Category : –South Sudan
My dear Christians and all citizens of South Sudan, peace be with you.
Easter celebration this year should be to us the celebration of hope for lasting peace in our beloved country South Sudan. Easter is about a start of a new life after death.
On the first day of resurrection, the word of peace was the first gift of the risen Lord to His discouraged and fearful disciples. He said to them: “peace be with you”. And to Mary, who was worried and crying, He asked: “Woman, why are you crying?”
Indeed, as South Sudanese, we find ourselves in the same situations of worries and crying as Mary did due to the prolonged suffering caused to us by the senseless war in our Country.
But the good news is that, at Easter all our tears and fears are turned to joy and hope for peace.
— Anglican Communion News Service (@AnglicanNews) April 18, 2019
It was moving to watch Pope Francis kiss the feet (or, to be absolutely accurate, the shoes) of the warring leaders of South Sudan last week. In human terms, it was particularly touching because the Pope is an old man, so his physical effort added to the gesture of humility.
As it happens, I met one of those leaders, Riek Machar, when I visited South Sudan a few years ago. Despite holding a PhD in “Philosophy and Strategic Planning” from the University of Bradford, he is something of a rough diamond. I would not have risked kissing his feet myself. But that, of course, is only the more reason for Pope Francis to have done so: great sinners have great need.
The story of South Sudan shows how much divine help is required. At the time I met Dr Machar, his country had just emerged from many years of tyranny under the government of North Sudan – whose appalling ruler, Omar al-Bashir, was finally removed in a coup last week after 30 years of wrongdoing. South Sudan thus became a place enjoying new freedom.
That feeling came partly from the fact that it is mainly Christian: the Khartoum government which oppressed it had once harboured Osama bin Laden. It was run by extreme Islamists who persecuted Christians. So when the leaders of this new Christian country later turned on one another and began killing, this represented spiritual as well as political failure.
Pope Francis kissed the feet of South Sudan’s political leaders to conclude an #ecumenical spiritual retreat co-led by the Archbishop of Canterbury.#AnglicanNews #Anglican #Anglicanshttps://t.co/V6C57cBCXV
— Anglican Communion News Service (@AnglicanNews) April 12, 2019
The Archbishop of South Sudan, Justin Badi Arama, is calling on Christians in the country to take part in a peace march and prayer service on New Year’s Eve. Archbishop Justin’s vision is for 10,000 Christians to take part in the march, which will set off from Buluk Field in Juba at 9.00 am EAT (6.00 am GMT) on 31 December. They will take part in a mile-long march to All Saint’s Cathedral, where a prayer service will be held, “asking God for real peace in our nation in 2019.”
There is renewed hope for peace in South Sudan since the warring parties signed a peace agreement in Khartoum at the end of August. But many Anglicans remain in exile in neighbouring countries – many of them in Uganda. Archbishop Justin has played a significant role in the peace negotiations and is working to ensure that “peace on paper becomes peace on the ground”.
The Episcopal Church of South Sudan facilitated the inter-communities Peace Conference between Jubek and Terkeka states, , which successfully concluded this week. “I urge all the South Sudanese communities to embrace the same spirit so that we live in harmony”, Archbishop Justin said afterwards. Last month, the Archbishop met with President Salva Kiir to pray for peace….
— Anglican Communion News Service (@AnglicanNews) December 21, 2018
Sunday the 22nd of April, 2018 was a joyous day in the south Sudanese capital of Juba, as thousands of Christians gathered at All Saints Cathedral to witness the enthronement of the fifth archbishop and primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan.
The Rt Rev Justin Badi Arama, who was previously the Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of Maridi in the western part of the country, won the election after a tight victory over the Rt. Rev. Abraham Yel Bishop of Aweil, a diocese in the northern part of the country. Bishop Justin won the election on 20 Jan 2018 by only a vote over his challenger and was pronounced the fifth archbishop of the province.
