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Archbishop Welby aggrieved by Kajo-Keji “massacre”

Author: L. MEMO | Published: Saturday, February 4, 2023

Canterbury Archbishop Justin Welby. (Courtesy photo).

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby has described the killings in Kajo-Keji County as a massacre and said he was aggrieved and saddened by the tragedy.

He made the remarks on Friday evening while addressing President Salva Kiir, First Vice President Dr. Riek Machar, senior government officials, and religious leaders at the Statehouse in Juba.

Foreign diplomats were also in attendance.

“When I remember the commitments that were made by you [leaders] in 2019, I’m grieved, I‘m sad that we still hear of such a tragedy.”

Welby was reminiscing about the year when he visited Juba and washed the feed of the Unity government leadership.

On Friday, Kajo-Keji County Commissioner said the death toll in the violence in Lire Payam was 27 including six herders.

Commissioner Panuel Dumo said the incident is believed to have been a revenge attack after the killing of cattle by unidentified gunmen in the area last week.

“Even today [Friday], the Bishop of Kajo-Keji after the massacre yesterday has gone down to comfort the bereaved.”

The Anglican leader said the incident is as a result of lack of commitment from South Sudan leaders to fully implement the peace agreement to bring peace and reconcile the fragmented country.

“We had hoped and prayed for more, we had expected more, and you promised more. We can’t pick and chose parts of a peace agreement. Every part must be done by everyone and that costs much”, he said.

Archbishop Welby said the purpose of their coming is to encourage the church in the efforts to build peace and bring people together.

They also wanted to listen to the youth who make up the majority of the country.

“We come to encourage the church, dear sisters and brothers in Christ. Remember your wonderful work in building peace and bringing people together.”

“We come to listen to the young people who are 70 percent of South Sudan’s population. Without listening to their voices there can’t be peace and reconciliation”, he added.

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