By Okello Felix
Arua. The Bishops of South Sudan through their umbrella body of South Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference and Canada Presbyterian, Anglican and Catholic Bishops of Canada are calling for more humanitarian support to starving, raped, and families of those killed in South Sudan
The Bishops issued the joint Ecumenical letter, unanimously asks the Canadian government should consider increasing its support to the UN mission in South Sudan, encourage the international community to allocate more funding and to assist in restoring the rule of law and protecting human rights.
The Ecumenical letter, signed by Most Rev. Douglas Crosby, Bishop of Hamilton and President of the Canadian Conference of Catholic Bishops, calls on Canadian businesses both at home and abroad, the international community, including the United Nations Security Council, to prevent weapons and other military-grade material from reaching South Sudan.
“We are continuing to hear disturbing reports of gross violations of fundamental human rights being carried out with total impunity. The Bishops also note the ongoing killing and torture of civilians, rape and sexual violence being used as a tool of war, unlawful detention, the burning and mutilation of human bodies and the dumping of human bodies into septic tanks filled with sewage,” the Ecumenical letter reads in part.
The continued violence has driven away about 1.2 million South Sudanese to Uganda mainly women and children. The West Nile region has now about 800,000 of the South Sudanese in dire need of humanitarian assistance.
In March, Canadian government allocated $37 million in humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. About 2,000 South Sudanese refugees enter into Uganda daily and the current number requires about $12m (about Shs43b) for feeding and management of the refugees.
In February, Catholic Bishops of South Sudan said the food security situation continues to deteriorate and the humanitarian crisis has spiraled with more than three million people fleeing the conflict and seeking refuge in neighboring countries.
“We anticipate very difficult times ahead in the coming months as our people are witnessing mass starvation by virtue of their multiple displacements especially in the states that traditionally produced cereals in surplus as they will be missing the planting season that will in turn lead to further food insecurity in 2017,” the Bishops said.
Some of the refugees in Bidi-bidi, Imvepi, Palorinya and Rhino Camps in West Nile are still in dire need of adequate food, shelter and medical supplies. On Tuesday, President Salva Kiir sacked Chief of General Staff, Gen Paul Malong Awan after a series of other defections of army officials.
This has rendered the possibility of the war in some parts of the country to continue as the rebels are not ready to relent their fight.
Although the former Spy Chief Gen. Malong has denied any intention to rebel against the government of President Salva Kiir.