South Sudanese Bishop Invites Youth to be Part of “networks of peace”
CANAA || By Father Don Bosco Onyalla, Nairobi || 21 September 2017
On this year’s occasion of the International Day of Peace, the President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC), Bishop Barani Eduardo Hiiboro has called on young people in Sudan and South Sudan to be part of “networks of peace” to promote peaceful coexistence.
The Bishop made the appeal in a letter titled “Young people YES we can make Peace but let us do it together in Respect, compassion and Justice!”
The International Day of Peace, also known as World Peace Day, is observed annually around the world on September 21. Since 2013, the Secretary General of the United Nations dedicated the day to peace education as a way of preventing violent conflicts.
“For us in the two SUDANS it is quite necessary for us to stop awhile and hold abreast to breathe and invite peace into our hearts, because we have lost everything to wars,” Bishop Barani stated in his letter.
He lamented the heavy price of the “senseless violence” being witnessed in his country of South Sudan and recommended networks of peace.
“Indeed, now and only networks of peace must increase – that we must reach to all with whom peace can become a reality– now and only such recommended networks of peace are by no means essential for the surviving of Sudan and South Sudan,” he said.
“You can set an example for all of us through your dedication, resourcefulness, and sincerity in promoting peaceful coexistence and building a nation, rich in resources that can stand as a symbol for achievement,” Bishop Barani said, addressing his message to the youth.
“I regard with profound respect the positive impact you can have on the future of our country, for you are the future,” the Prelate acknowledged the youth of Sudan and South Sudan.
Below is the full text of the letter by Bishop Barani on the occasion of World Peace Day 2017
Young people YES we can make Peace but let us do it together in Respect, compassion and Justice!
September 21st 2017
I greet you with great joy and empathy beloved young Sudanese and South Sudanese during this historical day dedicated for humanity to cherish peace. The International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”) is observed around the world each year on 21 September. Established in 1981 by unanimous United Nations resolution, Peace Day provides a globally shared date for all humanity to commit to Peace above all differences and to contribute to building a Culture of Peace.
For us in the two SUDANS it is quite necessary for us to stop awhile and hold abreast to breathe and invite peace into our hearts, because we have lost everything to wars.
Honestly we have paid heavily the price for our senseless violence now we must stop it by paying heavily for PEACE. Indeed, now and only networks of peace must increase – that we must reach to all with whom peace can become a reality– now and only such recommended networks of peace are by no means essential for the surviving of Sudan and South Sudan, where peace is threatened by the ruthless networks of injustice, violence, hate, negative ethnicity, indifference, lack of forgiveness, poverty and terror.
Here, what I mean, such desired networks of peace must intertwined to face the disturbing networks of organized EVIL, that terrify us every day. We people of Sudan and South Sudan must intertwine in a network which will help us to build a better future for the human family and the creation in two nations.
In his http://w2.vatican.va/content/francesco/en/messages/peace.index.html”>2017 Message for the World Day of Peace. . . (January 1) Pope Francis urges us to practice active nonviolence and work to prevent conflict by addressing its causes, building relationships, and facilitating healing and restoration.
My dearest friends of Peace, the young people, I am writing this message purposely to each and everyone of you. Please read this message of mine, live it, share it and build on it!
Over the past few years, I have had the bittersweet privilege to witness how quickly you grew, and how quickly you matured. The killings and incessant fighting that have plagued our beloved nation changed you and placed before you challenges that are normally unknown to your peers in other countries in the world. I feel your frustrations when on your faces, your voices, your attitudes, the way you walk, they way you dress, what you write on social media, what you sing, what you do, etc.
My heart breaks at the thought that your childhoods are being taken away from you daily, but I know that you have not lost your vision, or your hope for a better future for yourselves and our countries. You still have your dreams and your determination to build a peaceful and prosperous nation.
Let us work together to make sure that our children do not receive the same painful experiences you did and to build a nation all can be proud of. If anyone can be successful, it is you. I believe that God initiates his plans through the youthful zeal and passion of young men and women like you. And God’s plan is for us to forgive and build peace. We cannot achieve it through violence and hate speech. But we can achieve it by engaging with one another and building our nation together.
It takes a lot of courage to take the first step, where our parents and elders have, sadly, FAILD. That is because unlike you, we are entrenched into our old habits, prejudices, hate, injustice and, even, pettiness, and it is not easy to let go of our selfishness for it is how we have been able to survive and preserve ourselves in these dark times. But now it is time to look forward and we, living in a small country, can do that together.
I have faith in you, my young friends. “Let no one despise you for your youth, but set the believers an example in speech, in conduct, in love, in faith, in purity.” (1 Timothy 4:12)
Thus, you can set an example for all of us through your dedication, resourcefulness, and sincerity in promoting peaceful coexistence and building a nation, rich in resources that can stand as a symbol for achievement. Our brothers and sisters in other nations, especially Rwanda, have succeeded in achieving peace and prosperity. And you can lead the way in achieving this for our nation, Sudan and South Sudan.
Who better than you can spread the word of the Lord through social media and other modern means of communications that your bright creative minds are so agile at? Help those you can reach out. Share Christian wisdom and partnership wherever you are – on social networks and on websites, on radio and television, during individual conversations, and other opportunities. Rally passionate young independent thinkers like you. Engage with all. Your actions can inspire and form the foundations for a better life for you and your children and for all of Sudan and South Sudan. And being a small nation, we can only do it together.
Know this and take to heart, you are choice young people blessed with the gospel of Jesus Christ. I feel to say to you that the Lord has a special mission for each one of you, and as you live in accordance with gospel principles, the Lord will open up the way before you and assist you in solving your problems and making the right decisions throughout your life.
We are, however, living in a period where there is much hatred, conflict, and contention. People everywhere are praying for peace and happiness. Jesus Christ is called the Prince of Peace, and his message is a message of peace to the individual and to the world. It is peace that makes us really appreciate mortal life and enables us to bear heartbreaking situations and tribulations.
I regard with profound respect the positive impact you can have on the future of our country, for you are the future. Let us mobilize under your courageous leadership, your energies and pave the way for a responsible and meaningful dialogue and engagement. To that end, I will seek out every opportunity to listen to you as frequently as possible, to be inspired by your boldness, and to learn from your sacrifices.
Young people YES we can transform our violent nations into PEACEFUL world!
May the blessings of the Lord of PEACE be upon you.
PEACE BE UPON EACH AND EVERYONE OF YOU!
Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio and President of Sudan Catholic Bishops Conference