‘For they speak not peace: but they devise deceitful matters against them that are quiet in the land’. (Psalms 35:20)
Joint Press Statement
Ahead of the eve of the first anniversary of the Transitional Period of the Revitalized Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan (R-ARCSS); we, the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), the South Sudan Civil Society Forum (SSCSF) and the South Sudan Women’s Coalition for Peace (SSWCP) have come together to jointly amplify the call of the citizens of South Sudan for restoration of peace, security and stability and an end to all bloodshed in our country.
This is not the first time we have called on the same leaders to fulfill their responsibility to our country and the citizens of this nation. Unfortunately, these calls have not yielded any meaningful change to the ongoing crisis in the country and the living conditions of the common citizens.
While we acknowledge reduction of military confrontations among forces of parties to the peace agreement, positive steps to hold few armed forces accountable for crimes against civilians and the reconstitution of the executive of the new unity government as well as appointment of all ten state governors, we remain deeply concerned that the overall situation has not convincingly improved.
The country has continued to witness; devastating intercommunal violence, displacement of civilians, sexual and gender based violence, unnecessary roadblocks for extorting money and inflicting pain on travellers and humanitarian workers alongside an economy that falters with soaring inflation rates. Reports from aid agencies persistently indicate increase in the number of people in need of humanitarian assistance, showing that the peace agreement has not helped to significantly scale down the humanitarian crisis in the country.
Moreover, most parties remain recalcitrant to implementation of the 35% affirmative action quota. With this growing unbearable situation of human suffering, we are prompted to echo the people’s call for an end to violent conflicts and insecurity, displacement of civilians and insensitive creation of more orphans and widows. It is becoming more apparent to us each passing day that this is the most viable option to stability.
We now seize this moment to jointly exhort all our representatives; religious leaders, women, youth and civil society leaders across the country to unite, raise their voices and call for what the people desperately need – peace, security and stability to end bloodshed and human suffering in South Sudan.
We find ourselves at a loss for what to say or do when it is evident that the scale of the economic, security and humanitarian crisis have not moved the leaders to save this country from further disintegration and human suffering.
In the face of these unprecedented challenges our country and the people are going through, we commit on their behalf to intensify these calls until all leaders listen and deliver peace, justice, liberty and prosperity for all citizens of our country.
Oh God, Bless South Sudan!