“Reconcile the communities“ South Sudan government pleads with Churches
South Sudan’s First Vice President, General Taban Deng Gai, has pleaded with the Church to “to reconcile the communities” that have been divided by conflict since 2013, shortly after its independence from Sudan.
Speaking at a meeting at the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan on Monday 20 August, Taban Deng Gai said following the peace agreement between President Salva Kirr and his rival Riek Machar, “There is no crisis again… there is no military take over. It is a taboo. Let me assure you that we are for peace not violence again,” and pleaded with the Church to show and teach the warring groups and tribes how to love one another and help return South Sudanese to normal life of respect for one another.
The First Vice President called on the Church to maintain is independence and shy away from any influence. He said the Church has received so much help from other missionaries and should now begin to stand on its feet. “We must develop as the world develops. If there are training aspects which are necessary for our pastors then let’s develop them. They will stand firm in the churches,” Taban Deng said.
Taban denounced any military campaign to seize power in the country, “What is accepted is democracy whether you call it tribal democracy… it will continue to be accepted for the case of South Sudan,” Taban added.
Ret Tut Mai Nguoth, Deputy Director for Presbyterian Relief and Development Agency (PRDA) called on the south Sudanese church to “pray for our country. Let us cooperate, let us work together.” He stressed. “In the Kingdom of God, all of us are equal. We are equal servants to the Lord and to the country.”
James Tor Monybuny, the Governor of Central Upper Nile State, pointed out that it was also the responsibility of government and “society to help Church in the development,” of South Sudan.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN, and priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos