S. Sudan archbishop urges sanctions against leaders

Archbishop Loro said corruption had become so widespread that most South Sudanese only felt secure if their kinsmen held high political office.

S. Sudan archbishop urges sanctions against leaders

World Bulletin / News Desk

Paulino Lukudu Loro, archbishop of the Juba Catholic Archdiocese, has called for sanctions to be placed on South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar for their roles in the country's ongoing political crisis.

"For me I feel, for the sanctions to take effect, if it is for President Kiir or Machar, then it is in place, but not for any other person," Loro told a Friday press briefing in Juba.

Sanctions have been imposed by the U.S. and E.U. on certain government and rebel commanders perceived as having been part of the current crisis or as jeopardizing the peace process.

Previous sanctions have included travel bans and asset freezes.

"What do you make of these sanctions?" Loro asked. "It is these two [Kiir and Machar] who can feel it, because they are the ones who are travelling."

South Sudan has been shaken by violence since last December, when Kiir accused Machar, his sacked vice president, of plotting to overthrow his regime.

Hundreds of thousands of South Sudanese have since been displaced in fighting between the two rivals, leading to an increasingly dire humanitarian situation for large swathes of the population.

In recent months, the warring camps have held on-again, off-again peace talks in Addis Ababa under the auspices of the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an East African trade bloc based in Djibouti.

Tribalism

Archbishop Loro called Friday's press briefing to announce the outcome of three days of discussions among South Sudan's Catholic bishops.

"Our politics is becoming ethnic, with perceptions from various communities that one tribe or the other is favored, or that one tribe or another is under-represented, or even that one tribe or another deserves to rule," he said.

"Even within our churches, elements of tribalism are creeping in and creating suspicion, hindering our efforts to work for peace and reconciliation," the cleric added.

"This is not the way forward. We are South Sudanese; we are calling for the creation of a national identity that builds on – but transcends – our tribal roots and heritage," he asserted.

Loro said corruption had become so widespread that most South Sudanese only felt secure if their kinsmen held high political office.

"Political office is perceived by many as synonymous with access to power and wealth. Communities often feel they need their own tribesmen and women in power in order for that community to have access to resources," he noted.

The archbishop added: "We challenge all our political leaders, whether in government or opposition, and remind them that political leadership is about service to all the citizens of South Sudan – not about personal power and wealth or favoring one community over the other."

Last Mod: 27 Eylül 2014, 11:24
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