South Sudan top Catholic Bishop Santo Laku, accuses leaders of carelessness causing war and suffering


A top Roman Catholic bishop in South Sudan has decried the cause of war in the country, asserting that carelessness brings curse and suffering to the people. Santo Laku, auxiliary bishop of the Roman Catholic archdiocese of Juba told Christians during a homily after nearly a month of being out of church service that it was time for the leaders to stop spreading lies that there is peace in the country and that people are not suffering.

“There is no need to tell lies. Lies do not serve us. They do not help us. This country is getting down. We need to get up and stand strong and say God help us to carve a new way, rather than denying the suffering of the people.”

He continued: “We cannot deny the suffering of these people. How many young men and women are in prison today uncharged? People are locked in containers uncharged. This country can only be built on justice. When somebody commits anything, he should be brought in front of the law, according to the constitution, although our constitution is also sick with Malaria.”

His remarks come just days after South Sudan first Vice President, Taban Deng, addressed the general assembly of the United Nations at which he opposed deployment of the regional protection forces, claiming the country was peaceful and was only in need of humanitarian assistance instead of peacekeepers.

The outspoken bishop called on South Sudanese to share the blessing of the country rather than stealing the money for personal benefit.

He said the Lord called the people to share the blessing bestowed on humanity and leaders should uphold to the commandment of God giving the blessing for charity.

“Social charity is a direct demand of humans and Christian brotherhood and sisterhood. Human and Christian Brotherhood existed long time. God is demanding all from Human beings social Justice. Today there is wide spread disregard for the law of human solidarity and charity as we can see dictated by our common origin in the rationale nature of human beings. There is something very important in our life that makes us human,” he explained.

He said people of South Sudan like the people of Israel at the time of prophet Amos lack moral and religious responsibility causing death and displacement of thousands of residents all over the country.

“We were bestowed with a lot of resources when we came in 2005; we voted for independence, we had oil, resources which other countries do not have. What happened with these resources, many people are poor today or rich? Where is the oil money? Who has taken them? What is the money used for? If I ask these questions they say the bishop is talking politics.”

The bishop pointed that South Sudanese are suffering and fighting is ongoing due to what he called the carelessness of the country’s leadership.

“Carelessness brings a curse and brings suffering. The suffering of our country today is because of the carelessness of the leaders. Whether the leaders of the church or the leaders of the country, we have been careless and because of this carelessness now there is suffering.”

The religious leader said South Sudan only measured its progress by personal economic prosperity and forgot the moral prosperity which he said is weak, causing unnecessary ongoing evil in the new nation.

“True health of the society cannot be measured merely by economic prosperity. We have seen it already. It must be assessed by the moral performance of the community of the nation. Our prosperity of having the oil was not enough. Our moral responsibility has been weak,” he pointed out.

“That is why we are able to rape women and children. We rape them our sisters, South Sudanese. This is a poor moral responsibility that we lost. We are able to kill our own brothers and sisters. Why?” he asked.

“Because of oil, because of money, because of resources. Who gave us those resources, God. We start dividing ourselves into ethnic lines, political lines and we start destroying our nation.”

He said justice in all forms is essential for a proper functioning of a society. “If there is no justice in a society, in a community, then there is no social harmony. No peace. Why we are fighting today, why there is war in the country today because there is injustice and this has to be ‘injustice in capital letters.’

The perpetrators of social injustice in South Sudan, he explained, confuse their time by hypocritical religious acts such as by attending religious functions so that the public looks at them as holy.

“Those who perpetrate injustice they always come to church. They sit in front line. They ask for choirs to go and sing in their family. They move with the bible, with the cross and you think they are men of God, ‘Welle!’ No!”

He said in South Sudan there is at highest level ongoing corruption, embezzlement, injustices, oppression of the poor, flight of the capital including the Bank reserves. This, he said, accounts for the country’s instability.

“If the rich get richer at the expense of the poor who continue to sink into abject poverty and the poorest person in the world is found in South Sudan and one of the richest is found in South Sudan. How did this man become so rich and another become so poor that even and his grass house is torched.”

“Somebody has a Mansion, a building that is of multi-million dollars in South Sudan and a South Sudanese who has only a tukul, the tukul soldiers are sent to burn that tukul. So what kind of country is this? What is happening? The poor is even made poorer. He is deprived even of a grass house. The elite prosper educationally. They educate their family members at the expense of the nation. They build Mansions with stolen money. They pay unjust wages and continue the exploitation of the poor on day-to-day basis.”

