AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Bishop Kussala on the murder of the former commissioner: “He was a man of peace”

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Juba – “I offer my condolences on the tragic death of Babiro Charles Gbamisi, who was shot and killed in an assassination attempt this morning,” said Bishop Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala of Tombura-Yambio in South Sudan, on the violent death of Babiro Charles Gbamisi, former District Commissioner of Tambura in the state of Western Equatoria who was killed in an attack in his home by an armed group yesterday morning, August 24th.
“His death has caused sadness and consternation in our community. My condolences go out to the family of the former commissioner and to all those who died in the conflict in Tambura district. Let us pray for the souls of those who lost their lives in this tragic conflict so that they may encounter the mercy of the Lord”, said Bishop Kussala.
“I knew Charles personally”, the Bishop of Tombura-Yambio continued. “He wanted to be a priest, but then decided to serve his community as a politician and administrator, following an example from his own family, in particular from his father, who had committed himself to the community. He actively campaigned for peace and an end to the bloodshed in the district where he had been administrator. He kept asking himself, “What can we do to stop the violence?”. Charles was killed by the very same violence that he fought with peaceful means”, he underlined.
Mgr. Kussala wished everyone “the courage and strength to forgive”. “This is the only way we can escape the spiral of violence that has caused so much bloodshed. May the blood that has been shed give us strength to forgive and not seek violence. I appeal to the government: you have a moral duty to intervene to end the senseless violence”.
Clashes between ethnic communities in the Tombura district are also fueled by armed groups fighting against the government in Juba. The UN reports that numerous people were killed or abducted in the conflict. The violence has caused enormous material damage and the destruction of crops, creating the conditions for a food crisis. More than 30,000 people in and around the area have been displaced and hundreds of families have been forced to seek refuge at St. Mary’s Church.