“As the world celebrates International Day for Peace, we in South Sudan are at the forefront because we know the bitterness of the absence of peace. Since the birth of this new republic, we citizens have not known any lasting peace for which God created us”, writes His Exc. Mgr. Barani Edwardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio, in the message for the International Day for Peace celebrated yesterday, September 21st. The International Day of Peace was established by the UN General Assembly on November 30, 1981, and is celebrated every third Tuesday of September, which coincides with the opening day of the sessions of the General Assembly.
“For this reason, I want to join humanity, I want to join the Holy Father, in his desire for peace, in his prayer for peace and in his work for peace for the world and even more for us here in South Sudan”, says Bishop Hiiboro.
“Dear brothers and sisters, peace be with you. May God’s peace reign in your hearts and let us try to create peace within ourselves, even in the midst of the realities we are facing; hunger, lack of basic services, sickness, isolation, hatred, pain. Let us realize that God knows our difficulties; He is our Creator; let us call the peace of God that exists in our hearts”, reads the message sent to Agenzia Fides.
To obtain peace, it is necessary to turn to God, says Mgr. Hiiboro, “because God is the creator of the whole universe and when he created the universe, he made it beautiful to live in. Therefore we must first of all fall in love with God and admire his attention, his heart, his plan, his vision, his dream, and his architectural work in creating such a beautiful world”. This is the God we worship, this is the God we follow, and therefore we must develop a love for Him”.
Then, continues Mgr. Hiiboro, it is necessary to love human beings, “created by him in his image to inhabit this beautiful world”.
Therefore the message underlines, also “our ethnicity, our tribes, all the individuals who are part of the tribe, are created in the image of God. So, if you love your tribe, love it and appreciate it, but remember that your ethnic community is a gift from God to you; you must not lose sight of the fact that you are a son and daughter of God, and above all you must give total fidelity to the God who created you”.
Mgr. Hiiboro goes on to underline the evils of tribalism: “Regardless of being members of our different ethnic communities, we are all drawn to the fact that God created all of us in his image. God your creator is also the creator of all, this automatically means that all other human beings are in the image of God and that no tribe is better than other tribes”.
Consequently, you cannot in the name of your tribe humiliate another tribe, you cannot in the name of your tribe deprive another tribe and you cannot in the name of your tribe oppress other human beings. Therefore we are called by this common denominator, that God is our creator and all human beings are in His image, so we all have the right to respect and we all have the right to live together”.
Mgr. Hiiboro launches an appeal to all the more than 64 ethnic communities of South Sudan: since we are all created in the image of God; let this element unite us”.