[ACNS, by Kenyi Dube] Archbishop Paul Yugusuk, leader of the Church of South Sudan’s internal Central Province, has called on the government and opposition groups to declare an end to violence before the next round of peace talks. The continuation of phase two of the talks is expected to take place in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia from the 26 to the 30 April. During the last negotiations, the parties discussed the formation of a transitional government and permanent ceasefire and security arrangements; but the delegates did not reach a consensus.
Archbishop Paul said all the parties must conclude with signing a peace deal during the upcoming round of negotiations.
“Our delegation is going to IGAD and as they go there and before they go there, let the government and opposition say it is finished,” he said. “Let us bring everything to an end. We open a new page and let us come back home and live.”
The second phase of the revitalisation forum, held in February, was riddled with disagreements over a number of issues in chapters I and II of the 2015 peace agreement. The third round was supposed take place this month in the Ethiopian capital, Addis Ababa; but IGAD announced last week that the upcoming talks will be a continuation of the second round.
Archbishop Paul Yugusuk.
Photo: Kenyi Dube
After the second round of talks, Bishop Enoch Tombe, the retired bishop of Rajaf and leader of the religious team in the peace talks, said the parties should take a people-centred approach during the next round. “If you are serious about peace, we should go with a new mindset,” he said. “We shouldn’t just continue business as usual - this is my position and that’s it.
“I think we have to be ready to compromise for the sake of the people, for the sake of this country and even for ourselves.”
There is continued suffering in this country as a result of the ongoing civil war. Millions of people in refugee camps with hopes of returning back should there be peace.
Archbishop Paul Pitya Benjamin Yugusuk during his inauguration in July 2017