8th June 2023
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Bring back refugees and I will say there is peace – cleric tells govt

Author: Charles Wote | Published: Tuesday, April 18, 2023

Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba Santo Loku Pio speaking at St. Theresa's Cathedral on Sunday, 16th April 2023. | Photo: Confucius Taban

The Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba called on the government to facilitate the voluntary return and resettlement of South Sudanese refugees and displaced persons to their homes.

Bishop Santo Loku Pio said the stability being preached by South Sudanese leaders is non-existent as long as there is inter-communal insecurities and displacements.

Loku said the country can only be peaceful if there are favorable conditions for the return of displaced populations.

“If there is peace why do we still have our people in the neighboring countries, why do people still being chased away from their villages? Why do you have people in Uganda, bring them back let them go home?” he said at Saint Theresa’s Cathedral on Sunday.

“Why do we have IDPs, the other day I was hearing that IDPs are to be registered for what, tell them to go home, they have their homes. Bring the refugees back to their homes, then I will say there is peace.”

Bishop Loku said he hold politicians responsible for the communal conflicts.

“As long as there are inter-communal conflicts perpetrated by the guns that were distributed by the politicians, you give these guns to the young people who are killing themselves, you don’t want to take responsibility, why, don’t tell lies to our people.”

In February 2021, President Salva Kiir expressed support for facilitating the voluntary return of refugees after meeting their representatives including IDPs in Juba.

But the internally Displaced Persons said they want the unity government to fully implement the provisions of the revitalized agreement.

Others say they want the full implementation of security arrangements including the deployment of security forces as enshrined in Chapter Two of the 2018 peace agreement.

They also appeal for transitional justice, transparency, and reconciliation as stipulated in Chapter Five.


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