“Promoting Health, Education, and Children’s Empowerment is part of the Mandates of my Diocese”, Says Bishop Hiiboro as he Launches the Construction of Orphan’s Dormitory in Nzara County

By Joseph Ernesto

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio on Tuesday, 19 April 2023, launched the construction of a residential institution for the care and education of orphans in Nzara County of Western Equatoria State.

Speaking at the launch, His Lordship Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kusala said that the construction of the institution is part of the mandates of his diocese to help and promote health, education, and children’s empowerment adding that helping an orphanage is like transforming the world.

For her part, 80-year-old Rev. Sr Bianca who has been a long-serving sister/guardian of the orphans expressed her happiness saying, she is grateful to the partners for the support of the construction as it will provide a safe and conducive environment to take care of the orphans,

Sr. Bianca left Tambura County where she has been staying for a long with the orphans taking care of them, but due to tribal conflict in the county 2 years ago that resulted in the loss of lives and thousands displaced, she had to leave the place to Nzara where they have been staying under shelters.

According to the managing director of the contracted company for the construction, Mr. Jackson Fudu explains that they have signed two years contracts with Sudan Relief Fund and the first phase of the constriction will finish in four months with the construction of the two dormitories two for both girls and boys.

Fudu added that despite the challenges of poor roads in transporting most of the building materials to the working site, the company will work hard to execute the project in the time frame given.

Fr. Anthony Bangoye priest in charge of Queen of Peace Nakindo Sene Catholic Parish Nzara welcomed the developmental activities in the Diocese citing that it will improve the lives of the orphans.

He calls on the parishioners to support the project in every aspect to ensure that the project is well executed.

South Sudan Catholic Bishops Saddened by Fighting in Sudan, Calls for an End to Fighting and a Revert to Dialogue

By Sr. Henriette Anne FSSA

South Sudan Catholic Bishops have in one voice called upon Sudan to stop fighting and revert to dialogue in order to preserve the unity of the country and not further the suffering of the people.

“The majority of the people in Sudan are suffering and they yearn for peace. In order to preserve the unity of the country and not to further the suffering of the people, we call for an end to the fighting and revert to dialogue”.

On their Monday, April 17th statement, stated: “that they are deeply concerned for the loss of lives and properties, we are aware that many people are trapped by fighting away from their homes but with no way to access basic needs for their survival and their families”.

 The statement signed by Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Mula, the president of Sudan and South Sudan Conference of the Catholic Bishops further called upon Christian communities in the Diocese of South Sudan to dedicate their time to prayers and fasting for their brothers and sisters in Sudan at this difficult moment.

They added, “Let us keep the spirit of Easter alive through prayers for peace to reign in Sudan, they continued, we are aware that families can suffer from the lack of basic needs when there is armed conflict. We pray for the protection of all the people caught in the conflict”.

Reflecting on the second letter of St. Paul to Thessalonians 3:13, “Never grow tired of doing what is right”, the church leaders stressed that the verse calls for prayers and for calm in Sudan.

“We stand in Solidarity with His Eminence Gabriel Card, Zubeir Wako, H.G Michael Didi the Archbishop of Khartoum, H.L. Tombe Trile of El-Obeid Diocese and H.L. Daniel Adwok the Auxiliary Bishop of Khartoum. On the same note, we pray for God’s protection of the Apostolic Nuncio to Khartoum H.G. Monsignor Luis Miguel Munoz Cardaba and indeed all our Christians and the people of Sudan”, the statement reads.

In a different statement dated 18th April 2023, from the Republic of South Sudan, the Ministry of the Presidential Affairs update on the unfolding situation in South Sudan, President Salva Kiir Mayardit, president of the Republic of South Sudan met the chairperson of the Sudan Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and His Deputy General Mohmed Hamdan Dagalo. “In his discussion with both leaders, President Kiir persuaded them to agree to a humanitarian ceasefire. Their discussion ended with both parties agreeing to a 24-hour ceasefire, this will allow civilians to access essential supplies and also provide a safe window for the wounded to be taken to the hospital for medical attention”.

According to Eye Radio, at least three South Sudanese reportedly killed amid the clashes in the Sudanese capital city.

A report by the UN office in Khartoum states that at least 185 people have been killed and over 1800 wounded since the fighting erupted.

“Stop Instigating Violence and Tribalism”, Hon. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro to the congregants during Easter in Yambio

By Joseph Ernesto

National Minister of Public Services during the Easter celebration on 9th April 2023, at St Mary Catholic parish Yambio urged faithful Christians to be committed to prayers and stop instigating violence that destroys the nation and affects the lives of innocent people.

Hon. Bangasi Joseph Bakosoro advised Christians to stop hate speech in the communities adding that, people should live with their family members in peace rather than creating hate speech amongst themselves.

He further warned the citizens of Western Equatoria state not to create division amongst themselves with other tribes but to embrace peace in their various houses.

In relative development, Bakosoro encouraged the community to cultivate their lands in order to produce enough food for consumption and sell parts of them to earn income while discouraging sitting idols which may lead to evil activities.

He further called on the people from rural areas to stop laziness and cultivate to produce enough food to sustain their living and be able to send their children to school.

