Bishop urges government to restore stability in South Sudan

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[Yei, South Sudan, TCT] The Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Yei Diocese, Erkolano Lodu Tombe, has called on the government to create a stable social and political situation for civilians to live in without fear at all levels in the country.

Speaking during a mass at Christ the King Cathedral in Yei, Bishop Lodu called on individuals engaging in criminal activities in towns or highways to stop such acts, to allow citizens to stay and move freely on roads without fear.

“Who is that person who wants to bring fear for us? We have the police and the soldiers – let us work together. We don’t need to walk and work in fear. Let no one make us tired of fear,” said the Bishop as the church marked the solemnity of All Saints Day on Tuesday.

“It is our right to be happy. We don’t have right to stay in fear every day and night. We need to live in no fear please. We have to move with respect always,” he continued.

His comments came at a time where attacks on travelers have occurred on major highways in South Sudan. Recently, 21 people were killed along Yei-Juba road, which drew national and international condemnation.

Bishop Lodu advised the South Sudanese people to always move with respect for one another in order to realize a prevailing peace, which is built from within. He stated that valuing respect would require complete stop to looting or killing in the country.

“This is not a nation of looting or killing. This is a nation of staying well with happiness in front of God. If we stay with respect for one another, you will see we all – the government, soldiers and police – will be happy people and the peace we are looking for will come from within,” he said.

The Catholic Bishop underscored that the government should continue defending and protecting the citizens and their properties to quell activities of anti-peace elements from worsening the situation.

He said civilians and soldiers should rebuild a good working relationship to restore peace and stability in the country, appealing for more concentrated prayers for peace to prevail in South Sudan.

Meanwhile, Fr. Tom Poru Martin a Catholic priest from the same region told parishioners at the mass that South Sudanese need to accept their mistakes and start to forgive each other.

“The first thing which is bringing us problems in our country is sin. There is no person accepting that he or she has done wrong. No one is accepting his mistakes. Let anyone pray for himself and change his life to get blessings and mercy from God,” he told parishioners.

He said that peace will come to South Sudan if citizens admit their mistakes and value working collaboratively in all peace efforts.

While describing the hopes for peace in the country, he said “in every dark cloud, there is always a silver lining”- expressing confidence that the suffering of the people will come to an end soon.

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