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