Put the interests of the country ahead of yours, leaders told

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A prominent South Sudanese religious leader has asked leaders in the country to put the interests of the nation ahead of their own interests in order to find a lasting solution to the current conflict in the country.

A prominent South Sudanese religious leader has asked leaders in the country to put the interests of the nation ahead of their own interests in order to find a lasting solution to the current conflict in the country.

 

Bishop Dr. Isaiah Majok Dau called for all South Sudanese to seek peace and not to loose hope no matter what situation they may find themselves in. He said this during an ecumenical service called ‘Peace Church’, held yesterday in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

Bishop Dr. Majok focused his sermon on the theme of the mercy of God, using the story of Noah as an illustration.

“There is always a light at the end of the tunnel just like light follows darkness in a day,” he said.

The ecumenical service was held just a day before the resumption of peace talks in the Ethiopian capital by the warring parties and other stakeholders, including the religious leaders. It was attended by both Christian and Muslim leaders, including government officials.

There were intercessory prayers by the deputy minister for Foreign Affairs Peter Beshir Bandi and the minister for Gender and Humanitarian Affairs Awut Deng. Peter Bashir prayed for delegates to the peace talks whereas Awut Deng prayed for sick people.

The peace talks are set to open today with statements from IGAD Secretariat and Special Envoys, various stakeholders, and other envoys.

In the afternoon, there is expected to be a meeting of Government of South Sudan, Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-in-Opposition and SPLM -FD.

The delegates to the talks began arriving between 19th and 22nd . On Saturday, IGAD special envoys carried out consultations with representatives of various stakeholders on the agenda of the talks from 9:30 a.m. to almost 6:00 p.m. at the premises of UN Economic Commission for Africa (UNECA), being the venue of the peace talks.

During the service, the minister for Information and Culture Michael Makuei Lueth appealed for prayers for peace. He urged the delegates to make sure that this time they return home with a peace agreement as this will be the final round of peace talks.

Bishop Enock Tombe informed the delegates about the absence of some members of FBOs delegation in this round of peace talks. He said that Bishop Edwardo Hiiboro and Gladys Mananyu were engaged in other commitments when the invitation from IGAD was conveyed to them.

According to Bishop Tombe, on Tuesday, the talks will break into  three thematic committees for governance, transitional security arrangements and economic and humanitarian affairs. 

“As this is the final session of the peace talks, please pray for its success so that the remaining issues of conflict are resolved and a peace agreement is signed by March 5, February 2015,” he said.

The talks are resuming after the mediators gave the delegates time to go back home and have consultations with their constituencies. This time has also seen a rise in fighting between the warring sides, with each blaming the other for breaking the cessation of hostilities agreement.

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