CRISES in the Middle East hold the world’s attention in these times but people in other parts of the world, such as South Sudan, continue to face dire consequences.
South Sudan’s bishops have reiterated their call for an end to fighting in their country and warned that people faced a humanitarian disaster.
“We can accept no excuses nor conditions from any party or individual for the continuation of the war. The fighting and killing must stop immediately and unconditionally,” the bishops said on September 25, at the end of a three-day meeting that coincided with the renewal of peace talks in Ethiopia.
Noting that thousands of South Sudanese citizens had been killed and hundreds of thousands displaced, the bishops said the country’s “traumatised population has been re-traumatised by atrocities we have rarely seen before”.
“Displaced people are living in appalling conditions, whether in the countryside, or in UN camps in the cities, or as refugees in neighbouring countries,” they said. “A famine is looming in parts of the country. International humanitarian access is limited due to insecurity.
“Once again we declare this war immoral, and we demand an immediate end to all hostilities so that these humanitarian concerns can be addressed,” the bishops said.
“We are pastors, not politicians, but our faithful are dying,” they said, adding that they were confident that the nation’s citizens could once again determine their political future.
The bishops urged the international community to continue to support development in the country, because “freezing funds meant for development is an invitation to more insecurity and suffering”.
The Catholic Leader is an Australian award-winning Catholic newspaper that has been published by the Archdiocese of Brisbane since 1929. Our journalism seeks to provide a full, accurate and balanced Catholic perspective of local, national and international news while upholding the dignity of the human person.
The Catholic Leader acknowledges Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people as the First Peoples of this country and especially acknowledge the traditional owners on whose lands we live and work throughout the Catholic Archdiocese of Brisbane.