Clerics Blast UN, IGAD Over South Sudan

1267 Views Gulu, Uganda

In short
Father Julius Orach, the Dean of Orthodox Church in Acholi Sub region says it is unfortunate that the conflict has been left to span generation to generation.

The International community has come under the spot in the manner it is handling the South Sudan conflict. In a joint Easter message, clerics in Gulu district in Northern Uganda, say the International Community has done very little to compel the warring parties to respect the terms of the peace agreement negotiated in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. 

They say the laxity by the International Community to compel the parties to return to the negotiating table continues to cause untold suffering to the people of South Sudan. John Baptist Odama, the Archbishop of Gulu Archdiocese, says the misery being experienced by South Sudan refugees is more than enough to call for action.
He wants organizations such as United Nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and other regional blocs to find and utilize neutral parties to mediate an end to the conflict.

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According to Odama, the conflict has scattered and confined the people of South Sudan into various camps around the world in great misery that must be stopped through love for humanity.

On Monday, Maj. Gen. Peter Elwelu, the UPDF Commander of Land Forces said some Ugandans are being driven to join the conflict in South Sudan by high poverty rate in the country. 
Archbishop Odama urged government to find alternatives to the poverty to prevent citizens joining South Sudan conflict. Johnson Gakumba, the Bishop of Northern Uganda diocese, says it is disappointing that World bodies are looking as South Sudan national continue suffering.

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Father Julius Orach, the Dean of Orthodox Church in Acholi Sub region says it is unfortunate that the conflict has been left to span generation to generation.
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On Monday President Museveni met a delegation of South Sudan leaders led by Vice President, Taban Deng Gai over the conflict. He urged them to pursue peaceful settlement of the conflict, saying it is the most viable option for development in the war ravaged nation.
On Wednesday, UK said that "violence in South Sudan is now a genocide that is being perpetuated along tribal lines". The UK International Development Secretary, Priti Patel said there are "massacres taking place and people's throats are being slit". She urged foreign leaders to do more to force the country's government to end the conflict in, which tens of thousands of people have been killed.

"Villages are being burned down, women are being raped, and food is being used as a weapon of war", Patel told the Associated Press in an interview in neighboring Uganda, where she also visited some of the refugee settlements in, which more than 800,000 South Sudanese are sheltering. 

According to UNHCR, more than 6,000 refugees entered Uganda through Lamwo district early this week fleeing fighting in Pajok in Eastern Equatorial State. The arrivals join more than 80,000 being sheltered in various Settlements in Adjumani, Yumbe and Moyo districts.

The UN Agency says at least 1.7 Million people have been displaced and the number of those killed remains unknown.


About the author

Peter Labeja
Peter Labeja has been a practicing journalist for the last 13 years during which he has covered part of the brutal conflict which bedeviled Northern Uganda as well as the painful transition to Peace thereafter. Emerging post conflict issues such as land rights of under privileged widows and orphans, challenges of access to social services in the immediate aftermath of Lord’s Resistance Army conflict in Northern Uganda.

Labeja is now the Northern Uganda Bureau chief in Acholi Sub Region since 2014 - Gulu, Amuru, Nwoya and Omoro districts as well as South Sudan falls within his areas of jurisdiction. He previously worked with The Vision Group for four years.

Labeja’s major career interests are in Climate Change; Agriculture and Environment - natural resources such as Water, Oil and Gas; Transitional Justice; Human Rights, Democracy and Governance as well as South Sudan’s humanitarian crisis. In 2013, Labeja was awarded a prestigious Pan African Journalism Award for excellence in journalism at United Nation’s UNEP headquarters in Nairobi, Kenya for Climate Change and Health Reporting.