Archbishop Daniel Deng visits Western Equatoria for the enthronement of the new Bishop of Ibba, Wilson Kamani
The Archbishop of the Sudan, the Most Revd Dr. Daniel Deng Bul, on the weekend was in Yambio on a tour of the Western Equatoria State ECS dioceses. On Sunday 14th September the Archbishop visited Ibba, to enthrone the new diocesan bishop, Bishop Wilson Kamani, who was elected the Second Bishop of Ibba in June this year. During the service in St. Barnabus’ Cathedral, Ibba, on Sunday morning, incoming Bishop Wilson told his priests and congregation the "the people" were his priority for the diocese, both spiritually and in terms of services. Though the Ibba area was hard hit by an attack of the Lords' Resistance Army (LRA) earlier this year, Bishop Wilson is well placed to serve both the ecclesiastical and developmental needs of his people, having been the General Manager of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan's Sudanese Development and Relief Agency (ECS/SUDRA) until his election as bishop. Please keep the Diocese of Ibba in your prayers.
Before stopping in Ibba between Friday 12th and Monday 15th, Archbishop Daniel passed through the ECS dioceses of Rokon, Lui, Mundri and Maridi, greeting the diocesan bishops and faithful as he went. The enthronement has been an opportunity for him to visit all the Western Equatorian dioceses bar one – Ezo – on the far western border with the Central African Republic.
In a service on Tuesday 16th September in Yambio Cathedral attended by the Governor of Western Equatoria State amongst other dignitaries, the Archbishop spoke passionately about the Church's role in building unity and peace in Southern Sudan – especially in the run up to next year's elections and the 2011 referendum on secession from the North, as well as in the wake of recent Zande-Dinka clashes over cattle grazing. The Archbishop reminded the assembled that God had put all the Southern Sudanese tribes together, so to reject this and fight amongst themselves not only played into the hands of those "enemies of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA)" both in the North and the South, but was also to go against God's wishes.
The Archbishop gave his promise to do everything he could to spread peace and unity in Southern Sudan, and told all the faithful gathered to do the same. "Pastors are not for one place, they are international" he said, adding "if the white people could come here and preach the Gospel, why can't we go to other bits of Southern Sudan and do the same? It is only through Jesus Christ that our people will truly be one". He closed by encouraging all church groups to stand up and lead Southern Sudan to peace and unity.
By Nicholas Ramsden, Yambio