South Sudan leaders must honour peace agreement, says Bishop
An Anglican bishop has called on President Kiir and his rival Marchar to orer their foces to cease hostilities and to respect he Khartoum declaration on the cessation of violence.
Bishop Hillary Hillary Luate Adeba, Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Yei, made the appeal in an address to thousands of worshipers at the Emmanuel Cathedral in Yei River State last Sunday, 1 July.
“Our President Salva Kiir and opposition leader Riak Machar (should) truly and truly make sure that they begin to inform their forces on the ground that the agreement has been signed and no need for war again,” he said.
“Many agreements have been signed in Addis-Ababa but down in Lasu, Ombaci, and Mukaya and all over Yei River state, the people holding guns tend to ignore and violate whatever has been signed,” Bishop Adeba argued. He told leaders to ensure that their military forces honour peace agreements.
The Bishop said the time has come to end the suffering of the people of South Sudan. “To us it means our people will be allowed to move to the towns and to the rural areas. We also believe that there will be no gun shots, killings and displacements.”
He expressed hope that the cease fire will allow humanitarian aid to the regions desperately in need of help.
President Salva Kiir Mayardit and his former Vice President Dr.Riek Machar, who turned rival
and set up a militia that fought to overthrow the government, costing thousands of lives, signed a four page “Khartoum Declaration of Agreement Between Parties of the Conflict of South Sudan” on the 27th June 2018 in Khartoum to end the war that has dévastée the youngest nation in the world for many years.
The hope for the signing of the agreement for the South Sudanese is that it will pave a way for a transition into an election that will produce a new set of leaders for the country.
But the hope for this is equally being threatened as the parliament, which supports the president, are proposing to extend Salva Kiir’s term in office for another three years. Their argument is “if they don’t extend it there will be anarchy and war. You’ll have a country without a government,” a politician Atem Garang said.
But the opposition in Parliament, Lam Paul Gabriel said the idea was “definitely illegal” and “anti-peace.”
“It is contradictory to be working for a peace settlement of the political crisis while at the same time fostering the extension of the government’s mandate,” Edmund Yakani, director of the Community Empowerment for Progress Organization, said.
South Sudan plunged into a civil war soon after independence killing tens of thousands and creating the largest refugees crises in Africa.
Hassan John is West Africa Editor, GCN and priest of the Anglican Diocese of Jos