SEPTEMBER 14, 2010: LRA :Religious Leaders Call for Enhanced Support

LRA: Religious Leaders Call for Enhanced Support

SOURCE: Gurtong

By Clement Gbatanawo

YAMBIO, 14 September 2010 (Gurtong) - Speaking at the closure of a 3-day conference in the Western Equatoria State capital Yambio, the leaders also called for enhanced community protection and support for the displaced in the four countries.

Bishop Eduardo Hiboro Kusala who read the final communiqué on behalf of the religious leaders drawn from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Central African Republic, Uganda and Sudan, said communication and road infrastructure should be improved so as to enhance co-ordination whilst dealing with the LRA menace.

“The message got from the conference is simple and means all people need to work together to address the LRA issue as South Sudan prepares for the referendum”, he said.

He criticised the international committee for turning a deaf ear on Western Equatoria and the neighbouring countries.

“The LRA has become a time bomb and setback to the  development of Western Equatoria State, leading to displacements, killings, abductions and raping of multiples of people in the four countries, hence leaving a legacy of poverty”, said Bishop Kusala.

“We are committed to raise local, national and international awareness on the LRA issues and we shall jointly petition key decision makers to consistently explore ways to open direct talks with the LRA leader Joseph Kony”, he said.

The church leaders also pledged to organise an annual conference in all the affected regions where they will advocate for the protection of the local communities

“The governments of the affected regions should initiate dialogue to address the pertinent issues and identify and collaborate in increment of contribution to community protection”, they said.

The Western Equatoria State Governor Joseph Bakosoro, who spoke at a dinner hosted by the state government at the state guesthouse,  commended the  religious leaders for spearheading peace and stability in the regions worst hit by the LRA atrocities.

He advised the religious leaders to circulate copies of the resolutions to the relevant governments, including the COMESA bloc to address the issue.

“As the church continues with prayers I will work hard to find other related solutions which include sending messages to the LRA combatants through the local radio which needs to extend its coverage to areas like Dungu in the DRC and Obo in Central Africa” , said the Governor.

The conference was also attended by representatives from the United State and the Netherlands Liaison head office in Juba.

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