The Rt Rev Tim Thornton, Bishop of Lambeth, represented the Archbishop of Canterbury at the enthronement, noting Archbishop Welby regretted he was not able to attend due to the Commonwealth heads of government meeting in London. Bishop Thornton read out a letter written by the Archbishop of Canterbury to the new archbishop expressing have his greetings to the people of south Sudan. Archbishop Welby wrote that though he was not present at the occasion of the enthronement he will be coming with Pope Francis to South Sudan once they have fix a date for their joint visit. He have assured the people of South Sudan that Christians worldwide were praying for South Sudan so that they may see peace once again.
The six-hour service included a sermon on the topic of forgiveness by the Rt Rev Dr Josiah Atkins Idowu secretary general of the Anglican Consultative Council. He started by encouraging South Sudanese to love themselves regardless of tribes, saying “I came from a country where there are more than 250 tribes. Tribalism cannot take you ahead “and for you to realise peace it must start from you to love each other dearly.
He further said “this constant division on basis of tribes and in the church must not take our hearts out of the love of Christ. The constant disagreement in the present church on the issue of women’s ordination or baptism (sprinkling water or immersion) should not be issues that Christians should break fellowship. Our unity is not about women’s ordination or any other doctrine but our unity remains in Jesus Christ and we must all be united in the name of Jesus whether you are from the tribe of Dinka, Nuer, Azande or Bari. We are all one in Jesus.”
World Council of Churchs calls for a day of prayer and fasting for peace in South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo on Feb 23
In the DRC, 4.3 million people are displaced throughout the country and 13.1 million people will be in need of humanitarian assistance throughout the country this year.
In South Sudan, 2 million people have fled the young nation as refugees and about 1.9 million people are internally displaced, over the past four years of conflict – with 7 million people inside the country – this is almost two-thirds of the remaining population – still in need of humanitarian assistance.
Read it all and note the resources at the bottom of the page.
The Anglican Bishop of Aweil Diocese applauds the recent election of Justin Badi Arama as primate of South Sudan
Speaking to Radio Tamazuj on Monday, Bishop Yel said he accepted the results of what he termed as a tight race in which he lost by one vote to preserve unity and strengthen harmony within the Anglican Church and the whole country.
“The election was conducted in a harmonious atmosphere although there were election fevers during campaign but at the end of the day Bishop Badi was declared the successful candidate. He won by 1 vote. He got 80 votes and I got 79 votes. Immediately after the announcement was made, I stood up and congratulated him. I did it so to preserve the unity of the church and to strengthen harmony of our believers and the faithful,” he said.
Dr Williams is chair of Christian Aid and called for support for its Christmas appeal as he said, ‘life doesn’t have to be like this. We can build a world with deeper justice, greater fairness, greater security for all.’
He said: ‘One of the most serious forms of powerlessness that anyone can experience is, of course, hunger. Take a country like South Sudan: after years of merciless and bloody civil war, food security has become a major question in South Sudan. This year, a famine was declared. Countless young people faced starvation. It’s not the only place in Africa, or indeed throughout the world, where this is a problem. Places like Burkina Faso are facing some of the same challenges.
‘But South Sudan is particularly vivid in my own memory: I visited there a couple of times in the last 10 years. I’ve seen what life is like in the refugee camps. I’ve seen the feeding programmes, combined with educational programmes, that many local churches and charities take up. The challenge is enormous, and it’s one that we are determined to face this Christmas, and to respond to. A gift of £10 will feed a family in South Sudan for a week. A gift of £40, for a month.’
Pope Francis met on Friday with the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, together with the new director of Rome’s Anglican Centre, Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi of Burundi. Following their half hour encounter in the Apostolic Palace, the two Anglican archbishops and their wives joined the pope for lunch in his Santa Marta residence to continue the conversation.
On Thursday, the Anglican leader presided at Vespers at Rome’s Caravita church for the installation of Archbishop Bernard Ntahoturi as his official representative to the Holy See. The Vatican’s foreign minister, Archbishop Paul Gallagher, who previously served as nuncio in Burundi, preached the homily, stressing that ecumenical engagement is a moral imperative for all Christians.
