Tired of war, South Sudanese pray for latest peace deal

South Sudanese demonstrators hold signs requesting peace as they await the arrival of South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir, at the airport in Juba, South Sudan, on June 22, 2018. (RNS/AP/Bullen Chol)

JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN — During a recent Sunday service, Pastor Jok Chol led the congregation at his Pentecostal church to pray for a sustainable peace after President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar signed the latest peace agreement in neighboring Sudan.

The two leaders signed an agreement in mid-September, hoping to end years of conflict.

“I want to rebuke the spirits of confusion in our leaders,” Chol prayed, amid cheers of “Amen” from hundreds of worshippers. “We thank God and pray that he touches the hearts of our leaders so that they can embrace the new peace agreement.”

During his sermon, Chol urged his congregants to have faith and hope and continue to pray for a sustainable peace. He said they should refuse to be divided by political leaders along ethnic lines.

“We are all children of God,” said Chol, 55, a father of three. “We should treat each other with the love of Jesus Christ. Please don’t do anything wrong because your leader has told you. Follow what the Bible says and you will be blessed.”

Chol and his congregants are among thousands of Southern Sudanese gathering in churches and various mosques across major cities and refugee camps to pray for their country, which has been embroiled in civil war since 2013.

South Sudan erupted into civil war after a power struggle ensued between Kiir and Machar. The conflict spread along ethnic lines, killing tens of thousands of people and displacing millions of others internally and outside the border. The economy has collapsed as a result of the ongoing war. Half of the remaining population of 12 million faces food shortages.

The latest treaty is the second attempt for this young nation to find peace. South Sudan became officially independent from Sudan in 2011. In 2013, civil war broke out after Kiir fired Machar as his deputy, leading to clashes between supporters of the two leaders.

A previous peace deal in 2016 tried to bring warring sides together so they could find a permanent solution. But fighting broke out in the capital city of Juba a few months later when Machar had returned from exile to become Kiir’s vice president as outlined in the peace agreement.

Under the new power-sharing arrangement Machar will once again be Kiir’s vice president.

Religious leaders such as Chol are optimistic that the latest peace agreement will hold up. They believe it is an answered prayer for thousands of faithful.

“I have hope in the new peace agreement,” said Bishop Emmanuel Murye of Episcopal Church in South Sudan. “We have been praying for peace to return to the country and we are happy that our leaders are committed to bring peace.”

Murye has been holding evangelistic meetings in refugee camps in Uganda, where more than 1 million South Sudanese have taken refuge. He said people in the camps have been praying for leaders to embrace the new deal.

“People want to come back home,” he said. “They are tired of staying in the camp. Life in the camp is not easy because there is no food to eat and children are not going to school. They have been praying for peace and they believe this is an answered prayer.”

But others still doubt the new peace deal.

Fighting broke out in the country, killing 18 civilians, two days after the warring sides signed the latest agreement to end the civil war. Kiir and Machar supporters blamed each other for the attacks.

Religion has played a major role in South Sudan’s conflicts.

According to a recent report by Pew Research Center, Christians make up about 60 percent of the population of South Sudan, followed by 33 percent who are followers of African traditional religions. Six percent are Muslim.

Link to web article.

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Sudans Prayer Guide. Week 33. The role of Bibles & Peace

This is part 1 of a two part series on the role of Bibles & Peace in the Sudans. The Sudans Prayer Guide is usually sent out on a weekly basis as an email to encourage prayer partners to continually lift the Sudans to God’s Throne of Grace.

Partnering on Bibles for the Sudans 

One of the key projects that the SSNet [Sudans Support Network] is involved with, is to bless the people of the Sudans through the printing and distribution of Bibles. We partner with Bibles for Africa to have Bibles for these purposes. During the past few months, 100,000 Bibles was printed in South Africa and delivered at various places like Kakuma Refugee Camp in Kenya, as well as several places in South Sudan.

Blessed through the Living Word of God.

The Bible binder are almost in production, ready to bind, the Word of GodA new Bible Binder was bought for Bibles for Africa to increase capacity of the printing of Bibles. This include Bibles for Sudan, South Sudan and Refugee camps.

