Just as Southern Sudan is on the cusp of becoming Africa’s newest nation, fighting has erupted again with the military forces of the north throwing the lives of those living in Abyei into chaos.
U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice held talks in the South Sudan capital Juba on May 24 and warned of the “grave humanitarian consequences” of the seizure of Abyei town, according to reports.
“Sudanese forces attacked Abyei town on Saturday [May 21] at around 8 p.m. The whole town was completely set on fire and approximately 20,000 people fled towards the bush and towns in Warrap state,” an unnamed local church leader said according to a report from Laura Payne of the Anglican Alliance on Development, Relief and Advocacy. “The situation on the ground is worsening. Displaced people and children are seriously affected living under trees in Agok. Civilians are down on streets and in bushes, no food, no shelter, no water and no medical assistance.”
The majority of people in the region – including children, the sick and elderly – are still living under trees, the church leader said. “People with communicable diseases are forced to sleep together with healthy people. We are now calling for urgent support for civilians, who are lying on the ground without medical attention, shelter, food and water. We are left no choice but to raise the voice of the voiceless for relief assistance.”
The article goes on to detail the ongoing advocacy work of Anglican Alliance and The Episcopal Church.
Local church leader calls for immediate support for civilians in Sudan – ACNS, by Laura Payne, Anglican Alliance