JUBA JANUARY 26, 2016(CISA)-Catholic Church leaders from Sudan and South Sudan have expressed hope for a lasting peace in S Sudan after decades of civil war.
In a communiqué at the end of their ten-day Extraordinary Plenary Session in Rome released January 25, 2016, the Church leaders called “for a more rigorous implementation of the Peace Agreement” and “concerted efforts for dialogue and peace in Sudan.”
“We welcome with great joy the August 2015 peace agreement on the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan – (ARCISS). It is ushering in signs of hope that a new beginning is still possible,” said the church leaders.
The leaders noted that they were optimistic that the peace agreement will be timely implemented this time round.
They however, warned that some forces both in the government and the opposition were already dragging their feet in implementation of the peace deal.
“We are concerned that some people, both in the government and the opposition, are working hard to spoil the implementation of the agreement. The way the parties to the agreement are dragging their feet in the process of implementation gives an impression that they signed the peace out of pressure and not because they have seen the suffering of their people,” said the leaders.
The church leaders said, “We want it to be clear that if the parities fail to implement this agreement, the catholic bishops of Sudan and south Sudan will give their blessing to any plan “8” or “c” that the international community may see appropriate to take in order to salvage the situation of south Sudan.”
The leaders lauded the efforts of the regional mediators in their efforts to bring peace in South Sudan.
“We cannot laud enough the efforts of all those who have helped the warring parties in South Sudan to come to an agreement; the regional mediators; IGAD-Plus, TROIKA, AU, UN and other members of the international community. You are doing a noble task. We want you to know that the Catholic Bishops and the whole Church is behind you,” read the communiqué sent to CISA.
They further noted that if the peace deal does not work out as expected, the Catholic bishops of Sudan and South Sudan will give their blessings to the international community actions.
“We also want it to be clear that if the parities fail to implement this agreement, the catholic bishops of Sudan and South Sudan will give their blessing to any plan “8” or “c” that the international community may see appropriate to take in order to salvage the situation of South Sudan,” noted the Catholic church leaders.