South Sudan: Bishop Warns Delegates Against Spoiling Peace Talks, Pleads for Peace in South Sudan

Destruction is evident in Malakal, once South Sudan's second city but now largely deserted. More than 24,000 people now live in a UN protected camp on the outskirts of the town.

Addis Ababa — Bishop John Jok Chol of Akobo Diocese of South Sudan has warned delegates against spoiling peace talks cautioning politicians against making the forum a project to benefit themselves.

"People in Akobo are suffering, forcing them to lose hope and practice revenge killing with guns based on tribal lines," said Bishop Jok.

The bishop was speaking at the second phase of a Revitalization Forum for peace in South Sudan that was held in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia where he reminded the delegates that they were the right people to bring peace into the country and not the international community.

The South sudan Council of churches has been leading negotiations between all the parties attending the Revitalization Forum in Addis Ababa. However as the talks hit the sixth day, the religious leaders have handed back the mandate for making progess to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD).

"We continue to pray for the different parties that, what they have said, they will respect it to enable our people to be free and not always to run or be displaced," said Archbishop Justin Badi of the Diocese of Maridi.

Discussions have focused on governance and security arrangements. A high-level of agreement has been reached on need for new security measures in the conflict-ridden country. However, consensus on its implementation remains elusive.

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