Anglican Archbishop of South Sudan, Most Rev. Daniel Deng Bul, has accused the South Sudan government and the United Nations of failing to protect citizens of the world’s newest country.
He called on chiefs of both Dinka and Murle tribes in Jonglei state to work at uniting the two neighbouring communities.
Archbishop Deng Bul, said they had failed in their role as mediators.
“The people who have been given authority to protect people have failed. Why can’t the army protect people, why can’t the police protect the people? They have failed nd have failed the government. This is what we have seen. If the army and the police, who are armed, have failed, and they have left the citizens to kill themselves, what does this mean?” Deng asked.
On Tuesday 30 November, about 69 people were killed and homes torched in an attack by suspected Murle tribesmen in Duk Payuel County of Jonglei state. Many more people are still unaccounted for and many have fled the villages.
The information minister, Michael Makuei Lueth, told newsmen, Friday 1 December, that Dinka youth went after the attackers and recovered all stolen cows and people abducted.
Deng told the warring tribes to talk to each other.
“They have chiefs… the chiefs would resolve any conflicts and people listened to them. Because now, the UN is here but they can’t resolve these issues, the government has been defeated,” he said.
“We are telling the two communities to go back to each other, to be patient and not to attack each other. I want to tell the leaders of the two communities of Murle and Dinka that they should work to bring a peaceful environment between them. God created them as neighbours. This is the solution. If they accept this, they themselves will stop killing each other. This is the church’s message,” he said.
Meanwhile South Sudan’s Roman Catholic Church leaders are appealing to Pope Francis to visit South Sudan. Samuel Abe, Secretary General of the archdiocese of Juba said on Monday 4 December, “We know his heart is in South Sudan.” He said because the Pope, when he comes, he will “be a voice for the voiceless.”
The planned visit of the Pope, together with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, scheduled for October, was cancelled due to security concerns in the war-ravaged country.
Pope Francis, who regularly prays for the country, has donated 25 million Euros in food aid to the United Nations’ agricultural arm, toward the dry period of “grave food insecurity and major displacement”, a Vatican statement said.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and Priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos.
Image credits; CC Google Images/South Sudanese in Camps