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JUBA - 27 Aug 2015

South Sudanese bishop welcomes signing of peace deal

South Sudanese Bishop Enock Tombe has welcomed the signing of the regionally-backed IGAD peace deal signed by President Salva Kiir on Thursday, saying that the deal could usher in an “environment of hope... and readiness to reconcile with one another.”

Tombe previously headed a delegation of religious leaders to the peace talks in Addis Ababa. He is the Episcopal bishop of Rejaf Diocese in Central Equatoria.

“As a church we welcomed and congratulated the president of the republic for signing the peace to end this devastating war. We have to move away from bitterness and change our hearts and minds to focus and prepare them for forgiveness and peaceful coexistence,” said Tombe.

The bishop added in a statement Thursday, “As the church we will work together with the government to help spread the importance of living in an environment of hope, forgiveness, love and readiness to reconcile with one another,”

He said, “The time has come for South Sudanese to work together as they look forward to rebuilding what has been left by the war. As the church we pledge our support to the government and the people for immediate implementation of this agreement.”

“We are confident that all these differences and fears will be overcome if we collectively take responsibility to rebuild our lives and the nation as one people and as children of God regardless of where we come, tribe or gender.”

“We will overcome these challenges that we are currently faced with. We need to pray hard so that we switch from hatred to peace as we continue to seek true justice for those who have been lost in the conflict with fairness,” said Tombe.