Displaying items by tag: South Sudan
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Pope Francis, and Church of Scotland moderator Jim Wallace have written to South Sudan's political leaders on the tenth anniversary of its independence. They said that the anniversary calls to mind past struggles and points with hope to the future, and that the nation is blessed with immense potential. They encouraged leaders to make even greater efforts to enable their people to enjoy the full fruits of independence. They also said, ‘When we wrote to you at Christmas, we prayed that you might experience greater trust among yourselves and be more generous in service to your people. Since then, we are glad to see some small progress. Sadly, your people continue to live in fear and uncertainty, and lack confidence that their nation can indeed deliver the “justice, liberty and prosperity” celebrated in your national anthem. Much more needs to be done to shape a nation that reflects God’s kingdom.’
The EU has joined the United States in sending humanitarian aid to South Sudan. Contributions of more than $145 million will provide food, medical aid, and shelter. World Concern’s Joshua Bundi says the help could not have come at a better time. South Sudan is on the brink of famine thanks to the fallout of several compounded crises. Bundi said. ‘We’ve had the worst flooding in modern history. Over eight million South Sudanese need humanitarian aid to survive another day; half of them are children. Thankfully, hope reigns triumphant in South Sudan.’ The church is meeting the needs of the people and preaching the gospel.
Starvation is being intentionally used as a war tactic in South Sudan’s brutal conflict, a UN-backed human rights panel report stated. South Sudan gained independence in 2011 but descended into conflict 2½ years later, following tensions between President Salva Kiir and his deputy. Most South Sudanese are Christian, whereas the majority in Sudan belong to the Sunni branch of Islam. Religion deeply influences governance and daily life, playing a dominant role in the nation's politics. The brutal fighting has caused incalculable suffering to civilians, and resulted in staggering levels of acute food insecurity and malnutrition. 7.5 million South Sudanese, in several areas, currently require humanitarian assistance. Both governments and opposition forces have deliberately used the starvation of civilians as a method of warfare in these areas, sometimes as an instrument to punish non-aligning communities, as in the case of Jonglei.
Somalia has declared a national emergency as desert locusts destroy vegetation. An average swarm containing 40 million insects can travel 150 km in 24 hours, devouring enough food to feed 34 million people in that time. The UN said it is a race against time to tackle this invasion amidst ongoing humanitarian challenges. A spokesman said, ‘We do have a chance to nip this problem in the bud, but that’s not what we’re doing at the moment.’ Kenya’s food security is threatened, particularly communities keeping livestock on endangered pastures. Swarms crossed into Uganda on 9 February, and Tanzania and South Sudan are now on the UN’s ‘watch list’. Also, insufficient rain means that over two million Somalis will need emergency food aid this year after the worst harvest in 25 years. 300,000 were displaced in eight months; many have headed for the capital, Mogadishu. Six million Kenyans are food-insecure, while seven million Zimbabweans need aid after successive droughts and an inflation rate of 300%. Urban families are feeling the pinch of soaring prices. See
Heavy rain and severe flooding in South Sudan have caused severe damage to refugee camps, destroying housing, roads, and schools. Many have been left in search of dry ground. With water levels often over a metre high, 200,000+ people are estimated to have been affected, causing large displacement of local and refugee communities. Significant damage to food crops and livestock has diminished the communities’ ability to begin effective recovery from the most devastating flooding experienced in over four decades. Infrastructural damage to bridges and roads prevents access to communities whose day-to-day survival is dependent on humanitarian assistance. Agencies reported serious flood damage in office compounds, warehouses, staff housing, and student learning and sleeping areas.
Increased temperatures in the Indian Ocean have caused heavy rainfall and widespread flooding and destruction in different countries. In Kenya 29 people were killed in flash floods, nearly 12,000 have been displaced, and agriculture is hard hit, with 10,000+ livestock animals drowning. Caritas has appealed for food, first aid, and funds to distribute to the needy. In South Sudan, Bishop Majwok has requested the government to declare a state of national disaster as 283,000 square kilometres of his diocese are under water. Rains have devastated the country since July. Wet weather has worsened the humanitarian situation in 32 counties, where over three million people already needed assistance. In Somalia over 182,000 people are homeless due to flooding; most are from the central town of Beledweyne, where the UN reports people drowning. East Africa's rainy season, which runs from October to December, is likely to be unusually wet this year due to a process known as Indian Ocean Dipole (similar to the Pacific El Nino) by which atmospheric humidity is dumped inland as rainfall.
After being invited to an unprecedented 24 hours of prayer and preaching in the Vatican, South Sudanese leaders appeared stunned as the 82-year-old pontiff, who suffers from chronic leg pain, was helped by aides to kneel and kiss the shoes of the two main opposing leaders. He appealed to President Salva Kiir, his former deputy turned rebel leader Riek Machar, and three other vice-presidents to respect an armistice they signed and commit to forming a unity government next month. ‘I am asking you as a brother to stay in peace. I am asking you with my heart, let us go forward. There will be many problems, but they will not overcome us’, the Pope said. His appeal was made more pressing as anxiety grew over the coup in neighbouring Sudan, which could risk the fragile peace deal that ended South Sudan’s brutal five-year civil war.
The UN has declared South Sudan a famine nation. People receive food, humanitarian aid, and English lessons. A pastor passionately shouts slowly in English to the community attending English classes. In Juba there are 21 learning centres with 2,100 learners and 61 volunteer teachers. In Ugandan refugee camps there are 22 learning centres with 647 students and 32 volunteer teachers. They come to centres only to learn English, but through a discipleship programme some are giving their lives to Jesus. The impact of learning English is transformative, but what they read in English is the Word of God - even more transformative! Hostile groups are being transformed into peacemakers. They are learning to love God, and love each other. Only God can make this happen: this is the answer to prayer, the sword that cuts through war.
60.5% of South Sudan’s population is Christian, with over 60 different major ethnic groups. South Sudan split from the predominantly Islamic north in 2011 and was expected to prosper as the split meant it inherited most of Sudan's oil wealth. But civil war has robbed the nation, killed thousands, and left tens of thousands in need of humanitarian aid. Now a report by UN human rights investigators says that over 40 South Sudanese officials, including military generals and state governors, may be guilty of crimes against humanity, (rape, murder of civilians, and conscripting child soldiers). The report says, ‘Children have been recruited and forced to kill civilians. In many cases they have watched loved ones raped or killed. The scale of the hunger and destruction inflicted on the country by its political and military leaders defies description.’
An Urgent Request to keep those in South Sudan in our daily prayers with those on the ground there has been requested.
You may remember recently a new ceasefire was put into place. PRAY it holds. Join with them, in prayer. “We are persuaded that it is the prayer of God’s children that is keeping this nation”. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1.
• PRAY for the Intercessors worldwide to catch the urgency to pray for the stability of South Sudan.
• PRAY that the Almighty God will divinely and quickly intervene in the situation of the nation.
• PRAY and ASK the Father to send His angels to defend the nation against internal conflicts and instability.
• ASKING all Intercessors to pray prophetically over South Sudan.
We are persuaded that it is the prayer of God’s children that is keeping this nation. “The earth is the LORD’s, and everything in it, and all who live in it.” Psalm 24:1.
South Sudan is on a serious spiritual battle field, please cover us daily with your prayers. Jesus reigns over the earth including South Sudan.
Please circulate this to urgently mobilize prayers for this nation.