Philippa Hitchen caught up with Archbishop Welby at the end of his brief visit to Rome to find out more about his meeting with the pope and their plans for a joint visit to war-torn South Sudan…
Maridi Town and the surrounding countryside within a 2–mile radius are currently relatively safe but the area and the church face enormous problems:
Insecurity, as government and rebel forces engage in violent skirmishes;
Stretched resources. Since fighting began, 12–14 thousand displaced people have descended on the area – Bishop Justin’s home in the cathedral compound is full of refugees. many of those who were successfully cultivating food outside the town cannot return to their fields and hunger is rife.
Travel by vehicle is almost impossible. Sporadic and unpredictable violence and the scarcity and high cost of fuel mean most have to walk or travel by bicycle. Some estimates put inflation at 800%;
For many of the displaced children, education has ceased.
As you can imagine, ministry is both difficult and dangerous. Bishop Tandema of neighbouring Olo Diocese recently had to abandon his sermon as gunfire erupted and he and his congregation had to flee for their lives.
— Kendall Harmon (@KendallHarmon6) October 25, 2017
More than a million people have fled South Sudan for Uganda. 📻https://t.co/zH5EMMVQWu
— BBC World Service (@bbcworldservice) August 18, 2017
Uganda is now hosting more than one million refugees who have fled civil war in neighbouring South Sudan, according to the United Nations. The conflict in the world’s newest country has created Africa’s biggest refugee crisis in more than twenty years, and women and children represent 85% of those who’ve crossed the border. BBC reporter Catherine Byaruhanga tells BBC Minute about Uganda’s unique system for welcoming refugees.
Listen to it all (60 seconds).
The first Anglican university in South Sudan will be a place in which the next generation escapes warring factions and prepares to build a peaceful nation, the theologian who chairs the project said this week.
Dr Eeva John, director of pastoral studies at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, chairs the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan University Partnership, a charity that is working with the Episcopal Church in South Sudan to open a multi-campus university within the next two years.
YAMBIO, South Sudan — Simon Burete was weeding his peanut field a few weeks ago when he saw smoke coming from his house. He ran as fast as he could.
He and his wife, Angelina, had enjoyed years of peace, he farming the fields, she selling the produce in the market. They were poor but welded to each other. Just that morning, they had talked about walking into town to buy their first mobile phones.
But as Mr. Burete made it back to the house, out of breath, red dirt still stuck to his knees, he couldn’t believe his eyes. His wife was lying on the floor, burned to death in a rampage by government forces.
“I used to call her akara-ngba,” he said, which means in the Zande language “the last word on beauty.”
It takes a lot to declare a famine.
If a population can’t find enough food it’s not strictly a famine. Nor is it famine if one third of the population is severely malnourished.
The United Nations’ definition of famine is when three conditions coincide: at least 20 per cent of a population faces extreme food shortages, 30 per cent of people experience acute malnutrition, and at least two people per 10,000 die every day.
This week both the UN and the World Food Program agreed with South Sudan’s decision to declare a state of famine in parts of the country’s south.
An urgent call for funds to help fleeing refugees from embattled South Sudan has been issued by the Archbishop of Uganda.
The Archbishop of Uganda, the Most Rev Stanley Ntagali, issued his appeal last week following the influx of South Sudanese refuges in West Nile and Northern Uganda.
Archbishop Ntagali said that there was a need for the Church in Uganda to supplement government efforts to respond to South Sudanese refugees in Uganda.
In his appeal, he said that the increasing numbers of refugees still need shelter, food, clothing, psycho-social support, Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH); and for their sustainable livelihood, the need to acquire vocational skills is a requirement.
Leaders of the two sides responsible for mass killings and rapes in the South Sudan conflict have amassed enormous wealth inside and outside the country, at least some of it illegally, according to an investigative report released on Monday by a Washington advocacy group.
The families and top associates of the principal opponents in the conflict, President Salva Kiir and his rival and former vice president, Riek Machar, own multimillion-dollar properties, drive luxury cars and stay at expensive hotels, “all while much of their country’s population suffers from the consequences of a brutal civil war and, in many places, experiences near-famine conditions,” according to the report.
