AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN – Continuing tribal conflicts force nuns to suspend formation programs

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Tombura-Yambio – “The nature of the tribal conflict that persists in Tombura, and of which we are witnesses, is brutal. We were forced to send home two postulants and five aspirants who were in the formation house”, said Sister Jacinta Dagbaaboro, Superior of the Congregation of Our Lady of Peace in the African diocese of the same name.
According to what emerges from the note sent to Fides, the nuns who serve in the diocese have suspended the formation programs for postulants and aspirants due to the ongoing conflicts in the state of Western Equatoria . “Last September, 23 we managed to escape with a novice through the forest, we travelled 72.8 kilometers to Ezo County and then we reached Yambio”, said the Mother Superior.
Sister Jacinta assured that “they will all return to the formation house when the conflict has calmed down and the environment is favorable to continue”.
Addressing the leaders of the government, the nun urged them to end the conflict, and the Catholic representatives of the diocese of Tombura Yambio and Countrywide to persevere in prayer for sustainable peace in the country.
“The conflict in Tombura, between the Azande and Balanda communities, is said to have been fueled by armed forces belonging to the People’s Defense Forces of South Sudan and the opposition Sudan People’s Liberation Army , which supply arms and ammunition respectively to the Azande and Balanda tribes”, reads a report by the United Nations Human Rights Commission in the Country. Continued episodes of violence have led over thousands of people in the county to seek refuge in the neighboring State. The religious congregation, currently under the leadership of bishop Msgr. Edwardo Hiiboro Kusala, had been initiated by Comboni missionaries in 1956 before the Sudanese government expelled them in 1964.