SOUTH SUDAN: Peace is attainable; Bishop Taban Paride is optimist

By Pamela Adinda, AMECEA Online News

 

Rt. Rev. Taban Paride, Bishop Emeritus of Torit is convinced that a lasting
peace is possible in South Sudan if only everybody is involved and
contributes towards it; and most importantly if the quest for a lasting peace
is done with the interest of people at heart, rather than individuals vested in
selfish interests.
Speaking to AMECEA Online News in Nairobi-Kenya, where he is currently
receiving treatment, Bishop Paride said that peace is possible in the young
nation if the commitment towards its achievement is done on behalf of the
SOUTH SUDAN: Peace is attainable; Bishop
Taban Paride is optimist

people, especially the suffering masses in a country whose people are
refugees in thousands, living in the neighboring countries.
“The greatest thing we can do in this world when we want to bring peace is
not to look at ourselves but look at others; look at what you can do to ease
the suffering of others. Peace means sacrificing oneself for others, not for
any reward in this world,” he explained adding that peace also means
sharing with others our God given resources and talents.
Bishop Paride asserted that the contributing factors of conflict in South
Sudan are largely tribalism, selfishness, illiteracy and too much guns in the
hands of civilians which is a major concern and course of worry.
“The reason why I retired as Bishop of Torit Diocese, eight years before my
age of retirement was because of the type of tribalism I saw among the
people. I retired in order to find a small place where people can live
together as brothers and sisters regardless of tribe, religion or social
status. I founded the peace village in order to start a small group who can
live together and slowly break the evil of tribalism,” he explained adding
that tribe is good but tribalism is an evil, and this is what is destroying the
young nation.
“What is also destroying our country is ignorance and illiteracy; these are
the factors that we should fight rather than fighting each other. My principle
now is to start a school from nursery up to senior secondary school and, if
God gives me more time, up to university. I believe that once people’s
mind is opened, once they become enlightened, they can begin to
appreciate humanity and to be human; to love each other as sons and
daughters of God.”
The Bishop who is a renown peace ambassador further indicated that lack
of gun control is something that is extremely dangerous in South Sudan,
and needs to be addressed immediately.
“In South Sudan you find the youth, anybody else, having guns. If we can
get rid of these weapons the country will regain its sanity and people can
live in peace without fear. Once I went to celebrate Mass in the village and
during offertory people filled the baskets with bullets, saying that was all
they had. To say that I was dumbfounded is an understatement: these are
things which should not be there. Let the guns remain with the National
Army and the Police, not with civilians.”
However, after all is said, Bishop Taban maintains his optimism, saying
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that one day the sound of guns will cease in South Sudan.
“The history of Europe talks about World Wars I and II, but they all ended.
Anything started by human beings will have an end at some point, it is not
eternal. However we need contribution from all these countries that have
experienced similar situation as ours. We need to learn from them what
they did to silence the sound of the gun once and for all,” he suggested
adding that more than anything else, the country needs to put God in the
forefront.
“We need to trust in our God, not guns. God can still perform a miracle in
South Sudan. if peace cannot be achieved through human efforts, God will
certainly make it happen.”

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