“The Ad Limina Visit to Pope Francis begets miracle of Signed Peace in South Sudan”, writes His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura-Yambio and President of Sudan and South Catholic Bishops’ Conference, in a message published on his return from the Visit.
“While we were yet in Rome and around the Holy Father, on September 12th 2018 South Sudanese Political Leaders put their trusting hands on final document of agreement for Peace. This is something which can never fall short of a miracle in a spiritual sense”, says Mgr. Hiiboro Kussala. “The Holy Father, since day one of our protracted senseless war has never ceased from praying, lobbying, appealing and working for end to the conflict in South Sudan. If this has been signed as peace accord when we are still covered by his love and true fatherly concerns, what can we say at the end? This is a miracle!”
The enthusiasm Mgr. Hiiboro Kussala is all the more understandable given that in a recent interview with Fides (see Fides 6/9/2018), he expressed reservations about the difficulties of reaching a definitive agreement to end the bloody civil war which exploded in December 2013.
The agreement was signed in the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa by the President of South Sudan, Salva Kiir, and by the rebel leader, former Vice President Riek Machar.
In his message, Hiiboro Kussala admires the move taken by the region or IGAD (Intergovernmental Authority on Development), especially those of Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia, who mediated to reach the agreement. However, the Bishop does not hide the difficulties that still need to be overcome such as “a certain level of lack of transparency and the exclusion of other stakeholders from the process”. “We call on all parties to refrain from harsh utterances of inflammatory language and intimidations. Parties in conflict should demonstrate through their actions and words that they are committed to peace”.