Archbishop condemns murders of Christian hospital workers in South Sudan

Published 01 February 2014  |  
AP
In this file photo, a woman prays holding a flag of South Sudan, which gained its independence from the North on July 9, 2011, after years of bloody civil war

The Archbishop of Canterbury spoke out yesterday against the killings of Christians working in hospitals in South Sudan.

On the first day of his five-day tour to four African countries, the Most Reverend Justin Welby met with South Sudanese President Salva Kiir and several senior figures of the country's Anglican Communion.

"I've heard particularly bad news of attacks on people," said Archbishop Welby, "Christian people, working as Christians in hospitals and that is of great, great concern."

In a sermon in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, quoted in Lebanon's Daily Star, the Archbishop said: "In a world where everyone is used to killing, I ask you to call on all your courage and faith, to remember your suffering, to remember those who have been killed, to be clear that those were terrible injustices, but to pray that you may love your enemies."

Speaking about resolving the conflict, which has begun to wind down since the government and rebels signed a ceasefire last week, the Anglican leader said: "There must be no impunity.

"Conflict reconciliation is done by the people locally. Outsiders do not understand enough but what we can do, and promise to do, is accompany and support those... who are leading the reconciliation locally."

More than 1,000 people have been killed and many thousands more have been internally displaced.

The violence began following a coup orchestrated by a group of government officials, ethnic militias and military leaders loyal to former vice president Riek Machar, himself a seasoned guerrilla warrior.

Aid workers have repeatedly reported horrific atrocities committed by both government soldiers and rebel fighters.

Despite a ceasefire agreed by both sides, revenge attacks continue, as the violence is reported to have merely diminished, rather than ceased.

 

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