February 2, 2016, Auxiliary Bishop Santo Laku Pio of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba said Sunday in his homily at St. Theresa Kator that telling the truth and speaking about the suffering of the people of South Sudan has become risky. The bishop says people have become afraid to say the truth about atrocities.
In a message against war, the bishop also slammed warmongers, fighters and criminals, revealing that he had told the Pope on a recent visit to Rome that “the killers are in Juba” – a reference to the seat of government and the place where South Sudan’s civil war began.
“In our situation today no need to speak about the suffering of the people of South Sudan in the hands of their own brothers and sisters. Who is killing in Yambio? Who is killing in Wonduruba? Who is killing Awiel and Bentiu, who is killing in Southern Bari? Who is killing on the road to Raja, who is killing Bor, who is killing?” the bishop said.
The bishop pointed out that many South Sudanese have been subjected to imprisonment for speaking.
“Many people are arrested and they are put inside there for one reason or another, sometimes without reason just because we are afraid of them they said something and you say, ‘No, this man is dangerous,’ you put him inside.”
“Those who are doing these things be reminded that it is not good, it is not fair, it is not honorable, it is not acceptable because you are my brother and I am supposed to speak about you whether good or bad and you are supposed to hear and tell me that you have not spoken well I will say sorry but when you kill me, where will you find me again?”
“It is not those you put in prison who are in prison,” the bishop said. “It is you who is in prison because you arrested them for nothing… It is not those who die that you have killed, it is you who is dead, you’re a moving corpse because you have killed your brother. You’re already guilty, you’re already condemned, you should ask for forgiveness and mercy,” he added.
He continued, “If you finish all the people of Eastern Equatoria because they do not cooperate with you, ok, now that they are finished what do you gain, now that they are finished what next, what do you gain, what do you have?”
“Any logical human person will think twice before committing an atrocity that you people are denying. But we told the Holy Father, we told him the truth that the killers are in Juba. You can take me to Jebel Kujur, it does not matter, I already spoke my mind,” he said.
The bishop related further that while in the Vatican they shared the situation of the Church, telling the Pope about the situation in the country and inviting him to visit South Sudan.
The bishop called on South Sudanese to be prophets of love and remain faithful to each other. He also criticized those who say they are ‘liberators’ but are full of hatred and seeking only power.
“Possessions, power are short-lived. You can have guns today but time will come when you will not able to use that gun. You can be carrying artilleries today but time will come when that artillery will be heavy and you will put it down. We are watching – we shall see if some of us will be alive if you do not kill us before time.”