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UPPER NILE - 31 Dec 2022

“Our citizens face violence”: Malakal bishop urges nonviolent solution

Stephen Nyodho, Catholic Bishop of Malakal Diocese
Stephen Nyodho, Catholic Bishop of Malakal Diocese

A South Sudanese catholic bishop said he was alarmed by violent conflicts and killings in parts of Upper Nile State, saying the culture of death must stop.

Speaking to Radio Tamazuj’s South Sudan This Week Program on Friday, Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok, the Catholic Bishop of Malakal Diocese, condemned recent incidents of violence and killings in Upper Nile State and called for nonviolent solutions to conflicts.

“People were displaced by conflict recently in Fashoda, Makal and Manyo counties. As a church leader, I condemn violence; let us find non-violent solutions to our differences. Many people lost their lives because of violence in Upper Nile,” Bishop Nyodho said.

“Also, we heard about reports of violence in Pibor and Jonglei. We also condemn it unreservedly. When we say Malakal diocese, it covers the greater Upper Nile region,” he added.

The Catholic bishop pointed out that the Catholic Church in South Sudan plays a key role in laying the foundations of peace, unity and harmony between the various communities.

“We always send peace messages and tell our faithful that non-violent solutions are the best. People should embrace dialogue because violence leads to suffering and death. So we strive to make peace because Jesus is the king of peace,” he said.

Asked if the Malakal diocese has identified the needs of the conflict-displaced people, Bishop Nyodho said:” the displaced people need food, clean drinking water, shelter and medicines. People are living in the open; their situation is very bad because it is winter now in Upper Nile. So we appeal to well-wishers to support them.”

Asked to comment on the implementation of the revitalized peace agreement, Bishop Nyodho said, “I don’t want to comment on this question as it is related to politics, but what concerns me as a religious leader is peace. I just want peace to prevail in South Sudan. I urge our political leaders to prioritize citizens’ interest so that our country can develop.”

The bishop called for peace and unity among the various communities. “We hope that the year 2023 will be a year of peace and unity between the people of South Sudan. We pray to God so that our hope for change is realized. If we unite and work together as brothers and sisters, everything will be possible. I wish you a happy New Year,” he concluded.