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International Women’s Day 2015: South Sudan

International Women’s Day 2015: South Sudan

Today we celebrate International Women’s Day. The women of South Sudan are calling for the end of division in their country and for all women of the world to work for peace:

Anglican Alliance reports that the women of South Sudan are speaking out for unity:

On International Women’s Day 2015, the women of South Sudan speak out:  “As the women of South Sudan, we abhor tribalism and the division it causes. We therefore call upon all the women of South Sudan from all walks of life to forge a common agenda for peace.”

In a statement on their website, the women of the Episcopal Church of Sudan & South Sudan (ECSSS) say:

The conflict in South Sudan broke out on 15th December 2013 when a political disagreement arose in the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM) party pitting the President, H.E. Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar. This came just 2 years after independence. The conflict turned violent, taking on tribal dimensions between the Dinka and Nuer ethnic groups.

Starting in Juba, the capital city, the fighting spread out to Jonglei, Upper Nile and Lake States and some parts of Warrap.

Since the war broke out a little over a year ago, an estimated 20,000 people have died while over 1.5 million people are internally displaced (UN OCHA Situation Report 26 February 2015). Those who have fled the country into the neighbouring Ethiopia, Kenya, Sudan and Uganda are at least 500,000 (UNHCR portal 4 March 2015)….

Owing to the far reaching effects of this conflict on women and children, as the women of South Sudan, we demand for:

  •       Respect for the ceasefire and an immediate cessation of hostilities
  •       A comprehensive peace agreement
  •       Facilitation of humanitarian assistance to reach all in need in all locations
  •       IGAD to remain neutral in the peace process
  •       The Government of South Sudan to allocate resources to humanitarian support for its internally displaced citizens

As the women of South Sudan, we abhor tribalism and the division it causes. We therefore call upon all the women of South Sudan from all walks of life to forge a common agenda for peace.

Our Tribe Is Women.

We extend this call for solidarity and support to our sisters in Africa and the world especially on this International Women’s Day 2015.

To the women of faith all around the world, we seek your prayer support.

The head of the Mothers’ Union speaks:

<iframe width=”450″ height=”253″ src=”https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZXmMzLCzzMI?rel=0&amp;controls=0&amp;showinfo=0″ frameborder=”0″ allowfullscreen></iframe>

posted by Ann Fontaine

Photo credit: Anglican Alliance

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Fr. Gregory Tipton

I was reading this article earlier:
http://www.theatlantic.com/international/archive/2012/09/the-dividing-of-a-continent-africas-separatist-problem/262171/

It’s the typical post-colonial, WWII drawing lines on maps has created strife in Africa article. These things are a dime a dozen but still true. And here’s where I’m troubled. We redrew lines that arbitrarily broke up whole cultures, whole Tribes into a mess.

And now we’ve had our hand dipped in so long we’ve convinced them of our superiority so much that we have habituated this woman who wants peace (ceasefire), and probably the Peace of Christ all the more so, to blame Tribalism. “We abhor Tribalism.” This is the mark of ultimate colonial victory. We’ve won by bridling their tongues. Lord have mercy upon us.

As St. James said, if you put a bit on the tongue, you control the whole creature. So we snaked our way not only into their land but also gave them a divided tongue. At once wanting to love themselves, their heritage, but habituated to hate their own heritage.

St. James also said, it is the unbridled Passions that lead to war and strife. But he doesn’t seem to mention Tribalism as a problem anywhere. But the American Gospel does go something like this, ‘If only those poor dumb bastards could be a democratic republic like us, then they’d be free.” But I can’t seem to find a condemnation of Tribalism as a Politic anywhere in the Tradition, and I’m having a hard time finding that American Gospel anywhere too. Odd.

I did find some Missionaries who became parts of Tribal Politics and eventually introduced The Eucharist but kept the politic. It baptized them without completely destroying them, plucked up a few things, planted a few things. Wouldn’t that be swell.

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