He said people are paid low wages that do not even feed a single family member at the current market prices for a month. The economy, he said, is made to suit the interest of the rich who have houses all over in the world, saying those who remain in power leaving their population suffering in poverty should be condemned. He said some church leaders in South Sudan are afraid to tell the country leaders they are wrong but rather go to the palace to bless them.

“How many of our preachers today went to those palaces and blessed those corrupt leaders? How many of them? You become afraid to tell them that they’re wrong,” he said.

“Our people are dying, our people are suffering, there is no peace in the country, there is no freedom of speech, there is no freedom of movement, there is insecurity, Gali (that) we are in peace, the religious leaders saying that isn’t you, is it true that we are in peace?”

“And yet this religious leader cannot go to Yei by himself. In our country today the song of peace has been sung but the injustices have not been addressed. You cannot sing the song of peace without addressing the injustices caused on the people. How can you burn my tukul and you ask me to be peaceful and you do not allow me to go and cut the grass to build another tukul. How?”

“You burn the tukul, you send me away, but give me an opportunity to go and collect the grass so that I build another tukul. But if I am not allowed to go and collect the grass yet my tukul is gone and I am told to be peaceful, even a mad man cannot accept this.”

In South Sudan people fear to keep silent when told to say Oyeee (SPLM slogan) just to protect their jobs.

Bishop Laku welcomed The Sentry report and said it is a shame to be millionaire among the poor.

“If you are a thief, there are people who are more thieves like you. So the mujiremin (thieves) of the world are now looking for the stolen money of South Sudan. I hope my name will not be among those ones. If your name is among those ones be careful. The money is being looked after, is being looked for now.”

“Is it not a shame somebody is a millionaire in South Sudan and there is a young boy, a young girl in the streets looking for one pound and cannot find it and nobody can give to that boy, to that girl that one pound. I want to be rich. I need to have houses everywhere. My children should be the only ones to go to school. The rest of the children, let them go to hell. No,” the bishop said.

The Holy Bishop Santo Laku asked South Sudanese to be merciful to each other as the only way to enjoy the country and to reduce quarrels among the communities.

south sudan top religious leader says carelessness cause war”


  1. Tyson says:

    Continue to speak out against these rogues and their evil acts. Prophet Amos was courageous to points out bad actions among the Jews. There is nothing to hide from these wolves. I am also happy that you did not hide the hypocrite reverends who go to J1 to bless that palace which is endowed with sins. Let their blessings turn into a curse for the children of God are suffering every day at the hands of Lucifers.

  2. paulino l.p. says:

    Truth is always paindful to be accepted by the people.

  3. johnjerry says:

    Bishop Santo Laku, You have spoken the truth,nothing but the truth.It was church leaders like you who started to see the problem of the then Southern Sudan under the rule of the Arabs.Rev. Satunino Ohure and Father Leopoldo Anywar both were killed in the line of duty for the struggle during the Southern Sudan liberation Movement(SSLM) with Anya-Nya as its military wing untill Addis-Ababa agreement in 1972 which gave the South an Autonomy under the High Excutive Council which was headed by Abel Alier, Things started to go bad as some ethnic tribes started calling themselves ” born to rule” all the jobs was hijacked by the same people that resulted to the famous (KOKORA) and now again same people with yet another word that they are the “Liberators”. Which ethnic tribe did not take part in the liberation movement from 1955-2011.
    We have suffered enough under our own people and brothers than under the Arabs and a lot of people are now beginning to ask question like “why did we separate with the North in the first place?” Brothers change your ways and follow the law of the land and be a God fearing leaders and lead by example.During Abel Alier time it was the chief of Police Ruben mac who was the problem and now during Salva Kiir time it is the chief of Staff of the Army[Paul Malong] who is the problem. Why on Earth is it that it is the same people doing the same thing over and over without fear and shame. God Bless south Sudan.Could we hand over the government to the clergymen who started the liberation struggle in the first place.

    • info@southsudannation says:

      Excellent comment and you raised an important point, that’s the leadership of the nation in Juba should be handed over to a clergy or a pious bishop like Santo.

