Africa-Press – South-Sudan. South Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference which took place in Juba between 14th to 15 September has said that the Church is concerned by what it calls disregard of human life in the world’s youngest country urging leaders, both in the opposition and the government, to bring about permanent peace to the suffering people of South Sudan.
“We remind the government of their duty to provide security to the population, but we also urge them not simply to create more violence using the security apparatus. There are reasons why people turn to violence, often because they do not have access to clean water, food, housing, health care, education and other basic services,” the Bishops said in a communiqué following the two-day gathering.
They stressed that “it is the duty of the government to create an economic environment where these basic needs are available to the people and where ordinary citizens and indeed members of the security services will not be tempted to use violence just to feed themselves and their families. We advise the President to work diligently to improve the economy as he has promised.”
The Church said they are also concerned by the illegal occupation of land and lack of infrastructure and institutions in many parts of the country absence of which contribute to insecurity and violence among the people.
“We wish to stress the issue of land. Peace and justice cannot come while people’s land is occupied, whether that be an individual’s private land or land belonging to a particular community. We note the lack of infrastructure and institutions in many of the states which contributes to both violence and poverty amongst the people,” they said.
“We are concerned about the disregard for human life in our nation. People are dying, whether by violence or by neglect, and it seems to be just accepted. We insist that all human life is sacred. The culture of death must be converted to a culture of life where every human being is valued. We call for nonviolent solutions to all the conflicts, both national and local,” they added.
The Church called on “our leaders, both in government and in opposition, our security forces and our citizens to heed the words of the Holy Father and seek to resolve the conflicts in our land through nonviolent means.”