Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Against Repression in South Sudan

St Theresa Kator, Juba
St Theresa Kator, Juba

A Catholic Bishop delivers a powerful message condemning the spiralling militarism, criminality and insecurity that have seized the country, saying that it has become dangerous to tell the truth of the situation in South Sudan.


Over the decades, the clergy have been the only consistent moral authority in South Sudan. They have stood with the people and shared their suffering in the most tragic moments in our history.

And now, as the people of Equatoria find themselves in the midst of another dark chapter in our history, one that will be marked for its brutality, the clergy are once again taking a brave stand against injustice.

At St. Theresa Kator this Sunday, Auxiliary Bishop Santo Laku Pio of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba delivered a powerful condemnation of the situation in the country in his homily.

In his message, where he decried the spiralling militarism and criminality that has gripped the nation, the Bishop revealed that on a recent visit to Rome, he had told the Pope that “the killers are in Juba” and chastised those who claimed to be “liberators” but instead are full of hatred and hunger for power.

Echoing the appeals of other clergy, he called for the South Sudanese people to be prophets of love and remain faithful to each other.

Here are some excerpts from the Bishop’s homily:

“In our situation today, no need to speak about the suffering of the people of South Sudan in the hands of their own brothers and sisters. Who is killing in Yambio? Who is killing in Wonduruba? Who is killing Awiel and Bentiu, who is killing in Southern Bari? Who is killing on the road to Raja, who is killing [in] Bor? Who is killing?

Many people are arrested and they are put inside there for one reason or another. Sometimes without reason, just because we are afraid of them. They said something and you say, ‘No, this man is dangerous’ [so] you put him inside.

Those who are doing these things [must] be reminded that it is not good. It is not fair. It is not honourable. It is not acceptable, because you are my brother.  And I am supposed to speak about you whether good or bad. And you are supposed to hear and tell me that you have not spoken well [and] I will say sorry. But when you kill me, where will you find me again?

It is not those you put in prison who are in prison. It is you who is in prison, because you arrested them for nothing … It is not those who die that you have killed, it is you who is dead.  You’re a moving corpse because you have killed your brother. You’re already guilty. You’re already condemned. You should ask for forgiveness and mercy.

If you finish all the people of Eastern Equatoria because they do not cooperate with you, OK. Now that they are finished what do you gain? Now that they are finished what next? What do you gain?What do you have?

Any logical human person will think twice before committing an atrocity that you people are denying. But we told the Holy Father. We told him the truth that the killers are in Juba. You can take me to Jebel Kujur, it does not matter. I already spoke my mind.

Possessions [and] power are short-lived. You can have guns today, but time will come when you will not able to use that gun. You can be carrying artilleries today, but time will come when that artillery will be heavy and you will put it down. We are watching – we shall see if some of us will be alive if you do not kill us before time.”

Based on reporting by Radio Tamazuj

10 Comments on "Catholic Bishop Speaks Out Against Repression in South Sudan"

  1. For those who call themselves born to rule you should read this powerful article.

  2. It is indeed sad to see and witness a criminal government of Kiir killing its own people. A government that has spent all its capital and legitimacy in perpetuating hate, atrocities, tribalism and corruption.

    Bravo Bsp Santo. We need men of courage such as you to say it clearly and loudly to face of these murderous people and the world to hear that their acts are no longer secret but know. The evil plans, economic plunder, sexual assults, killings and tribalism they perpetuate against fellow South Sudanese will not win them respect but alienate them from amongst the civilised, and breed further hostility towards them and their ill-gotten wealth.

  3. There is no different with the rule of Idi Amin, Hitler and many more other killers but where are they today. We should think twice before raising our hands towards our own brothers and sisters. this world is not ours but instead we should leave good history behind for other to follow and bring glory to God.

  4. God is watching you…Killers in Juba

  5. This is what happening to our people of South Sudan day and night and the world just wishing. It’s very saded of all to new nation may God help his people

  6. We in South Sudan are greatly alarmed with the situation in the country. The Dinka government in Juba is dangerous, instead of ruling the country with constitution and act of parliament,our country is being ruled by the wishes of the Dinka elders. The government is repugnant to anything that is call peace; they want only war, domination, and terrorizing other tribes. Bishop Santos is very brave to speak out his mind because our people are suffering and the country is bleeding. Yes, there is time for everything and as Churchill one time said, “there is a wind of change” everywhere in Africa. Indeed, nothing last forever, lets pray that God bless South Sudan.

  7. The brutal rule of Kiir and Riing (Chairman of JCE) must not be misinterpreted as a new era of blood shed but rather the implementation of the Dinker long strategy to eliminate non Dinker from South Sudan. many analyst believed that the strategy was set by Dr. John Garang. Infact Garang rebellion of 1983 was not initially against the Khartoum Arabs but against Equatorians following alleged rise of Ko-kora. Vigilancy and action is needed before Dinker reached their objectives.

  8. Lokuowe Gordon | February 4, 2016 at 9:56 am | Reply

    We struggled together as South Sudanese against the Arabs. We repudiated injustices and subjugation of our brothers and sisters. The world heard us. They assisted us through various methods and means. We are grateful for the world.

    The saddest part is those atrocities are being carried out by our own brothers whom shared everything before. Now, they own everything and yet ambitiously craving for by all means.

    It is easy to arm ourselves but killing wouldn’t be an appropriate answer. Afterall we are bond to die anyway.

    May God bless South Sudan. The dawn of true liberty and justice will prevail one day. It’s our hope….

  9. Jacob Arike Equatoria | February 4, 2016 at 10:15 am | Reply

    Those who kill by sword will die by sword. God is watching the activities of the dinkas and will bring all for judgment.

  10. The Bible says there is time for everything so the government of these so called Jienge will one time come to an end God is watching over but its just a matter of time people will hunt for these Dinkas like rats.

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