      However, and rather unfortunate, there are many bogus clergy these days in Juba masquerading as holy men and leaders. Probably the bred of those of Bishop Santo are a rare and exceptional breed of South Sudanese leaders who are serious to challenge head on the rotten SPLM leadership in the country.

      However, I beg to digress with His Lordship, Bishop Santo (and Archbishop Lukudu) specifically on a pertinent point raised by Bishop Santo himself, when he said, “Those who perpetrate injustice they always come to church. They sit in front line.”

      Of course, those people who sit in the front line at St. Theresa Cathedral, Kator, are none other than president Salva Kiir and vice Wani Igga and some ministers and governors. Those expensive sofa chairs in the church are an aberration, they are not for the church and I have personally seen better leaders go to churches and sit on the normal seats like everyone else in their churches. Kiir and his band of rapists, thieves and murderers don’t deserve a special luxury in the church when they’ve already looted billions of the nation’s dollars.

      So, Johnjerry and everyone else, let’s send a strong message urgently to Bishop Santo that those sofa chairs, which are an eye-sore and an aberration in Kator, must be removed and replaced with normal chairs that are available to everyone that comes to pray. After all, now every South Sudanese has learned that these ‘leaders’ are the very thieves of the nation and Hell is ‘hotly” awaiting to burn their ‘soul-less’ souls.


  4. Nikalongo says:

    Fellow Citizens,
    Bishop Santo is absolutely right. He is a true Pastor and not the careless types we often encounter on the diaspora fora. But who is listening? Political differences must not be allowed to surpass human civility. As it is now, the regime in Juba and the armed opposition in Pagak/Khartoum are all preparing to pour more arms and men in the battlefield. They brainwash their innocent tribesmen, clansmen and ignorant supporters into believing that they are fighting for the prosperity and well-being of the people of South Sudan. What a lie. The diaspora fora are packed with false information designed to cause distress and generate emotions. The malicious voices calling for violence today as a solution to the political impasse were largely silent when Rebel Leader Riek, Rebel Leader Taban Deng, President Kiir,…….etc were busy looting the country clean. People who value the well-being of their people do not run around like idiots pillaging, raping, burning, displacing and turning villages and settlements into open graveyards. The IG and IO leaderships, their generals and their propaganda mouthpieces are a product from hell. It is time our people understood them for what they are; thieves and murderers.
    The time to withdraw support from the Warmongers in Juba and Pagak is now and not tomorrow. Kiir and Riek neither respect what your life is worth nor the value of your citizenry. Each time the thieves and killers disagree, they take their frustrations on our rural communities. Why? Our citizens must refuse to be made into sacrificial lambs in the services of UN certified criminals masquerading as defenders of democracy or the constitutional order. No citizen should allow themselves, their communities and friends be used to fight for or defend injustices. You see, while the forces of evil and death (Kiir, Taban and Riek), are busy displacing our people to deplorable conditions in refugee camps in Uganda, Ethiopia,..etc and UNMISS, their wives, children and relatives lives in luxury homes in cities across Europe, Australia, Africa and the Americas. Our choice to withhold support for President Kiir, Rebel Leader Riek and indeed all other Warmongers is crucial for peace to prevail. We extinguish fire by denying the fuel on which it feeds. The ball is in your court.

  5. Akic Adwok says:

    Bishop Santo Laku, was right just look at Sentry reports, this so called Salva Kiir and Dr Riek, for almost ten years they put a country in miserable situation. Friends, look at South Sudan, with a massive resources and human capital at home and abroad would have been developed up, if both of them were not there and I know that vision-less leaders would like to become rich and exclude others, and properly s/he will say I have nothing to lose if I don’t improve situation in my country, as long as my family, tribe and friends are fine, but the visionary leaders would rather to be poor and even die poor than richest themselves with public money. In short we been ruled by destructive and bugs for too long but it’s not too late, but my question to you is that how long do you want to be ruled by this insect tribalism regime in Juba, or do you think that peace deal will go ahead with this sinful regime in Juba, and I think you might agree with me that our country is in the Somalia stage and I knew in the past that south Sudan will be in bad situation soon after independent, because the above leaders were busy to protect their tribe men/women and richest themselves with public money and theirs thieve comrades leaders from other tribes in the same party so called SPLM, are tails and scared to be killed by their insects comrades. and now it’s a time now to take a power from destructive insect regime by force or peaceful and don’t waste your time to talk with them, peace is dead and the only languages they will listen is a guns, just join us in opposition, to overtake regime and to make our country better place for everybody, or choose to be slave with this tribalism regime in Juba. and i believe that victory is only for survival, just take your time and read my article in 2013. Here is the link,…/we-will-never-ameliorate-under-the-splm-author...

