September 13th 2019 (Nyamilepedia)-As the peace process stalled one year on, the African Council of Religious Leaders issued a joint statement on Thursday, calling on East African leaders to put forth enough efforts to ensure that the Revitalized Peace Agreement is honored and implemented in a timely manner.
“On this day, we come together as the religious leaders of Africa to call for urgent action from the leaders of South Sudan’s neighboring governments to ensure there is significant progress in the implementation of the peace agreement ahead of the end of the Pre-transitional period on November 12. We welcome the reduction in violence since the signing of the peace agreement,” said the religious leaders on Thursday.
The representatives of more than five religious groups expressed deeply concern about the wave of violence that has continued despite the signing of the peace accord.
“However, we are deeply concerned by the rising humanitarian crisis that has resulted in thousands of deaths, and that continues to leave millions of men, women and children in South Sudan desperate for food and shelter,” the said. The religious leaders are alarmed by widespread human rights violations, including sexual violence perpetrated against women in different parts of the country.
“We are further troubled by the increasing criminal acts, human rights violations and political intolerance in several locations in South Sudan. Incidents of violence against civilians, including abhorrent sexual violence, have continued to plague parts of the country even after the signing of the revitalized peace agreement last year. This must end. As faith leaders, we cherish the sanctity of life and the protection of human dignity,” the statement partly reads.
Adding that, “We believe that the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan can only be resolved if South Sudanese leaders embrace true peace and love for their people and nation. South Sudanese leaders have a moral obligation to their citizens to end the violence and ensure continued progress towards peace, stability and justice The necessary step towards lasting peace and stability in South Sudan is the full and timely implementation of the 2018 peace agreement.”
As the deadline is nearing completion, the joint statement by the African religious organizations urged urgent progress in the implementation of the peace agreement in an effort to salvage the R-ARCSS.
“As the 12 November deadline set by the signatories draws closer, we are concerned by the continued delays in implementation. The failure to implement the agreement risks the country collapsing back into war and destruction and exacerbates the misery and hopelessness of the millions of South Sudanese forced to flee.”
The call was made on Thursday in Nairobi at the All African Conference of Churches and the joint statement was signed by the African Council of Religious Leaders – Religions for Peace (ACRL-RP), the Council of Anglican Provinces of Africa (CAPA), the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), with support from the Association of Member Episcopal Conferences in East Africa (AMECEA) and the African Forum for Muslim Councils.