Today, 9th July 2015, South Sudan marks its fourth independence day, but millions of people who have either been displaced, lost loved ones, been unable to farm, had their homes burned and property looted will not be celebrating.
When South Sudan split from Sudan on 9th July, 2011, it was a moment of hope for what had just become the world’s newest nation – a chance to put behind it decades of war and hostilities.
But a little more than two years later, in December 2013, the country was plunged back into civil war, when president Salva Kiir accused his sacked deputy Riek Machar of planning a coup.
The fighting has continued ever since, and a recent report by the UN mission in the country said a recent upsurge in fighting has not only been marked by allegations of “killing, rape, abduction, looting, arson and displacement, but by a new brutality and intensity”.
“The scope and level of cruelty that has characterised the reports suggests a depth of antipathy that exceeds political differences.”
With peace talks set to begin soon, the recent heavy fighting has deepened mistrust between the warring factions and will likely make the talks more difficult.
With South Sudan now in the grip of a humanitarian crisis, let us life this nation before the throne of God and pray for peace in her streets and in the hearts of her people from all factions.
- Pray for South Sudan, for peace and reconciliation, and a desire for this from all factions.
- Pray for the peace talks to be successful in mapping a way forward for this wounded nation.
- Pray for the victims of war and atrocities that are being reported, that they will find healing and comfort through the Church and the Gospel of Jesus.
- Pray for Christians in South Sudan to be bold in their witness and reflect the love of Jesus to those in their communities.
Psalm 122 vs 7: “May there be peace within your walls and security within your citadels.”