Paride Taban

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His Excellency

Paride Taban
Bishop Emeritus of Torit
Appointed2 July 1983
Term ended7 February 2004
SuccessorAkio Johnson Mutek
Ordination24 May 1964
Consecration4 May 1980
by Pope John Paul II
Personal details
Born(1936-05-24)24 May 1936
Died1 November 2023(2023-11-01) (aged 87)
Nairobi, Kenya
Previous post(s)Auxiliary Bishop of Juba and Titular Bishop of Tadamata (1980–1983)

Paride Taban (24 May 1936[1][2] – 1 November 2023) was a South Sudanese prelate of the Catholic Church and was the first leader of the Sudan Council of Churches,[3] which was founded in February 1990.[4] He was Auxiliary Bishop of Juba from 28 January 1980 to 2 July 1983 and served as Bishop of Torit from 1983 to 2004.[5]


Paride Taban was born in 1936.[6] He was ordained on 24 May 1964 and consecrated a Bishop on 4 May 1980 in Kinshasa by Pope John Paul II.[7] He was auxiliary bishop of the Archdiocese of Juba and the titular bishop of Tadamata from 1980 to 1983.[7]

Taban was the first bishop of the Roman Catholic Diocese of Torit in what was then Sudan from 1983 until 2004.[3] In 1989, when the rebel Sudan People's Liberation Army (SPLA) overtook Torit, he was arrested with three other Catholic priests by the SPLA.[8] Until 1990 he and Nathanael Garang were the only two Bishops active in areas held by the SPLA.[9] After his retirement from the diocese, he led an effort to make peace in South Sudan real by setting up the Kuron Peace Village, established in 2005.[3]

Taban was sent to Rwanda in the aftermath of the 1994 genocide for reconciliation efforts.[10]

Bishop Paride received numerous awards including the Sergio Vieira de Mello Peace Prize awarded by UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon in 2013 for his work at the Holy Trinity Peace Village in Kuron [11] and the Hubert Walter Award for Reconciliation and Interfaith Cooperation awarded by the Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby in 2017[12] for co-founding the ecumenical New Sudan Council of Churches, building Kuron Peace Village, and chairing the mediation initiative between the Government of South Sudan and COBRA Faction of the South Sudan Democratic Movement/Army led by David Yau Yau, which produced a successful peace agreement on 6 January 2014.[13]

In December 2016, Taban was appointed by the President Salva Kiir Mayardit as a co-chair of the steering committee of National Dialogue.[14] Taban had witnessed the suffering of South Sudanese since he was young and he was not happy to see south South Sudanese suffering at the hands of their fellow southerners.[15]

Taban died on 1 November 2023, at the age of 87.[16]


In September 2017, Taban received the peace award of the United Religious Initiatives for Africa.[17]

In May 2018 Taban received the Four Freedoms Award, freedom of Worship medal from the Roosevelt Foundation for his life-long and selfless dedication to the cause of bringing freedom and peace to the people of South Sudan.[18]

On 9 November 2023, Taban posthumously received the Opus Prize for his lifelong dedication to the Kuron Peace Village. The award was accepted by Dr. Margaret Itto, deputy Chair of the Board for Holy Trinity Peace Village Kuron.[19]


  1. ^ In Memoriam Bishop Paride Taban
  2. ^ kn-magasin-032014-web.pdf
  3. ^ a b c "College of St. Benedicts/St. John's University Peace Studies Department biography". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007.
  4. ^ Rolandsen, Øystein (2005). Guerrilla Government: Political Changes in the Southern Sudan During the 1990s. Nordiska Afrikainstitutet. p. 75.
  5. ^ "Diocese of Torit South Sudan South Sudan". Retrieved 22 January 2018.
  6. ^ "Bishop Paride Taban". The Hierarchy of the Catholic Church. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  7. ^ a b "Bishop Paride Taban". David M. Cheney. Retrieved 21 January 2015.
  8. ^ Rone, Jemera (1994). Civilian Devastation: Abuses by All Parties in the War in Southern Sudan. Human Rights Watch. pp. 126–127.
  9. ^ We Have Lived Too Long to Be Deceived - South Sudanese discuss the lessons of historic peace agreements. London/Nairobi: Rift Valley Institute (RVI). 2015. p. 32. ISBN 978-1-907431-39-5.
  10. ^ Anderson, Mark (6 August 2015). "South Sudan: the bishop who brings home lessons of unity and peace". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  11. ^ UN Statement for Sergio DeMello Peace Prize
  12. ^ "Archbishop of Canterbury's Awards ceremony held at Lambeth Palace". The Archbishop of Canterbury. 13 June 2017. Retrieved 13 January 2023.
  13. ^ Simon Wudu, Waakhe (27 September 2016). "Militant Faction Vows Again to Fight S. Sudan Government". VOA news. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  14. ^ "South Sudanese president's call for national dialogue unlikely to end fighting as conflict spreads nationwide". IHS Jane's. 20 December 2016. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  15. ^ "Bishop Paride Taban speaks". 6 March 2017. Retrieved 20 December 2017.
  16. ^ Pioneer Catholic Bishop of South Sudan’s Torit Diocese Dies on All Saints Day at 87
  17. ^ "South Sudan Bishop Paride Taban Recieves [sic] Peace Award". Mill Hill Missionaries. 23 September 2017. Retrieved 13 December 2017.
  18. ^
  19. ^ "Bishop Paride Taban Named 2023 Opus Prize Laureate | Villanova University". Retrieved 10 November 2023.


Eisman, Alberto J. (2011). Peace deserves a chance : Bishop Paride Taban, a Sudanese shepherd. Nairobi, Kenya: Paulines Publications Africa, 2011. ISBN 9789966086297.

External links[edit]

Catholic Church titles
Preceded by
Bishop of Torit
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Auxiliary Bishop of Juba
Succeeded by
Preceded by Titular Bishop of Tadamata
Succeeded by