The new Bishop of Catholic Diocese of Malakal has called on the parties to implement the revitalized peace agreement to allow people to move freely.
Bishop Stephen Nyodho says people in parts of the greater Upper Nile still find it difficult to travel long distances because of fear of insecurity.
Malakal is one of the towns in the region that was greatly affected by the 2013 conflict.
Clashes between government and opposition forces led to several loss of lives, homes destroyed, and others displaced to UN camps.
According to UNMISS, there are about 17,000 people, mostly women and children sheltering at the Protection of Civilian sites in Malakal.
Counties from the neighboring states of former Unity and greater Jonglei are still being administered by armed groups.
The state of emergency declared by the President in 2014 in Greater Upper Nile has not been withdrawn.
Speaking during his consecration last week in Malakal town, Bishop Nyodho said the civilians are yearning for safer roads and freedom of movement.
He said this can be realized if there is total peace and stability across the country.
“The people of South Sudan need peace, the people from Mayom have to come to Bentiu on foot for two days, and the people of Akobo too, they should have not suffered like that, if there is peace. To the government, we need peace,” said Bishop Nyodho.
Hundreds of people gathered to witness the ordination of Bishop Nyodho last Sunday.
Pope Francis appointed Father Stephen Nyodho as the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Malakal in May 2019.
He is the third Bishop of the Dioceses following Vincennes Mojwok Nyiker.
The 43-year-old was ordained a priest for the same diocese in 2005, shortly after completing his studies in Theology.
Since then, he has held various positions – including being Parish Vicar of the Christ the King Cathedral, Malakal from 2008 to 2009; and Director of the Diocesan Center for Pastoral Care from 2009 to 2013.
Father Nyodho holds a Doctorate in Moral Theology from the Pontifical University of St. Thomas Aquinas.
According to UN Mission in South Sudan, the celebrations for the consecretion Bishop Nyodho was the culmination of months of work and preparation, carried out by volunteers with the support of the Civil Affairs Division of the UN mission in South Sudan (UNMISS), including grading the terrain to withstand the rains.
It said Dr. Stephen Nyodho Ador Mijowk’s appointment ushered in a new era of hope and reconciliation for the residents of the greater area, and was welcomed with song, dance, and various gift-offerings such as goats and cows from communities residing in the town, as well as from residents of the United Nations protection site.
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