Two key representatives from SSNet and Bibles for Africa is set to travel to the Middle East next month to consult with Sudanese from various churches and ministries on how to print and distribute Bibles for Sudan and to the Sudanese.

Praise & prayer

  1. Praise God for the amazing way He provided to get His Living Word, the Bible, printed and distributed through strategic partners. Praise God for the extent to which Bibles can now be printed and distributed. Praise God for all of the ongoing partnering relationships that is necessary for the printing and distribution of the Bibles.
  2. Praise God for His provision, not only for the 100,000 Bibles that were printed and distributed, but also HUGE provision for the Bible Binder. God’s provision for and in all of this is just awe-inspiring!
  3. Praise God for the envisioned trip to the Middle East next month. Pray for full provision and protection for the gathering, for everybody coming together. Pray for CLEAR DIRECTION from God as to WHAT and HOW to print Bibles in Sudan and for other strategic matters.

Should you wish to donate or encourage others to donate to the Bibles for Sudans printing and distribution projects of the SSNet and partners, here is the link.

Blessings

Hester de Klerk

On behalf of the prayer mobilization team.

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S4J – love of running for a greater cause

The S4J (Sudan4Jesus) has just released a short video to share the story of how elite runner, Renier Grobler combines his love for Jesus and running for a greater cause. Renier is part of the S4J team of athletes and buddies to raise funds to help the people of Sudan and South Sudan.

Renier in top gear at the Comrades Marathon. He is part of the S4J team that runs for a greater cause.

Renier is an elite athlete. In the past four years he achieved two top 20 positions in the Comrades Marathon and two top 10 positions in the Om die Dam 50 km marathon.

To WATCH the S4J video, click on this link.

To view the various projects the S4J is involved with, click on this link.

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Episcopal Church of South Sudan’s Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut Yuang, killed in plane crash

Posted on: September 10, 2018 7:05 PM

 

Bishop Simon Adut Yuang was one of 20 people killed when their plane crashed in Lake Yirol yesterday (Sunday)
Photo Credit: ECSS
Related Categories: Bp Simon Adut YuangobituarySouth SudanYirol

 

The Anglican Bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut Yuang, was one of 20 people killed when a plane carrying them from the South Sudanese capital Juba crashed into a lake as it attempted to land at Yirol Airport. Reports say that thick fog around Yirol, in the centre of the country, may have played a part in the accident. Only three of the plane’s passengers: two children and an Italian doctor, survived.

Other victims include a member of the Red Cross in South Sudan. “When it arrived the weather was so foggy and when it tried to land it crashed into Lake Yirol adjacent to Yirol town”, regional government minister Abel Aguek was quoted by the AFP news agency as saying. “The whole town is in shock, the shops are closed, some people have taken their relatives for burial. It is a commercial plane that crashed.”

Local fishermen were first on the scene to rescue survivors and retrieve the bodies of those killed.

The wreckage of the plane in Lake Yirol, central South Sudan, in which Bishop Simon Adut Yuang was among 20 people killed.
Photo: Juba Airport / Facebook

 

“Mama Joyce and I are saddened to hear of the plane crash in Yirol this morning, which has claimed the lives of a number of people, including the ECSS Bishop of Yirol, Rt Revd Simon Adut Yuang,” the Primate of South Sudan, Archbishop Justin Badi Arama, said.

“Bishop Simon was an energetic young man and is a loss to the Episcopal Church of South Sudan. Please join us in praying for the families and friends of all involved in the accident.

“Jesus said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die.’”

Bishop Simon had been Bishop of Yirol for a relatively short time. He succeeded Bishop Daniel Deng Abeil, who died in office in January 2015 as a result of cancer. Bishop Simon was elected in May that year and consecrated and enthroned that July. He leaves behind a wife and six children.

Link to web article.

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Twenty dead in aeroplane crash in South Sudan

A crashed plane is seen in Lakes State, South Sudan September 9, 2018 in this picture obtained from social media. RADIO MIRAYA/via REUTERS THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. MANDATORY CREDIT. NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

A plane crash in South Sudan killed 20 people, including an Anglican bishop and four foreigners, regional spokesman Taban Abel Aguek has said.

Three survived when a small plane crashed into a lake close to Yirol in the centre of the country on Sunday morning.

