SOUTH SUDAN: My Priests and Religious Are Not Necessarily Violent, Respect and Protect Them, Bishop Kussala Appeals

By Arnold Neliba

YAMBIO, OCTOBER 1, 2021 (CISA)-Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio (CDTY) in South Sudan, has raised concern over the surge in negative ethnicity related violence targeting priests and religious. The Bishop described the situation as “very serious and extremely delicate.”

“The fact of the matter is that already in our beloved diocese there is violence, killing, hatred, mistrust, huge displacement and delusions, which have progressively increased the level of our poverty to 97% if not 100%,” reads a pastoral letter dated September 29, to priests and faithful in the diocese.

Bishop Kussala observed that many priests and religious have been labelled negatively along ethnic lines, “I have already heard voices, seen names of some of my priests and religious showing up in social media, some of us are already labelled along our ethnic lines, interestingly enough, how can you preach Christ to somebody who does not listen to you but seeing in front of him or her that ethnicity which he/she dislikes preaching?” Quipped Bishop Kussala.

The prelate, however, appealed to the public to report anything wrong that raises suspicion to the administration and advised priests to reach out to individuals and to avoid sharing any negative information about them on social media.

“I have seen names of some of my priests or religious and some of our church personnel being associated or linked as taking part in the current inter-communal violence now present in our diocese! People who post such information I beg that they should reach out to me or the administration of CDTY first before posting or accusing! There must be a legal process first to arrive at such a crucial conclusion!”

“I am also saying to you that priests and religious are not angels, they are human and vulnerable, we make mistakes but if you have an issue with any inform me or the administration, we shall address the matter, where legal implications will hold we shall always abide by the laws of our land or nation!” Bishop Kussala stressed.