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Current news from South Sudan

The following is the latest report and current news from Salisbury Sudan Link and provided by Rev Jane Shaw, Communications Officer. It makes for difficult reading but we felt should be shared as an accurate picture of the situation.

Headline prayer – for the suffering caused by conflict:

There are reports this week that 45 people died of hunger in Terekeka State; 50 have died in Amadi state in the last month (but WFP have now re-started food distributions); 35 have died in Yambio of HIV/AIDS – they had no food so could not take anti-retroviral medicine; dozens have died in Bessalia and Baggari counties of Wau State, and the Catholic Diocese has urged the opening of a humanitarian access corridor.

The Head of USAID, visiting South Sudan, has urged the President to stop obstructing humanitarian access, and has stated that the US government is seriously reconsidering its policy towards his government. USAID  has provided $2.7 billion in humanitarian aid since December 2013. Pray for all  hungry people across the country, for the agencies struggling to provide for them – and to reach them; and for a genuine commitment by those in authority to help the starving and end the fighting.

Fighting continues:

Rebels are reported to be threatening the oil-fields in Unity state; and claim to have overrun a key military post in Central Equatoria near Morobo county. Another Amnesty report details more atrocities against women and men, committed by both sides, and describes intensified fighting in the last two weeks in Upper Nile, Bentiu, Unity State, Kajo Keji in Yei River State and Imatong near Nimule.The conclusion is that neither side is actually in control of the

The conclusion is that neither side is actually in control of the soldiers, and that further fragmentation of armed groups, often fighting for different reasons, now makes the 2015 peace agreement impossible to achieve. Yet political negotiations continue, to have Riek Machar freed from house arrest in South Africa, in the hope that it would revitalise the peace process. There has also been a crime surge in Juba, and in Yei, in which “unknown gunmen” (usually wearing SPLA uniforms) are the common subject.Pray for an end to the fighting, and for the establishment of the rule of law, and a working ceasefire.

Maridi:

Our Deanery has been visited this week by Lynn Treneary, CMS Mission Partner based in Maridi, and tonight she talked to an open meeting about her life and work there. She described a community in which all the usual amenities have broken down – no piped water, no electricity, virtually no fuel, very limited and weak internet access, inflation at 800%; in which hunger is the norm, with market foods unaffordable and people living on what they can grow themselves or sell; in which, weakened by hunger, they are vulnerable to many diseases, and medicines are extremely scarce.And yet the churches are full, the Mothers Union is caring for widows and orphans, evangelists are visiting every parish, and the Chaima Christian Institute (which we support) has had its biggest graduation ever. Pray for the people of Maridi: give thanks for their faith and their endurance, and pray for all who work to help the community…..and especially the staff and students at Chaima.

And yet the churches are full, the Mothers Union is caring for widows and orphans, evangelists are visiting every parish, and the Chaima Christian Institute (which we support) has had its biggest graduation ever. Pray for the people of Maridi: give thanks for their faith and their endurance, and pray for all who work to help the community…..and especially the staff and students at Chaima.

Sudan:

There is good news for Sudan: The UN has released $12 million for urgent humanitarian needs in Darfur, South Kordofan and Blue Nile (where the population is under constant attack from Government forces).  The UK is also providing $3.8 million for South Sudanese refugees in those parts of Sudan. And the US has given indications of its intention to lift sanctions on Sudan, imposed by President Obama in the face of Sudan’s appalling human rights record. But cholera (or “Acute Watery Diarrhoea”) is widespread, with 30,000 cases reported in the past year.Pray for those areas mentioned where the humanitarian needs are very acute – and for a change of heart at the Presidential level, to take responsibility for the welfare of all the country’s citizens.

Pray for those areas mentioned where the humanitarian needs are very acute – and for a change of heart at the Presidential level, to take responsibility for the welfare of all the country’s citizens.

Signs of hope:

240 South Sudanese students have been awarded scholarships to Chinese Universities – a welcome development given the dire shortage of opportunities for higher education in-country. And the Danish Minister of Development Cooperation has confirmed that his country is contributing about $30 million to humanitarian assistance. Give thanks for the faithfulness of external donors….but pray for the day when South Sudan can pay its own way. The situation is not helped by the discovery, by a Parliamentary Committee this week, that the revenues from the oil fields are not being deposited into the Central Bank.

Unsurprisingly, civil servants, police and other Government employees have not received a salary for several months. Pray for honest and transparent administration, and a proper use of what is virtually the only source of income for the country.

Training Army Chaplains:

The biggest sign of hope this week must be the initiative by Flame International, working with the Justice, Peace and Reconciliation Committee headed up by Bishop Samuel of Nzara and Revd Dr Joseph Bilal: A team of four trainers has travelled to Juba today, and from tomorrow until Saturday will begin a pilot project to train 50 army chaplains of the SPLA in moral guidance, leadership ethics and values, pastoral care and counselling including spiritual development and discipleship. he vision is to train 400 SPLA Chaplains in this way over 18

he vision is to train 400 SPLA Chaplains in this way over 18 months, so that the teaching can be taken back to the officers and soldiers in the army, and transform their mindset from conflict and violence to peace and peacefulness. Pray for Bishop Samuel and Dr Bilal as they try to secure funding for this; pray for the Holy Spirit to inspire the trainers and speak to the chaplains; and pray that the three SPLA factions, who are not in unity, would come together….a miracle is required here!

Tuesday 5th September 2017

 

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