the conflict between December 15-18.
Igga said the conflict, which escalated after a peace deal negotiated by Machar and Kiir collapsed in July 2016 after the higest leadership of the SPLA under the government of President Kiir directed the violence that led to the collapse of the Transitional Government of National Unity that month, would have been solved had some clergymen desisted misleading the people dismissing claims he said uttered by some clergymen that the government has fail as false while stressing that church leaders should not mix politics with religion.
“They should not mix politics with religion,” stressed Igga.
Pope Francis on March 23, 2018 met representatives of the South Sudan Council of Churches and discussed how to promote peace in a country ravaged by a bloody four-year civil war.
Sources attached to the delegation said pope Francis is not happy with the South Sudan government who is not willing to bring peace to the country because the pontiff believes that the government is responsible and not the rebel.
One source quoted pope as saying “It is the government of South Sudan who should bring peace to the country because the primary responsibility to stabilize and unite nations lies, for the most part, in the hand of the government and not the opposition.”
In May 2017, the Pope cancelled a planned trip to South Sudan due for October due to security reasons. The same month pope cancelled the trip, Italian media reported that Pope Francis made the decision to travel to South Sudan reluctantly and later would cancel it “after the information coming to his desk left him with few alternatives.”