23rd May 2019
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Catholic Church concerned over R-TGoNU disagreements

Author: Garang Abraham | Published: 3 weeks ago

The Head of the Catholic Church, Pope Francis kneels to kiss the feet of South Sudanese President Salva Kiir at the Vatican in April, 2019. PHOTO: Vatican Media

The South Sudan Catholic Bishops has expressed fears that the controversy over formation of the interim government may return the country to civil war.

According to the revitalized peace agreement, the peace parties shall form the reconstituted transitional government of national unity on the 12th of this month – 10 days from now.

Last month, President Salva Kiir reiterated his public invitation for his First Vice President-designate, Dr. Riek Machar to return to Juba for the formation of the revitalized transitional government – a request, Dr. Riek turned down, arguing that some key provisions in the security arrangement have not been implemented.

But Father Samuel Abe, the Secretary-General of the South Sudan Catholic Church Bishops said the country expects a reconciled leadership, a reformed system of governance, and a politics of unity, after the Vatican spiritual retreat.

“The Catholic Church calls upon all the parties to examine the failure to adhere to the implementation of the pre-transitional period activities as soon as possible, and agree on the roadmap and way forward,” he said.

The signatories to the peace agreement are currently meeting in Addis Ababa to agree over the stalemate in the timeframe.

Father Abe cautioned against prolonged disagreements among the parties, further warning it could encourage a return to troops “mobilizing, recruitment, and training of soldiers or militias.”

“The disagreement by the parties to R-ARCISS over the formation of the Transitional government of national unity in this month of May could like lead the country back to unnecessary conflict,” Father Abe said while delivering follow-up observations to the Rome retreat and implementation of the R-ARCISS by the religious organization.

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