3 August 2017

South Sudan: Leaders to Blame for Rising Tribalism, Says Priest

Photo: Jason Patinkin
Civilians fleeing Kajo Keji county, toward the southern border with Uganda

South Sudan leaders are to blame for the increasing ethnic divide that has given rise to tribalism in the country, a Catholic prelate has said.

Father Louis Izama of Torit, a town 140km southwest of the capital Juba, said political leaders are fostering further disunity by discriminating against citizens, in service delivery, based on their ethnicity.

He urged them to embrace unity and the spirit of nationalism in serving the public.

He advised the leaders "to ask God for wisdom so that you can able to lead people fairly," he said.

South Sudan plunged into civil war in 2013 when President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, sacked his then deputy Riek Machar, a Nuer.

After a peace pact in 2015, the two political rivals felt out again in July 2016, kicking off fresh fighting in Juba that took a tribal nature and spread to several parts of the country.

Human rights groups have been accusing the leaders of using ethnic divisions as shields to achieve political mileage.

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