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Rome Reports

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Civil war in South Sudan does not prevent celebration of new bishop in Malakal

Malakal is in South Sudan. In 2015 the African Union denounced crimes against humanity committed there, such as forced cannibalism. A year later, this place was the scene of a brutal attack against a UN base that resulted in 18 dead and 40 wounded. 

As a consequence, it was not a surprise that there was a big celebration and Mass for the arrival of a new bishop to Malakal. It has been 10 years since a bishop was appointed there. His name is Stephen Ador Mojwok, the former Vicar General of the diocese. 

In his homily, he stressed the need to end violence with strong and concrete gestures. Since 2013, South Sudan has been immersed in an endless civil war that has already left more than 400,000 dead.

Bishop of Malakal (South Sudan)
“We need to start embracing one another. If we want to say 'We need peace in South Sudan.' So let us start by embracing one another, loving one another, taking away all this hate-speech. We won't even need Salva Kiir Mayardit, our President, or Riek Machar or any other group to sign peace. This is because we can sign peace here and now, through loving one another, through coming together as one people.”

The newly-ordained bishop was referring to the leaders whose feet Pope Francis kissed, as a way to implore peace. It was a moving meeting that took place in Rome last April. 

In September 2018 the leaders had signed an unsuccessful peace agreement and it is hoped that in the coming months they will be able to push for another, more solid pact.