Bishop calls on Christians to pray for peace in South Sudan

By Awan Achiek

South Sudanese have been urged to pray for peace during Easter celebrations in efforts to push the parties to the 2018 revitalized peace deal to conclude the peace process.

These remarks on Friday by Dr. Justin Badi Arama, the Primate of Episcopal Church of South Sudan come amid rise in intermittent sub-national violence in some parts of the country.

 “We pray for peace in the world and most especially the war between Russia and Ukraine, the continued violent attacks on people of Abyei , and in different parts of the country to come to an end,” he said.

President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Riek Machar and other opposition parties named the long-awaited unified army command to pave way for the graduation of the necessary 83,000 unified forces.

These forces are charged with overseeing the security of the country after years of conflict since December 2013.

Arama urged the parties to respect the ceasefire agreement signed in 2017.

The ceasefire has largely been holding, but recent clashes in Upper Nile, Unity States between the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement/Army-in opposition (SPLM/A-IO) under Machar, and the South Sudan People’s Defense Force (SSPDF) have renewed fears of violence escalating.

 “We still appeal to parties to the Revitalized Peace Agreement not to allow the ceasefire to collapse, and we support them in prayers for God’s guidance to plan, and handle well the end of the transitional period which is now very close,” said Arama.

He added that South Sudan needs unity, and peace to guide its people towards healing through repentance.

“We pray for all those in displacement and refugee camps, that the power of the risen Lord will transform their grief and sorrow into joy,” said Arama.

Arama also urged Christians to prepare their hearts and minds to receive Pope Francis upon his itinerary in July to South Sudan.

“May we all prepare to receive the top World Christian leaders, Pope Francis, Archbishop of Canterbury, and Presbyterian moderator who have scheduled a pilgrim visit for peace in South Sudan in the first week of July,” he said.

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