More than 40 People Received Parental Coffee Trees on Easter Sunday from Bishop Eduardo

By Joseph Ernesto

The Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura -Yambio distributed parental coffee trees to more than 40 people including Boda Boda riders, drivers, health personnel, organized forces, and others during the Ester celebration in Yambio on 9th April 2023.

Bishop Kussala added that coffee forming improves productivity and increases yields and profits thus generating income and jobs in producing countries, and is primarily practiced on small family farms for sustainability.

According to Eduardo, the aim of this initiative is to increase the level of future development in Western Equatoria state adding that it helps to improve the physical and chemical properties of soil, by making it right in nutrients and fertile, he explained.

The State Ministry of Youth, Culture and Sports to Introduce Cycling Federation in Western Equatoria State

By Baraka John 

The State Minister of Youth Culture and Sports in Western Equatoria revealed that the ministry has fully registered the branch of the cycling association under the national cycling federation. 

Addressing youth who gathered to attend a peace concert organized by the youth coordination office of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio on Easter Monday, Hon David Simbi disclosed that, a team from the national cycling federation visited Yambio in January to assess the ground for the branch of the association.

“So, the cycling competition that we will embark on is the one that will benefit you, your state, and your country. This completion has four types of bicycles that are used by the participants, this includes road bike, truck bike, mountain bike, and BMX. These are the types of bikes that the ministry intends to bring here in the state”, Hon. Simbi said.

The Minister has called on young people in the State to embrace sports activities so that they can stay healthy. He said soon the ministry will send the selected number of young men to travel to Khartoum to acquire skills on cycling completion, who will become Trainer of trainees.  

“Now we need young people to join this federation because once you are selected to compete, you will be needed to perform well, definitely you will be rewarded. The ministry has also registered with the European cycling federation, so we are set to participate in any cycling competition to come on our way”, He added.

He added that the national cycling federation has pledged to support the ministry with some sports bikes to allow young people to begin practicing. 

There are several categories of bicycle racing including road bicycle racing, cyclo-cross, mountain bike racing, track cycling, BMX, and cycle speedway. Non-racing cycling sports include artistic cycling, cycle polo, freestyle BMX and mountain bike trials. But Hon. Simbi said the state will only focus on road bikes, track bikes, mountain bikes, and BMX.

According to better health.vic.gov. au. the health benefits of regular cycling help increase cardiovascular fitness, increased muscle strength, and flexibility, improved joint mobility, and decreased stress levels.

Diocesan Youth Coordinator Urges Government to Provide Land for Recreational Centre

By Baraka John

The Diocesan youth coordinator in the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio appealed to the State government to provide piece of land for the youth in the Diocese to enable them establish a recreational centre or theatre. 

Mr. William Tambua while addressing faithful and government officials in the evening of Monday 10th April 2023 during a peace concert organized by the CDTY youth coordination office, said there is an argent need for the youth in the diocese to establish recreational centre to act as a therapy for trauma healing among the community.

Mr. Tambua added that once the centre is established, youth in the diocese will create weekends programs where people will gather to watch different sorts of entertainments to wash away the trauma in their minds.

Responding to the request, the first deputy mayor for Yambio municipality, Peter Mukanga, expressed the municipality’s willingness to allocate a piece of land for the youth in the diocese for them to establish the centre.

Since the independence, South Sudanese have experienced different forms of violence which has left them traumatized up to date, with no theatres where plays are performed as a means to rebuild broken hearts and heal minds of the citizens.

But according to the CDTY youth coordinator, establishing such a centre is critical towards the realization of peace in the minds and positive thinking. Mr. Tambua said that if the centre established, it will be for all the youth regardless of their denominations.

Thousands of faithful gathered at St. Mary primary school in the evening of Monday to attend a peace concert that involved varieties of performances, including dances, dramas, citing of poems by school children.   

Bicycle Riding for Peace, Unity and Development and to Foster the Spirit of coexistence and Unity in Diversity

By Baraka John

Hundreds of faithful in Yambio including the government officials, business elites and youth participated in a bicycle ride on Monday 10th April 2023 to observe Easter Monday.

Speaking to Rurugene Online Newsletter, the Diocesan Youth coordinator Mr. William Tambua noted that the annual event was designed couples of years ago, by the Bishop of the Catholic Diocese of Tambura Yambio, refer to as “Easter Monday bicycle riding for peace, unity and development”.

“This bicycle ride, is for unity, peace and development, have cooperated with our youth, government officials and the Church leaders in order to be as one people to bring peace”. Mr Tambua added.

Mr Tambua stated that, the event is taken as an avenue to ensure that youth, politicians and business entity coordinate together to develop the State and foster the spirit of coexistence and unity in diversity.

On the other hand, Commissioner of Yambio County, Hon. Mbiko Barakati described Bishop Edwardo Hiiboro Kussala as a visionary leader, who initiated the bicycle ride program to strengthen relation among different categories of human beings.

Hon. Barakati, expressed the readiness of the county government to work together with the Diocese wherever necessary.

