Uganda: religious leaders in protest march over rebel killings

 Catholic Archbishop John Baptist Odama, Anglican Bishops Nelson Onono-Onweng and Baker Ochola, the Muslim Imam Isak Oto, and the Orthodox Fr Julius Orach, led a one thousand strong march in northern Uganda on Sunday, to protest at the killing of fourteen people by suspected LRA rebels. Carrying banners with the slogans: "Listen to God. Thou shalt not kill" and others asking for peace, the procession walked from the city of Gulu to the spot where the massacre had taken place. On arrival, prayers were offered at the bloodstained site. The hoe and the ropes that were used for killing were still there. Bishop Ochola appealed to those who had committed the crime: "If you don't want to listen to us, at least listen to God who orders not to kill". Archbishop Odama said: "These fourteen people who were killed are not only a loss for Acholi or for Uganda, but for the whole of humanity." For the last two and a half months, Odama has lead Acholi cultural and religious leaders in peace contacts between the LRA rebels and the government of Uganda. He said: "I am appealing to our government and to the people of the LRA, who are also part of us: sit down and talk. It is possible. Words cannot kill. I must say this because if I am not the voice of the people, God will ask me. The lives of these people must be the last to be lost in Uganda". The Christian, Moslem and Orthodox leaders in Uganda are planning a series of public peace prayers for the month of October to demand an end to the killings and appeal to both parties to begin peace talks. source: MISNA

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