30th November 2023
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Retired Bishop Paride Taban dies at 87

Authors: Staff Writer | | Published: Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Photo Courtesy/ Sudan/South Sudan Catholic Bishops' Conference

Retired Bishop Paride Taban has died in Nairobi, Kenya, the Catholic Bishops and the Catholic Church in South Sudan and Sudan have announced Wednesday.

“The Catholic Church in South Sudan and Sudan would like to announce the return of our dear Bishop Paride Taban which occurred this afternoon 1st November 2023 in Nairobi. He has been unwell for some time and the Good Shepherd called him on the Solemnity of All the Saints,” the statement read.

The bishops say the news is sudden and the public will be updated with upcoming arrangements.


Paride Taban was a South Sudanese prelate of the Catholic Church and was the first leader of the Sudan Council of Churches, which was founded in February 1990.

He was Auxiliary Bishop of Juba from 28 January 1980 to 2 July 1983 and served as Bishop of Torit from 1983 to 2004.

Paride Taban was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit in what was then Sudan from 1983 until 2004.

In 1989, when the rebel Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) overtook Torit, he was arrested with three other Catholic priests by the SPLA. Until 1990 he and Nathanael Garang were the only two Bishops active in areas held by the SPLA.

After his retirement from the diocese, he led an effort to make peace in South Sudan real by setting up the Kuron Peace Village, established in 2005. Before becoming bishop of Torit, Taban had been auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Juba and the titular bishop of Tadamata from 1980 to 1983.

He was ordained on 24 May 1964 and consecrated a Bishop on 4 May 1980 in Kinshasa by Pope John Paul II.[8]

Taban was sent to Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide for reconciliation efforts.

Bishop Paride received numerous awards including the Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Prize awarded by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2013 for his work at the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron.

He also received the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in 2017 for co-founding the ecumenical New Sudan Council of Churches, building Kuron Peace Village and chairing the mediation initiative between the Government of South Sudan and COBRA Faction of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army led by David Yau Yau, which produced a successful peace agreement on 6 January 2014.

In December 2016, Taban was appointed by the President Salva Kiir as a co-chair of the steering committee of National Dialogue.


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