(Above) Children hold banners during the visit of First Vice President Taban Deng Gai to Yei last week.
Bishop Hillary Luate Adeba of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan (ECSS&S), Yei diocese, has called on South Sudanese to embrace forgiveness with one another, starting at the family level.
Speaking to Christians at Emmanuel Cathedral during the New Year service, Bishop Luate said 2017 should be used to bring peace in the war-torn country but not for bloodshed, displacement and looting.
Forgiveness, he said, should begin from the family level then spread to the national level so that South Sudanese start mending their relations from the grassroots.
“Let us grab this opportunity, even our people in the rural areas, this is the year of forgiveness, reconciliation and this is the year of peace,” Bishop Luate said. “It should begin from there to say, ‘I am sorry if I have done anything wrong in this family that has caused pain to the members.’”
The Episcopal bishop said young people should not be deprived from growing in peace and rebuilding the nation for future generations.
He added that South Sudanese need not to adopt a violent culture of loving to shoot guns even during feast days as signs of celebrations.
The bishop said, “In civilized nations, guns are silent while its citizens know God, respect human life and the rule of law”.
He explained that if South Sudanese value forgiveness with one another, it would end ethnic hatred, targeted killings and eventually yield a lasting peace.
“We have no respect for human life. These are the kinds of sinful things…In this year, let us continue to be resilient. Don’t be afraid, may be good things are on the way,” he told the congregation.
Yongule Athanasius Lojojo, Yei River state minister of local government and law enforcement, said South Sudanese should collectively value peace and work to end suffering.
“We need to take care of each other because in this situation, there are individuals who may take the law into their hands,” Yongule cautioned. “This is the year of peace. We expect our people to return. We need to love one another.”