National, News

Pope renews call for peace in South Sudan

By Charles K Mark


Vatican’s special envoy has conveyed a message of the Holy Father calling for an end to violence in South Sudan.

Cardinal Michael Czerny S.J delivered the Holy See’s renewed peace message to the nation during a homily at St. Theresa Cathedral Kator, Juba.

The Cardinal, on his visit to South Sudan, said Pope Francis has the world’s youngest nation close to his heart.

He said the Holy Father stressed the need for unity, reconciliation, cooperation, and peace, and that he evoked the Nile to inspire a change in political will.

“Just as the Nile leaves its sources to begin its course, so the course of history will leave behind the enemies of peace and bring renown to those who are true peacemakers,” the Cardinal quoted.

Citing some scriptures, cardinal Czerny said, ‘There is posterity for the man [and woman] of peace’ (cf. Ps 37:37).”

He submitted Pope Francis plea, recalling the words of Christ, to the disciple who drew his sword in the Garden of Gethsemane.

“I beg you, with all my heart, to accept four simple words: No more of this! (Lk 22:51).” The Holy Father insisted: “No more of this” without “if’s” or “but’s.” The Cardinal read out his summons.

He mentioned that there should be no more bloodshed, conflicts, violence, and mutual recriminations about who is responsible for it.

“No more destruction; it is time to build! Leave the time of war behind and let a time of peace dawn!” Czerny quoted the Pope, who encouraged everyone “to move on from words to deeds.

He stated that the Holy Father called upon the leaders to ensure the delivery of basic social services and to provide good governance and proper management of public resources.

He called for an end to the widespread community violence and to promote peaceful co-existence through healing, forgiveness, and reconciliation.

The Holy Father also challenged South Sudanese to promote human development, open political and civic spaces, and participation for all, especially youth and women.

“Respect the dignity and human rights of vulnerable populations, especially returnees and refugees, internally displaced persons, children, persons with disabilities, and the elderly,” Cardinal said.

Pope Francis encouraged citizens to understand that the time has come to stop being carried along by the tainted waters of hatred, tribalism, regionalism, and ethnic differences.

“In fact, these changes will water the soil of this nation like “fresh and life-giving springs,” he said, urging the people to pray and work hard to ensure that elections turn nonviolent, fair, transparent, credible, and peaceful.

The Cardinal advised the leaders to put into place infrastructure in the political sphere, preparing minds and hearts for a possible transition.

“A peaceful transfer of power not only indicates political maturity, but it also assures good governance and holistic development,” he said.

Cardinal Czerny urged the leaders to be faithful not only to the peace agreement but also to members of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity (R-TGoNU) and all signatories.

“It is critical that your integrity and commitment bring about the yet-unrealized remaining steps for the election process,” the Cardinal echoed.

He reiterated that the full implementation of prerequisites will serve as a guarantee to South Sudanese that there will never again be bloodshed, fear of insecurity, or the need to seek refuge in other countries due to violence.

“This is your responsibility as leaders. Don’t forget that God is watching over you as a shepherd and a judge, and don’t forget to root even this work in prayer,” Czerny warned.

He said, “I encourage you to continue to cooperate with the efforts of Sant’ Egidio and other actors in inviting the groups that are resistant to participate in the process.”

President Salva Kiir Mayardit on Monday welcomed the Vatican’s willingness to support the upcoming general elections.

The Presidential Affairs Minister, Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro, said President Kiir reassured the Holy See of his administration’s commitment to conduct free and credible elections this year.


Comments are closed.