UGANDA: ACHOLI RELIGIOUS LEADERS CALL ON SOUTH SUDAN WARRING PARTIES TO “PRESERVE HUMANITY”

Below: Archbishop John Baptist Odama (R), Bishop Nelson Onono-Onweng (C) and Bishop McLeod Baker Ocholla II addressing the media in Gulu on South Sudan.

 

ARLPI“We are deeply saddened by the recent conflict in South Sudan especially the violence in which many innocent lives were lost, others displaced and many more suffered innocently. As a good neighbor we feel duty bond and obliged to stand with you during this difficult time and also pass on to you and the whole world our feelings about the situation”

GULU-UGANDA: Religious leaders of Acholi sub-region in northern Uganda, under their organization: “Acholi Religious Leaders’ Peace Initiative”, (ARLPI), have called on the international communities, to do all it takes within their powers to ensure that calm returns to South Sudan. The religious leaders say the affected population of South Sudan need relief and medical assistance.

In a seven point press statement, under the theme: “Preserve Humanity” which was released on Friday August 12, 2016 from the Northern Uganda Media Club (NUMEC), and read by their chairman, Archbishop John Baptist Odama; the religious leaders expressed  “sadness” by the recent conflict in South Sudan.

“The international communities, should do all it takes within their powers to ensure that calm returns to South Sudan and they should provide relief and medical assistance to the affected population,”  Archbishop John Baptist Odama read.

“We are deeply saddened by the recent conflict in South Sudan especially the violence in which many innocent lives were lost, others displaced and many more suffered innocently. As a good neighbor we feel duty bond and obliged to stand with you during this difficult time and also pass on to you and the whole world our feelings about the situation”

ARLPI is an interfaith peace building and conflict transformation organization that was formed in 1997 as a proactive response to the conflict in Northern Uganda. It brings together Anglican, Catholic, Muslim, Orthodox, Pentecostal and Seventh Day Adventist religious leaders and their respective constituencies to participate effectively in transforming conflict in northern Uganda and the surrounding region.

The organization played a key role in convincing both government of President Museveni and the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) leader warlord Joseph Kony to accept ceasefire and peace talks in 2006, which led to relative peace in the region when the LRA relocated to the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and Central African Republic (CAR).

They thanked the government of South Sudan for calling for ceasefire that saved a lot of lives, the government of Uganda for swiftly moving into South Sudan to rescue Ugandans and other nationals from South Sudan, and the international communities and other Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) for the efforts they made to save and preserve lives in South Sudan.

“We give our condolence to those who lost their dear ones in the South Sudan conflict. As we yearn for the situation to calm down, we make the following appeals”:

  1. The government of South Sudan should stop the fight unconditionally in order to save lives of innocent people.
  2. The people of South Sudan should stop killing each other and strive to work together to develop South Sudan, the youngest African nation.
  3. The international communities should do all it takes within their powers to ensure that calm returns to South Sudan and should provide relief and medical assistance to the affected population of South Sudan.
  4. The government of Uganda should continue with the rescue mission for Ugandans and other nationals still stuck in other regions of South Sudan other than Juba.
  5. Those rescued Ugandans and other nationals should thank God for protecting them but to observe law, live peacefully and to look for something else to do for a living.
  6. The districts bordering South Sudan should be vigilant, kind and hospitable to their brothers and sisters from South Sudan who are seeking refuge in their areas.
  7. South Sudanese seeking refuge should appreciate the hospitability of the communities receiving them and to strive to live with them in harmony as they wait to go back to their country.

The press briefing was also attended by retired bishops; Macleod Baker Ocholla II and Nelson Onono-Onweng. The two appealed to mediators in the South Sudan conflict to ensure impartiality and that South Sudanese must know that they cannot always govern using the gun.

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