Letter to Secretary of State Blinken Regarding Conflict in South Sudan, April 19, 2024

Year Published
  • 2024
  • English

April 19, 2024
The Honorable Antony J. Blinken
Secretary of State
United States Department of State
2201 C Street., NW
Washington, DC 20520
-transmitted via email-

Dear Secretary Blinken:

As Chairman of the Committee on International Justice and Peace, I write to support the concerns of my brother bishops in South Sudan and those of the wider Christian community represented in the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) as expressed in their respective Easter messages that I have attached herewith for your convenience.

His Eminence Stephen Cardinal Mulla deplores the widespread suffering in South Sudan caused by the unending violence and the economic collapse. He calls on all political parties to embrace the cause of peace and engage in constructive dialogue to resolve their differences to promote the common good and build a future of peace and prosperity.

The Christian Community united in the SSCC goes further to call on political leaders to implement the clauses of the Revitalized Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan (R-ARCSS). They are seen as essential prerequisites for free, fair, and credible elections scheduled for December this year. They urge political party leaders to enter sincere dialogue and offer the auspices and credibility of the SSCC to mediate these talks.

The heads of the member churches of the SSCC call on their international partners to help the people of South Sudan mediate these dialogue sessions. The SSCC leaders have no illusions about how difficult this challenge will be, and they will need skilled and experienced expertise to engage in a meaningful and lasting way. Similar to “Simon of Cyrene” who helped Jesus carry his cross, I know the people of South Sudan can count on the United States Government to help the SSCC carry this cross.

Staff of our Office on International Justice and Peace have met at length with SSCC leaders and with Ambassador Michael Adler and his key staff. SSCC leaders greatly appreciate his outreach and collaboration with them. We are grateful for his sustained and effective support to the SSCC members. I join the heads of Churches and hope you will provide Ambassador Adler the support and resources he needs to assist the SSCC in their efforts to build a peaceful and prosperous South Sudan.

If the Comprehensive Peace Agreement was a promissory note for independence that with intensive American support was paid in full in July 2011, the R-ARCSS is a second promissory note to realize the aspirations for democracy and peace. I urge you to do everything in your power to assist the formidable role the SSCC can and should play in bringing these promises to pass.

Our Office of International Justice and Peace staff and I stand ready to assist you in this critical pursuit.

Sincerely yours,

(The Most Reverend) A. Elias Zaidan
Bishop of Maronite Eparchy of Our Lady of Lebanon
Chairman, Committee on International Justice and Peace

cc: Ambassador Michael Adler


Letter to Secretary of State Blinken Regarding Conflict in South Sudan, April 19, 2024.pdf
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