September 30, 2019 (JUBA) – The Archbishop of South Sudan, Justin Badi Arama has urged all the country’s warring parties’ leaders to unite, reconcile and forgive one another for the sake of peace.
- South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar (L) speaks to reporters after meeting President Salva Kiir in Juba, September 11, 2019 (JUBA)
He was speaking during a national prayer breakfast organized by South Sudan Council of Churches in the capital, Juba last week.
The theme for the prayer was, “Don’t cling to the events of the past, watch for the new things I am going to do, it’s happening already”.
“In a special way, we are asking God to forgive us the leaders and citizens of South Sudan. It is time for renewal and purification. South Sudan needs purification to move forward. South Sudan needs all its citizens to forgive each other,” said Arama.
Also in attendance was South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir who vowed to unite the country, reaffirming his commitment to partner with his arch-rival Riek Machar to restore peace and stability ahead of the formation of a national unity government on November 12.
On his part, the National Coordinator of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s Justice, Peace & Reconciliation Committee (JPRC), Rev. Stephen Mayuen Mou said efforts to engage communities, government and opposition members to work towards reconciling people with one another for sustainable peace was on course.
“Everybody in South Sudan, including the government and the opposition are tired of war, but a lack of trust between the president and opposition leaders is something to worry about,” he said.
Mayuen, however, said his committee will continue organizing training and workshops with religious leaders in different areas of the nation to help them preach peace, reconciliation and healing.
“I hope to see a unity government formed in the next few months while JPRC continues to join in efforts to reconcile, unite, heal and build trust through round table talking as a way to improve social conditions of individual South Sudanese and their families and eventually stabilizing South Sudan,” he stressed.
South Sudan descended into war in December 2013 when Kiir accused Machar of plotting a coup.
In September 2018, the rival factions involved in the conflict signed a peace deal to end the conflict that has killed tens of thousands of people and displaced over 2 million people in the country.