Machrine Birungi/Felix Katie
More must be done to combat the attacks and killings of civilians in South Sudan, according to a renowned archbishop from South Sudan.
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, leader of the Episcopal church of Sudan and South Sudan, appealed to the fighting forces to desist from targeting people based on their ethnicity, “it is dangerous, it can burn up this county, killing based on tribes will bring more disaster to this country,” he warned.
Describing the violence as uncalled for, Bishop Deng Bul said the people of South Sudan must be assisted to live in peace and not hatred. “I want my people to live in peace, let us not create this hatred, which is going on in the country,” he said.
He called attention to the desire by the church to see negotiations based on dialogue. “As a church we agree that there are grievances, but those grievances cannot be resolved through the gun,” he added that the church is strongly against killings based on ethnicity.
The Bishop said the church must be supported to back efforts to negotiate with the fighters still holed up in the bush. He said the church is ready to mobilize people for unity and peace; “the church will not give up, we will continue talking with our people until they understand.”
“Let us sit down and talk peace, and it is a process,” Bishop Deng Bul stressed. “We may not be heard today or tomorrow, but one day people who are hearing us will say what the church is saying is true – we need peace, we are one people, and we are one brother and sister.”
There has been a significant spike in incidents involving attacks on innocent civilians and blocking civilians from travelling to seek safety elsewhere.
Bishop Deng Bul, warned that such attacks and obstructions to civilian movement are fueling more anger, and pitting civilians against the government. He cautioned that “closing roads and killing people on the roads, does not help” Instead he warned that this “creates more anger and enemies.”
“I am appealing to those people, please allow people to travel to look for their needs; they are looking for food, they are looking for education, they are looking for health, there is no need for attacking them and killing them.”
Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, is a key advocate for peace in South Sudan.