Religious leaders in South Sudan have called for the end of the political and military conflicts that left more than 1,000 people dead and many more displaced.
“We the undersigned bishops needed to add our voice and to alarm the world that South Sudan is in crisis and in need of urgent intervention,” they said in a joint statement released to the Sudan Tribune Sunday.
“God Save Our Nation of South Sudan. We are seeking peace and ceasefire urgently and welcome the world to intervene and put an end to the rampant killing of innocent women, children, disabled and the elderly people that are dying without cause and the abuse that is now going on across the country”, the statement added.
The violence, which has also displaced some 200,000 people, is largely blamed on forces loyal to the country’s ex-vice president Riek Machar.
“We are condemning the senseless killing of civilians and call upon the President Salva Kiir Mayardit and the former Vice President Riek Machar to stop fighting and come to dialogue and peaceful negotiation than the use of the gun”, the statement said.
“We urge you to put the lives of the people first and political differences should be addressed later in love and harmony.”
The statement went on to call on the international community to approach Kiir and Riek in help restore stability in South Sudan.
Among those mentioned were the Kenyan government, under the leadership president Uhuru Kenyatta, the United Nations, Inter-governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), the United Kingdom and the United States.
“We are tired of war, we need peace and South Sudanese peace is African Peace. Innocent children and women are dying and wailing without knowing the cause of their death and abuse. May you come to our help and stand with us in this critical situation”, said the strongly-worded statement.
They also stressed the need for peaceful co-existence among all South Sudanese in diaspora, particularly those within the regional countries of Kenya, Uganda, and Ethiopia. They called on them to live in peace and harmony as brothers and sisters and abstain from political influences.
The statement also encourages peaceful dialogue between President Kiir and Dr. Riek to resolve their political differences in a manner that shows political will and patriotism to the citizens of the Republic of South Sudan.