By Bida Elly David
A civil society activist has called on South Sudanese leaders to execute and respond to Pope Francis’s message of putting down guns for peaceful co-existence through his representative who would soon arrive Juba.
Speaking to No.1 Citizen Daily Newspaper, Edmund Yakani the Executive Director for the community empowerment for Progress Organization (CEPO) said the agreement would not materialize if the leaders don’t implement Pope’s message.
“I need our leaders to respond to pope’s message when his representative visits the Country because I am aware that the Community of St. Egidio are already on the ground expecting the arrival of Pope’s representative from DRC Congo. Pope’s video message to the leaders of South Sudan on laying down arms was genuine since it was a message that he would have delivered upon his visit to the Country if not interrupted by his health issues.” Yakani said.
He emphasized that it is indeed time for South Sudan’s leaders to put down their guns and opt to take the path of peace.
The CEPO’s Executive Director said the leaders should put into account political will to address and resolve their disputes amicably to ease ways for the implementation of the peace agreement.
“As an activist and a peace advocate, we really hope that our leaders look into that message seriously and take it into account in their political decisions in line with the revitalized peace agreement and resuming the Rome peace process. Pope’s message was a follow up message after the kiss of the feet of our leaders” he said.
This tendency of dragging their feet into the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement genuinely and also going for the resumption of Rome peace talks is no longer helping and healthy and has shown the nation very clear that the only way for the Country to be stable and great is through the implementation of the peace agreement’’ Yakani said.
The activist underscored that the responsive text of the leaders to the Pope’s message would determine their readiness for the peace agreement.
“We hope that upon his arrival to South Sudan, our leaders should provide an answer in regard to the Pope’s video message in relation to the Revitalized Peace Agreement and its implementation. We need to know their text on pope’s call because we believe without any peaceful political transition to a better situation, there will be no change’’ Yakani stressed.