The Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio and other religious leaders in Western Equatoria State are urging the government of the Republic of South Sudan at all levels to put a complete stop to the ongoing killing of innocent people in Tombura County.
In a statement read by the religious leaders said perpetrators of the ongoing violence in Greater Tombura should be stopped it as the country has expressed concerns on the insecurity particularly in Tombura County.
“We religious leaders, once more write to you, asking you to stop the perpetrators of violence in Greater Tombura. We expressed concerns on the insecurity in this country South Sudan, particularly in Greater Tombura, and we call on the government of South Sudan at all levels to put a complete stop to the ongoing killing of innocent people.”
The Church leaders stressed that in their visit to Tombura County last month, they thought it would be a great gesture and it would nurture confidence in the community of Tombura County.
“After our recent ecumenical and solidarity visit to Greater Tombura last month, in which we prayed over unity, love, forgiveness, understanding, dialogue and courage to accept and work together, we thought would nurture confidence. We are shocked to continue hearing of increasing insecurity and unabated acts of terror. We are all tired of this situation, our hearts are bleeding, and we are more troubled when we hear of the mass destruction presently going on, the recovering of mutilated bodies of our sons and daughters, children, elderly, women and men. We are told close to 200 or more innocent people have died”.
They called on the national and State government to do the right thing in the protection of civilians and enhancement life dignity.
“Please put an end to the killing of innocent people, right now, in Greater Tombura. We also insist that perpetrators of those killings must be brought to justice. Here is a simple but a national question: where is our government which is duty bound to protect its people? Why have they gone mute and inactive in front of armed men who are known to be determined to shoot and kill civilians? Who can tell the people of South Sudan why their Government stands aside watching its own citizens slaughtering themselves without quick intervention? All the organized forces are in Tombura when armed persons target and kill civilians: what is at stake here?”
The religious leaders also called for humanitarian aid as immediate support of the displaced persons or (IDPs) across the State.
“The displaced population we now have is in great humanitarian tragedy. We need immediate support for these huge numbers of displaced persons all over the State! For several years, Greater Tombura has been particularly affected by armed conflicts and recurrent insecurity causing death, desolation and displacement of the population. This whole situation has caused loss of family life, massive displacement of people and significant loss of property, and has dealt a severe blow to the economy of a region that rightly serves as the country’s breadbasket to the northern States”.
They religious leaders also invite all Christians and Muslims to join in praying daily, every day for forty days until the conclusion with an ecumenical State Prayer service.
“In the face of these concerns, we invite all believers Christians and Muslims to join in praying daily, every day for forty days, which we shall have to conclude with an ecumenical State Prayers. We want all the people suffering the incessant attacks in Greater Tombura and all over Western Equatoria State to know that all the believers in South Sudan are praying for them. We are praying for peace in this great land, hoping all of us can live as brothers and sisters in this great nation.”
In the statement, the religious leaders recommend that international partners neutrally communicate more about their vision of peace in the country, particularly this very one in Greater Tombura, and that they become involved in strengthening mechanisms in handling the conflict.
According to the statement of the commissioner of Tombura County on Monday, over two hundred (200) people have been killed including the farmer Commissioner and over thousands displaced are seeking for where to put their head in a neighboring State over the past two weeks.
The government is yet to take serious investigation about the ongoing conflict of Tombura County.