Message of Prayers and Solidarity with the People of South Sudan
Brussels, 27 December 2013
Dear Bishop Paride Taban,
Dear friends of the Kuron Peace Village,
Dear friends of Pax Christi in South Sudan and elsewhere,
As members of Pax Christi International we want to assure you that we stand with the people of South Sudan at this critical moment. Two years ago, South Sudan became independent and many of you celebrated that new momentum as a historical step in the direction of freedom and democracy. Since mid-December of this year, violence has escalated which led to hundreds of deaths and the displacement of tens of thousands of people in the country. Today, we are deeply concerned about the future of the country.
We mourn with those who have lost loved ones and are grieving. Innocent civilians are being targeted because of their ethnicity. This is a grave violation of human rights.
Pax Christi International, together with Pope Francis, is calling for social harmony in South Sudan. Political leaders should settle their differences peacefully. We support the political mediation as given by neighbouring countries. We also support all efforts from religious leaders in the country to call for peaceful existence which should be restored as soon as possible.
Meanwhile, we believe that all civilians should be protected and that the United Nations, the African Union and humanitarian agencies should be able to shelter all those who have become victims of this tragedy. The rights of vulnerable people should be ensured.
We call all our Member Organisations worldwide, to pray and to stand in solidarity with all the victims of the violence in South Sudan and in the region as a whole. People all over the world will celebrate the World Day of Peace on 1 January, and we hope and pray that peace may prevail.
Marie Dennis and Bishop Kevin Dowling, Co-Presidents Pax Christi International
José Henriquez, Secretary General Pax Christi International