Neither of the two men nor members of their immediate families are among the half-dozen South Sudanese officials facing the international sanctions imposed last year. But the report said the leaders had “benefited financially from the continuing war and have effectively ensured that there is no accountability for their human rights violations and financial crimes.”
South Sudan is on the brink of genocide, the Primate of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan and Sudan warned members of the UN Security Council. On 3 Sept 2016 the Most Rev. Daniel Deng, Archbishop of Juba, urged a 15 member UN delegation to strengthen peacekeeping forces in Africa’s newest nation.
What had begun as a political dispute within the Sudan People’s Liberation Army (SPLA) between President Salva Kiir and Vice-President Riek Machar had taken an ominous turn. “People have been made to believe it’s a tribal war,” the archbishop (pictured) told the delegation, adding: “What happened in Rwanda – we’re afraid it can happen in this country,” according to wire service reports of the meeting.
On 4 Sept 2016 the UN Security Council delegation led by US Ambassador Samantha Powers and Senegalese Ambassador Fode Seck, with representatives from Angola, China, Egypt, France, Japan, Malaysia, New Zealand, Russia, Spain, Ukraine, United Kingdom, Uruguay and Venezuela wrapped up a three day visit to Juba to meet with government and civil society leaders.
The retired Archbishop of the Anglican Church of Kenya and former GAFCON Chairman, together with leaders of All Africa Conference of Churches to South Sudan has urged the political leaders of South Sudan to preserve lives of citizens instead of struggling for power and wealth in the country.
The five member delegation of religious leaders from All Africa Conference of Churches led by Retired Archbishop of Kenya, Eliud Wabukala comprised of Rev. Dr. Jesse Macharia Kamau, Rev. Dr. Lydia Mwaniki, Ms. Afiwa Allahare and Mr. Daniel Wang’ombe Kiriethe have come to encourage Christians and Christian leaders in South Sudan to pray and work towards peace in the region.
Speaking exclusively to Juba Monitor after prayers for peace in South Sudan at All Saints Cathedral Mobil, Archbishop Eliud Wabukala said leaders of South Sudan should not give up engaging each other as they face challenges of nation building in South Sudan.
“What they are going through is part of nation building and therefore they should not give up even in sharing and engaging each other,” he said.
Recent fighting in South Sudan has to date forced 37,491 people to flee to Uganda. To put this in context: more refugees have arrived in Uganda in the past three weeks than during the entire first six months of 2016, when 33,838 came there in search of safety.
On 25 July an estimated 2,442 refugees were received in Uganda from South Sudan. Some 1,213 crossed at the Elugu border point in Amuru, 247 in Moyo, 57 in Lamwo and 370 in Oraba. Another 555 were received at the Kiryandongo settlement. The majority of arrivals ”“ more than 90 per cent ”“ are women and children. People are coming from South Sudan’s Eastern Equatoria region, as well as Juba and other areas of the country.
UNHCR spokesperson Adrian Edwards told a press briefing in Geneva that the intensity of the violence that broke out in South Sudan between rival factions loyal to Salva Kiir and Riek Machar has subsided since early July. However, the security situation remains volatile.
The Diocese of Northern Uganda has been praised by the country’s armed forces for its crisis response in support for the thousands of refugees streaming into the country from South Sudan.
More than 38,000 people have reported fled from South Sudan in the past week, including Kenyans and Rwandans. South Sudanese nationals fleeing the violence were received in Elegu and transferred to the Refugee Camp in Adjumani.
The refugees are being transported in a 3 km-long convoy under police and army escort to provide security from rebel activity.
It was bodyguards for opposition leader-turned first Vice-President Riek Machar and Mr Kiir’s presidential guards who fought each other, sparking days of violence earlier this month which killed many hundreds of soldiers and civilians.
Bizarrely, both leaders were inside the building at the time, as were the city’s press corps – they videoed themselves cowering as the gunfire erupted around them.
As the shooting stopped, the two men gave a joint press conference appealing for calm.
