According to Incontext Ministries, The United Nations Security Council (UNSC) has urged troops loyal to South Sudanese president to end the fighting in Juba, amid fears of a return to civil war.
Observers say it is clear that the peace deal concluded last August between the two main factions in the country is only holding “by a thread”.
There has been no official death toll from the recent flare up, but at least five soldiers were killed last Thursday, and a Health Ministry source said 272 people, including 33 civilians, were killed on Friday. Sunday and Monday’s fighting was even more fierce, and the death toll is expected to continue to rise.
South Sudan was founded on 9th July 2011, after succession from Sudan in the north. However, in December 2013, this new country descended into conflict after the president accused his former deputy of plotting a coup. Tens of thousands of people died in the conflict that followed, and many others starved to death.
A peace agreement between the warring factions was signed in August 2015, and a fragile peace has held since then, up until a week ago.
Security concerns are also affecting the distribution of food assistance in areas facing acute hunger. In a recent report, the UN World Food Programme said 5.3 million people, or nearly half the population of South Sudan, are at risk of acute hunger, which is already causing deaths among the country’s most vulnerable, and increasing the number of people fleeing across the border to neighbouring Sudan.
Rebeckah Piotrowski from Action Against Hunger, an NGO that operates throughout South Sudan, said: “[We are] deeply concerned by the recent heavy fighting in Juba, which has further complicated an already dire humanitarian crisis, and reduced our humanitarian access to populations in need.”
“The longer fighting continues and restricts humanitarian actors from delivering life-saving assistance to people in need, the greater the level of human suffering … We call upon the international community to do all in its power to restore calm and peace at this critical juncture.”
- Pray for South Sudan, for peace in this fragile nation, and for all political leaders and their supporters to seek peaceful solutions to this conflict.
- Pray for reconciliation between ethnic groups in South Sudan, and an end to the ethnic tensions that are fuelling the conflict.
- Pray for Christians in South Sudan, to lead the way in reconciliation, holding out a hand of friendship and peace to those around them. Pray for courage to witness to their faith.
- Pray for food and aid supplies to reach those who are in desperate need, especially in the north of the country, where famine, drought and a collapsing economy are causing harsh suffering for many people.
- Pray for a move of he Holy Spirit across this needy nation, for many to hear the truth of the Gospel of peace and reconciliation, and to come to faith in the God who offers life and hope and healing.
Zechariah 9 vs 10: “He will cut off the chariot from Ephraim and the warhorse from Jerusalem; and the battle-bow shall be cut off, and he shall command peace to the nations; his dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth.”
Source: http://us4.campaign-archive2.com/, http://incontextministries.org/, http://www.aljazeera.com/news