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Religious leaders in Uganda pray for S. Sudanese refugees

December 9, 2019 (LAMWO) - Religious leaders from Acholi Religious Leader’s Peace Initiative (ARLPI) and South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) held prayers for refugees in Uganda on Tuesday.

South Sudanese refugees at Nyumanzi settlement camp in Adjumani (Getty Image)

The prayers, organised under the theme, “Way to resolution - John 8:48-59”, took place at Palabek Ogili Refugee Settlement Centre, Block 2.

Uganda hosts Africa’s largest refugee population, with two-thirds having fled conflict in South Sudan, according to the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR).

The ARLPI chairperson, Bishop Emeritus Onono Onweng said Tuesday’s prayers were held to show solidarity and togetherness with South Sudanese refugees settled in the region and those at home.

“The prayers are aimed at ensuring that the 100 days meant to bring everlasting peace in South Sudan becomes a reality,” Onono said.

Last month, President Salva Kiir and the country’s main opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to delay key benchmarks in the revitalized peace agreement by 100 days. The delay in forming a national unity government on November 12 came after Machar raised concerns that the security arrangements were still incomplete.

Onono urged the country’s leaders to resolve the pending issues impeding the implementation of the peace deal within the 100 days.

On his part, however, the SSCC chairman, Bishop Arkanjelo Wani Lemi, said they are in Uganda to stand with their people, stressing that it is also the responsibility of the religious leaders to bring hope to the people as they wait for the outcome of the peace agreement.

“We are here to pray with them, encourage them at this difficult. “It’s our hope and sincere desire that the 100 days extension works so that our people return home, although many might find difficulties in rebuilding their homes,” said Wani.

South Sudan descended into civil war in mid-December 2013 when President Kiir accused his former deputy Machar of plotting a coup, allegations the latter denied.

In September last year, the country’s rival factions signed a revitalized peace deal to end the civil war that killed tens of thousands of people and displaced millions.