That the fighting continued for the next few days is either a sign they that do not control their troops, or they care more about settling scores than they do about their people.
The Nuer community in Uganda have condemned renewed fighting in the South Sudanese capital, Juba, between two rival forces from Friday and Monday, describing it as violation of the August 2015 peace agreement.
The community members said the recent violence in the country is likely to increase more suffering for local citizens and places the country to uncertain future or “great danger.”
They also blamed the international community in general and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) in particular, that mediated the peace process, for not monitoring its implementation and putting pressure on violators.
Stephen Bar, chairman for the Nuer community in Kiryandongo resettlement camp in Uganda, told Sudan Tribune that what had happened in South Sudan this week was threatening the peace agreement.
Archbishop Justin Welby: My Lords, having been in the South Sudan twice in the last two years and in Kenya a week ago, is the Noble Lord the Minister encouraging the government of Kenya to use the powers it has in its own area ”“ as most of the leaders of South Sudan have their families, their farms, their education of their children in Kenya ”“ to use that pressure to encourage them to observe their ceasefire? And what is Her Majesty’s Government doing to support the work of the peace and reconciliation commission led by the Anglican Archbishop of South Sudan and Sudan?
Thousands of people in Juba have fled their homes and are seeking sanctuary in the city’s Anglican and Roman Catholic cathedrals and other places of worship as fierce gun battles rage around them.
The general secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), Father James Oyet Latansio, reports that many areas ”“ including the SSCC compound ”“ are effectively no-go areas. The area around the SSCC compound is “under control of the SPLA Government Forces,” he said.
The SPLA is the Sudan People’s Liberation Army, and the current clashes are between the official South Sudanese army ”“ the SPLA government forces ”“ and opposition SPLA forces. The United Nations’ Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) has condemned the violence between the two groups and called for calm.
The Archbishop of Canterbury today called for the leaders in South Sudan to cease hostilities immediately and accept mediation.
Women who were raped in churches are among the victims of mass atrocities perpetrated during South Sudan’s 22-month civil conflict, the long-awaited report of the African Union’s Commission of Inquiry on South Sudan, published last week, shows.
The Commission documents acts of “extreme cruelty”, including brutal killings, the mutilation of bodies, and forced cannibalism.
The abuses were conducted “in a systematic manner and in most cases with extreme brutality”, it says. Witnesses in Juba reported sexual violence against women committed by both parties to the conflict, and “extreme cruelty exercised through mutilation of bodies, burning of bodies, draining human blood from people who had just been killed and forcing others from one ethnic community to drink the blood or eat burnt human flesh”.
Archbishop Ezekiel Kondo travelled to Finland last month to receive the award and to give a speech entitled “the Suffering Church’s message for us.”
“I am very much honoured to receive this award from you,” Archbishop Kondo said. “This Award is not only to me but it is for all the faithful Sudanese Pastors who work in a very difficult situations and some with no salary!
South Sudan is the kind of place where a sermon anecdote about gunfire draws hearty laughter. The sound of a firearm is such an everyday occurrence that South Sudanese only question whether it came from a pistol, an AK-47, or an M-16. “Many people right now are praying, ”˜Thank you God for not making me South Sudanese,’ ” says the pastor.
Listening near the back of the sanctuary in Juba is Richard Stearns, the president of World Vision. He is visiting the world’s newest and most fragile state in his quest to revive the compassion American Christians had for Sudan years ago. The South gained independence from the Muslim-dominated North in 2011 with the solid backing of evangelicals. But two years later, a political power struggle engulfed the Christian-majority nation in bloody conflict.
“It’s a hard sales pitch,” he told Christianity Today as he stood among 50 mothers with malnourished children at a clinic. He said South Sudan is a perfect example of how enormously difficult it is to fulfill both the Great Commission and Great Commandment amid chronic conflict and violence.
South Sudan’s President Salva Kiir has failed to sign a peace deal in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, aimed at ending the civil war in his country.
The government has initialled a draft agreement, but requested a further 15 days before signing in full.
International sanctions had been threatened by mediators if both sides failed to reach an agreement on Monday 17 August.