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An increasingly desperate situation in South Sudan

An increasingly desperate situation in South Sudan

The situation in South Sudan continues to deteriorate, according to this report rom Gurtong, a Norwegian and Swiss-funded information service aimed at “removing all ethnic, political or personal obstacles on the way to unity, peace and mutual respect among South Sudanese.”

Francis Apiliga Lagu writes:

UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navi Pillay has warned of an imminent catastrophe in South Sudan unless the political leaders and the international community exert more efforts to halt the internal armed conflict in the new nation.

Ms Pillay, who was on a two day visit to South Sudan, met both President Salva Kiir and Dr. Riek Machar, the leader of the SPLM/A in Opposition in a move to persuade the two leaders to tow the path of respect of human rights and ensure justice for all. …

“The murder of hundreds of people, many of them civilians in Bentiu and retaliatory assaults on displaced people sheltering in UN compound in Bor which led to death of at least 50 more men, women and children have starkly underlined how close South Sudan is to calamity,” Ms Pillay told the press in Juba Wednesday.

Pillay rebuked the use of hate speech which she said greatly contributes to retaliatory attacks. “The deadly mix of recrimination, hate speech and revenge killings that have developed relentlessly over the past four and half months, seems to be reaching a boiling point,” she said.

Richard Parkins, executive director of the Americans Friends of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan has written an addendum to the group’s weekly e-mail news blast (scroll down on this page) urging those in relationships with Sudanese churches to “resist the feeling that all is lost.”

We can let others know about what is happening in South Sudan, not as a way of adding to their list of failed nations, but as a means of rallying support for a robust diplomatic effort by the international community with the US taking the lead to push for a cessation of hostilities and a commitment to hold accountable those who continue to destroy with abandon the lives of thousands of innocent souls. We can enlarge the circle of advocates and prayer partners who seek a peaceful outcome to South Sudan’s current crisis.

This is also a time for those who have worked in various capacities in South Sudan, who have supported programs that believe that South Sudan has a promising future, to continue their efforts not only to accomplish the purpose for which they initially offered partnership but as expressions of hope in a country where many could write their own text for the book of Lamentations.

We are called to be faithful. Let us pray that our faith will not waver as we seek to be faithful to those whose faith has often been the mainstay of a suffering people who heroically survived years of unimaginable violence.

You can contribute right now to Episcopal Relief and Development’s work in South Sudan.

Areas affected by violence and with numbers of displaced persons below:

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