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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2014-02-01 18:30:24
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Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan question the exclusion of the Churches from the Peace talks in Addis Ababa



The Catholic Bishops of Sudan and South Sudan concluded their plenary assembly in Juba on Friday, January 31st, with a message calling for peace and questioning why the Churches and civil society orgainisations were excluded from the peace talks between the government of South Sudan and the rebel group loyal to former Vice President, Riek Machar. The talks were mediated by the regional block Inter-governmental Authority on Development, IGAD in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa. The first part of the talks aimed at making the fighting parties agree on a cessation of hostilities. The second part begins next Friday February 7th and its aim is to discuss the underlying grievances that led to the war that started last year on December 15th and to find solutions that will be sealed with a peace agreement. In their message the bishops reiterated their earlier position that the fighting was provoked by a power struggle between President Salva Kiir and Mr. Machar within the ruling Sudan Peoples Liberation Movement Party, but there were other factors also such as corruption and nepotism that are ruining the country. They recalled that in the past the South Sudanese churches were called upon to mediate situations of crisis, and warned that their exclusion in the peace talks in Addis Ababa, threatens to undermine the root of any future agreement reached between the warring parties. They questioned the legitimacy of the peace agreement noting that a handful of political leaders instigated a crisis in which their followers have devastated the country; how can they alone be entrusted with negotiating the future of the nation without input from the citizens.




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