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Bishop urges South Sudan to shun tribalism

February 27, 2011 (JUBA) - The Leadership of the Episcopal Church of Sudan has called upon southern Sudanese to throw away the issues of tribalism ahead of the region’s independence.

In January South Sudan overwhelmingly voted to secede from the north. The plebiscite is part of a 2005 peace deal, which ended decades of civil war, which saw fighting between groups in the South as well as against the Khartoum government.

The statement was made on Saturday by the Arch-Bishop of the Episcopal Church of Sudan, Daniel Deng Bull, while giving speech during the last prayers at the funeral rites of the late southern minister Jimmy Lemi Milla.

Milla was killed in early February, days after the South’s vote for independence was announced. His death is thought to be related to a personal dispute.

The bishop said that South Sudanese should concentrate on nation building rather than killing one another. “Let’s shun tribalism to pave ways for sustainable development in the region.”

“The sadden[ing] assassination of the late minister of cooperative and rural development early February should not cause division among the community of Pojulu but, the dead should unify the family”, he said.

The archbishop asked Milla’s family to overcome the temptation to seek revenge against the family.

At the same service the bishop of Aweil Diocese also encouraged the family of the late minister to stay in peaceful relationship that will neglect hatred, but bring permanent peace among the Pojulu community.

“Tribalism will finish the image of people of [the] South, the vote that you have casted for self determination will not be modesty in the eye of other neighboring country”, he says.

Milla, the former South Sudan minister of cooperative and rural development was shot dead 9 February at his office with his body guard. He was allegedly shot by his in-law.

The last funeral rites were attended by the senior government officials, including the regions vice president Riek Machar, the minister of peace and CPA implementation, Pagan Amum, the minister of health, Luka Monja, and presidential advisor Joseph Lagu Yanga.

(ST)