South Sudan Bishop has doubts on nation’s reconciliation

February 15, 2017 OPINION/NEWS

Timothy McKulka



Male Daniel

Santo Laku Poi, the Auxiliary Bishop of the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba, recently casted doubt on the possibility that reconciliation for South Sudan will work. He said the war torn country’s reconciliation is being forced by leadership on citizens whose hearts are still broken.

Laku made the remarks in his homily where James Wani Igga, South Sudan Vice President and Ladu Gore, former deputy to now exiled Dr Riek Machar attended, but Land and Housing Minister in the transitional government of national Unity attached to current first Vice President Taban Deng Gai, IO said were attending Sunday service in St. Theresa Kator.

“I am hearing these days about the reconciliation to be forced on the people. People are saying reconciliation, by force you must reconcile, you must reconcile. No, it is not like that,” Bishop Laku said.

He pointed that reconciliation cannot be forced, but rather cultivated.

“Reconciliation cannot be forced. It is to be cultivated because something has gone wrong. That your politics is not working, is not because reconciliation is the property of the heart. The way you do it in the microphone is not working because there are people hurt and these people who are hurt they have to be healed, what is them should be removed,” he said.

“If you take my wife, my good wife because you have gun and you’re enjoying my wife there with you in another place, I am now without wife and then you come and say let us reconcile and the woman is still there. No,” he said “you give back my thing I will wash her with soap. I will say she is mine and I will say now we can reconcile.”

“You have to give back what belongs to that person and that person will say ok, is damaged but is still in good condition, sorry, this sorry works. But if you continue to keep her there and you’re asking me that I should reconcile because of fear I will say ok, I forgive you (low tone) but I am not meaning it. Something of my heart is missing and it is with you. Give it back. That is what will make us move forward’,” the bishop said.


Bishop Santo Laku and Dr Lam Akol Feb 2016 . Photo Male Daniel



He added “what you have taken from somebody’s heart, give it back so that the heart is free and happy and it is that heart that will be able to move forward. But if it is to be forced ok, let us try but I am sure is not working. We will try but is not working.”

“Making reconciliation will require that the two of us, we remember that we are going wrong and we must stop before reaching the judge and say here brother it is not going to be good with two of us and therefore let us leave this aside. You have back your madam and then enough. Sorry. So it makes us easy to reconcile if we have the same heart,” he advised.

He said it is reconciliation that makes people happy and makes people not act in fear of one another.

“There is nobody among us who doesn’t want to be happy, happy here on earth and to continue this happiness to the eternal kingdom. So if this happiness is spoiled, is disrupted, human person, the humanity become unhappy and that is why God is guiding us that if we want happiness we chose it.”

He said once somebody chooses God, he or she will be happy and will not act in fear adding that those who act in fear are destructive. He said those acting in love are productive and happy.

“Fear always makes you plan bad things. What is happening in our country today is fear. Our leadership is afraid of the people. The people are afraid of the leadership, so fear and fear, then wrong decisions are made.”

“There is no love. We only do good when people are seeing us, when it is dark we do bad. We come to church and pretend to be holy; when we go out we are dangerous.”

The Bishop said in South Sudan every evil has become practically normal in the world’s youngest country with killing, adultery and rape on the increase.

“Killing has become practically normal in South Sudan. We can even go beyond adultery. Adultery is now normal because people are now raping. If you are a Christian you cannot even have the desire. That desire in your heart to commit adulteries and to be raping will not be there because you are full of love.”

The bishop said people full of love will not think of telling lies like in South Sudan where gentlemen tell lies even over the national media.

“If you are full of love you cannot even think of telling lies. Gentlemen with ties, they tell lies openly, they tell lies even on the television midday without fear above, they tell lies and you know that this man is telling lies, this woman is a lair but she goes on insisting on this lie.”

He said any family built on lies will separate. “If the husband is saying no while he is meaning yes, that family will separate because the two they don’t go together,” Laku advised.










danel male

Male Daniel

Male Daniel is a South Sudanese journalist working for The Junubi newspaper and website. Earlier he worked for Bakhita Radio as reporter and web editor. Daniel completed the South Sudan Media Forum training in 2012. He is interested in various topics ranging from politics and economics to religion, women empowerment and Peace. Daniel says he particularly likes reporting on life in rural South Sudan.


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