By Jude Atemanke, ACI Africa
Tombura-Yambio, 24 September, 2021 / 10:20 am (ACI Africa).
Two formation programs of the Sisters of Our Lady of Peace in South Sudan’s Tombura-Yambio Diocese have been halted amid violence and insecurity, the leadership of the Diocesan Congregation has said.
In a Thursday, September 23 report, the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Peace says candidates who had been admitted to the formation programs as Aspirants and Postulants were asked to return home.
“The conflict has forced the religious Sisters of Our Lady of Peace to send home two Postulants and five Aspirants who were in the formation house inspiring to become Catholic Religious Sisters,” Sr. Jacinta Habiba Dagbaaboro says in reference to the violence in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State.
In the report by Anisa Radio of the Catholic Diocese Tombura-Yambio, Sr. Dagbaaboro recounts her ordeal alongside a Novice when they had “to run through the bushes and cover 72.8 kilometres to reach Ezo County and later succeeded to proceed to Yambio where the Diocesan Curia is.”
The member of the Religious Congregation that was founded by a Comboni Missionary Bishop expresses concerns over the tribal conflict in the South Sudanese Catholic Diocese, and urges “tranquillity in Tombura because what is going on is destructive.”
The South Sudanese Nun who became a member of the Sisters of Our Lady of Peace in 1964 calls “for total tranquility in Tombura, which is bleeding as armed confrontation (that) is has forced civil population to flee to bushes and other camped at UNMISS temporal base in Tombura town,” Anisa Radio has reported.
Religious leaders in South Sudan’s Western Equatoria State recently called on the country’s government to intervene and put an end to what they have described as “the continuous culture of killings going on in the State.”
“We express concerns on the insecurity in this country South Sudan, particularly in Greater Tombura, and we adamantly call on the government of South Sudan at all levels to put a complete stop to the ongoing killing of innocent people,” the religious leaders said in their six-page letter dated September 2.
They described the nature of the violence saying, “It is with immense pain that we express our concern over the attack on innocent civilians who are taking refuge in sacred places and in bushes.”
In their collective statement, the eight representatives of religious leaders who include the Catholic Bishop of Tombura-Yambio said at least 200 people have lost their lives amid the violent conflict in the Greater Tombura region within the Western Equatoria State.
“The violent acts, including continuous abducting; kidnapping or targeting civilians, using harmful tools on a frightened group of largely women and children, resulting in death is very bad.” the faith-based leaders added.
In the September 23 report, Sr. Dagbaaboro calls on both National and State authorities of South Sudan to “show true leadership by ending the armed conflict in greater Tombura and other parts of South Sudan.”
The return to peace will permit the civil populations to move on “with holistic programs effectively,” the Mother Superior of the Sisters of Our Lady of Peace says, and invites the people of God in the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio to “build their faith in God and work for the South Sudan they aimed for.”
Sisters of Our Lady of Peace were founded by Bishop Dominic Felerah, a Comboni Missionary, in 1956. Sr. Dagbaaboro professed as Religious Sister in 1964, just eight months before the Sudanese Government expelled missionaries from the country, Radio Anisa reported.
SOURCE ACI Africa