In the bicycle ride exercise were the Hon. Minsters of Youth, sports and culture as well as renowned business man Mr Jackson Fudu and the people living with disability.   

The 5Km bicycle ride that began from Masia market to Yambio freedom square enrooted to Yambio open market proceeded to St. Mary Parish Mother of God, was accompanied with a diocesan music band known as “Pax brass band”, and the Diocesan trained Scouts.

Commissioner Barakati to Enforce 2021 Local Order Expelling Ambororo

By Baraka John 

The County commissioner for Yambio County Hon. Mbiko Barakati has told Anisa radio that his office is on the verge to revive and enforce the 2021 local order issued by the State’s top authority for the expulsion of Ambororo nomads from the Territory of Western Equatoria. 

In 2021 Governor Futuyo issued a state local order banning locals from trading with the foreign pastoralists, the order stated that any local found trading with the nomads will face drastic measures in a court of law.  

However, the order remained unimplemented as the local communities could still be seen buying cattle from the nomads, something Commissioner Barakati termed defiant of the State move adding that the order will soon be enforced, to ensure the nomads are out of Yambio County.

On the 18th of March 2023, a group of Ambororo nomads was reported to have attacked a house of a 65 years old man in an area called Berezigbo of Bangasu payam in the eastern part of Yambio County and gunned down four people. This incident has sparked fear among the locals in the area. 

The Yambio county commissioner blamed locals for continuously trading with the foreign pastoralists which he says create room for them to stay in Yambio and other parts of the State.

“What brought Ambororo back are the citizens of Western Equatoria, few of us who have been trading with the Ambororo, who pool them to enter again in Western Equatoria, supplying them with salt and money, buying cows from them and again supply them with all the needs they want”, Commissioner Barakati said.

Barakati further said that any one person found in the act defying the state order will be penalized by the county.

“I want to tell the people of Yambio County in particular that we have a local order which was issued by the honorable governor in 2021 and again renewed in the same year for the State in general, that Ambororo should leave Western Equatoria State, nobody should exercise business activities between him or her and Ambororo. Somebody who will be caught conducting business with Ambororo, first and foremost the goods and motorbikes you are using will be confiscated and you will be taken to the court of law for breaking the local order”, Barakati added.   

The presence of Ambororo nomads in some parts of Western Equatoria State continues to create fear among the population as they do not know the motive of the foreign pastoralists in the State.

On 21st March 2023, the King of Azande Kingdom His majesty king Atoroba Peni Rikito Gbudue called on the public to stop trading with the foreign cattle keepers stressing that this activity keeps the nomads in the areas causing havoc in the community. 

He urged the state government to work hard to stabilize security to allow the farmers to cultivate as the rainy season has started.  

CODEP Step Up Effort to Provide Clean Drinking Water to Communities as the World Commemorate “World Water Day”

By Baraka John

As the globe on 22nd March marked world water day, the Catholic organization for peace and development (CODEP) continues to step up efforts to provide clean drinking water to different communities of Western Equatoria State, through the “wash project”.

The Catholic-based organization has planned to dig seven boreholes this year in different locations in the State to avert a shortage of water among the communities.

The project which is funded by the Sudan Relief Fund is expected to benefit communities of Maridi, Mambe, Yambio, Gangura, Bagidi, Banduguyo, and Gangara Emilia South in Yambio.   

A team of experts completed the molding of nine rings in Gangura Payam in a two-day period, only waiting for it to be fixed into the well. The experts are to travel to the eastern deanery of the Diocese to continue molding rings. 

The theme for the 2023 World Water Day is “accelerating the change to solve the water and sanitation crisis”. The theme calls for the public to alter the way they use, consume, and manage water in their lives. This will assist in achieving Sustainable Development Goal 6- water and sanitation for all by 2030.

World Water Day is held annually on 22 March as a means of focusing attention on the importance of freshwater and advocating for the sustainable management of freshwater resources.

King Atoroba Sends a Message of Sympathy to Families that Lost their Family Members in the hands of the Pastoralist in Western Equatoria State

By Joseph Ernesto

The king of the Azande Kingdom has sent his message of sympathy to the families that had lost their relatives on the hand of the cattle headers commonly known as Ambororo who have occupied some parts of Western Equatoria State specially Ibba and Maridi Counties. His majesty king Atoroba Peni Rikito Gbudue on Tuesday 21st March 2023 in his message of condolences through Anisa Radio said, “my heart goes out to you at this difficult time, you have my deepest sympathy and the Kingdom stands with you to say no, that shouldn’t happen again in the Azande Kingdom”.

The King called on the public to stop trading with the cattle keepers as this keeps them in the areas and their cattle devastate the agricultural land of Western Equatoria.

He urged the state government to work hard to stabilize insecurity to allow the farmers to cultivate as the rainy season has started.

Talking to the youth, King Atoroba advised them to distance themselves from the pastoralist to maintain stability during this rainy season.

A couple of weeks ago, 5 people were killed by cattle keepers in Western Equatoria State, which has created fear among citizens.

The Azande King encouraged people within the Kingdom to prioritize agriculture as it is important in supporting livelihoods through food and building strong economies through trade.

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