  6. To: Chief Editor Dr.Peter Wankomo

    I disagree with your comment when saying the sofas in the church,must be removed! You became envy for churches things! It is the fundamental right of the churches to purchases any kind of funiture of their own choosing in the churches.It has nothing to do with those of President Salva,James Wani Igga and his associates as well in general! The churches have the right to provide good sitting to the important senior government officials in the country! They are providing the respect!That will be up to the churches rules and policies of the churches allow to sit in good chairs or not!

    I am very sorry indeed! The country in the South Sudan is running backward unstoppably!!!!!!!!!!!


    • info@southsudannation says:

      Chief Abiko,
      For your information, those sofa seats were allegedly ‘donated’ by Kiir’s government itself to the church, ostensibly for their own comfort.

  7. Dear: Chief Editor of South Sudan Nation Dr.Peter Wankomo

    Good indeed! If he himself by himself,President Salva Kirr,had donated sofas seats in the church,he was not donated them simply because of his comfort in the church.The sofas seats,they are not belonged for him anymore,They are belong for the churches people.They the church people,they are the very one to decide whether to sit the worshipers with ordinary folks like Eli Wani,and his crony John Jerry and dignitaries!.That are churches affairs! Thank you. Jealousy is as good as dangerous!


  8. BILL KUCH says:

    Stop pretending as a man of God when you don’t have it in you. If you don’t feel safe then you are free to go where you always feel safe. You tell Jesus to come instead of 4000 human being soldiers because they will not bring peace. Also, shooting people on routes will never bring peace either. I am glad you guys joint Upper culture of violent by bringing it to your backyard. I hope Dinka would not wait long enough to take on you.

  9. Chief Abiko! says:

    TO: Bill Kuch

    Do not attack bishop like that! Show him a good respect! If he is telling Jesus to come,well,he is not telling you to come!

    You know,to talk about Jesus matter now,no clear winner will be found! There people in the world,they do not believe in Jesus at all! There are ones,who have a strong believe in Jesus!

    Now,I want to tell our people in the South Sudan in both government and rebels in the bush.Stop killing people base on ethnicities! We are all one people in the nation.Politicians should tell people in the communities to make peace.But without hatred against each other in tribesma from within! It will wedge the country further beyond repair!


  10. It is a pity that the Catholic Bishop, Santo Laku, has to speak out either on his behalf or on behalf of the Church as people feel muzzled because, most probably,of security concerns and fears. People may be picked up for complaining or expressing an opinion as this may not be respected. South Sudanese may be asking themselves what is the problem? However, the answer may only remain in their heads with tied lips.

    Outrageous greed for power and insensitivity have polarised South Siudanese into the powerful and powerless. Insensitivity is widening the gap. The most likely outcome of this scenario is violent disintegration of the country as rebellions gather momentum. It is common knowledge that those obsessed with power will never give up whatsoever the case and this may explain why any agreement to resolve the conflict will not be implemented without enormous pressure. What is happening seems to suggest that South Sudanese are not nationalists but instinctively tribalists and so polarised. Under such circumstances the talk of unity is hollow and deceptive.

    South Sudanese are of one destiny but they are not one people. Being of one destiny they fought the Arabs and won independence because all were under oppression and marginalisation. Being not one people South Sudanese resorted to ethnically based allegiances hence this is what we are witnessing in front of our very eyes now in independent South Sudan.. Did South Sudanese have anything beyond winning independence? This is an open question. However, I would say the plan was a crude ethnic hegemony over others. Did the British and the Arabs behave like that? Of course the British and the Arabs were more enlightened and wiser.

    What is the way forward? The way forward is “A Three States Solution to South Sudan Conflict”. This may sound like :Kokora” for those who are paranoid about Kokora. Unity of South Sudan will be realised through mutual agreements among independent and sovereign states of Bahr El Ghazal, Equatoria and Upper Nile. This will bring a lasting peace in the region and people will enjoy peace and development unseen of in their history. The alternative is underdevelopment and violent disintegration because of predatory behaviour.

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