“Among the dead, 16 are South Sudanese nationals while four are foreigners including the pilot and the co-pilot, who are Sudanese. One Ugandan and an Ethiopian also died in the crash,” Abel said in an update on Monday.

The deceased Anglican bishop of Yirol, Simon Adut, was a staff member of the South Sudanese Red Cross. An Italian doctor and two children were among the survivors.

An official with the South Sudan Aviation Authority said investigations were underway but that overloading and bad weather may have led to the accident.

Abel said the regional governor had declared three days of mourning.

Link to web article.

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Justice for South Sudan rape victims

A South Sudanese military court on Thursday sentenced 10 soldiers to prison for the rape of foreign aid workers and the murder of a journalist in an assault on a hotel in Juba in 2016, and ordered the government to pay compensation to the victims.

Here is a video article to follow the unfolding of this story.

Testimony from the South Sudan attack – BBC Newsnight

On 11 July, a compound in Juba housing staff from multiple international organisations – many of them aid workers – was overrun by South Sudanese troops. A journalist was killed. Women were raped. The entire complex was ransacked. A UN base sits only a mile away. This is the story of that day in the words of five of the people who were there. We asked actors to read their testimony to protect their identities. Newsnight is the BBC’s flagship news and current affairs TV programme – with analysis, debate, exclusives, and robust interviews.

Link to video. (8:14)

South Sudan: aid workers raped and assaulted by soldiers

Details are only now emerging about a shocking attack on aid workers and foreigners in south Sudan. The incident happened last month when south Sudanese soldiers rampaged through a compound, killing a journalist, raping women and assaulting foreigners. UN peacekeepers were just down the road yet despite desperate appeals for help, they did nothing.

Link to video. (4:30)

S.Sudan court finds 10 soldiers guilty of raping aid workers

A South Sudan military court on Thursday found 10 soldiers guilty of raping foreign aid workers and murdering a local journalist during fighting in Juba in July 2016. “The military court has found out that the accused… are guilty for their direct responsibilities in committing these crimes,” ruled Judge Knight Baryano Almas, detailing charges of rape, murder, looting and destruction.

Link to video. (1:17)

Ten South Sudan soldiers jailed for murder, rape in 2016 hotel raid

A South Sudanese military court on Thursday sentenced 10 soldiers to jail sentences ranging from seven years to life for the rape of foreign aid workers and the murder of a local journalist in an assault on a hotel in the capital Juba in 2016. Eleven soldiers were on trial but one was set free due to the lack of charges against him. The court also ordered the government to pay damages to the victims. Two soldiers received life sentences whiles eight others got prison terms of seven years and … READ MORE : http://www.africanews.com/2018/09/06/…

Africanews on YouTube brings you a daily dose of news, produced and realised in Africa, by and for Africans. Africanews is the first pan-African multilingual media outlet, unique in its concept and vision. Subscribe on our Youtube channel https://www.youtube.com/c/africanews and receive all the latest news from the continent.

Link to video. (1:21)

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Sudan, South Sudan agree on permanent ceasefire

3 July 2018

Sudan on map. Link to image.

The Republic of Sudan and its neighbour, South Sudan, have agreed on a permanent ceasefire to ensure sustainable peace in both countries.

The Sudanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Ibrahim Bushra, made this known in a statement in Abuja on Sunday.

He said that the agreement was the outcome of a meeting between leaders of the both country on ways to resolve their conflict.

According to the envoy, President Salva Kir of South Sudan and Ahmed El-Bashir of the Republic of Sudan jointly signed the agreement.

He said that the agreement contained clauses as “a permanent ceasefire is hereby declared throughout the Republic of Sudan and shall enter into force within 72 hours of signing of the declaration of agreement.

‘‘The permanent ceasefire shall be based on cessation of hostilities agreement signed on Dec. 21, 2017 and within 72 hours of signing the declaration of agreement.

‘‘The parties shall agree on ceasefire agreement including disengagement, separation of forces in close proximity, withdrawal of allied-troops, opening of humanitarian corridors and release of prisoners of war and political detainees.

‘‘All relevant provisions of the Agreement on Resolution of Conflict in South Sudan shall apply; unless it is agreed otherwise, the parties shall agree on self-monitoring mechanism.

‘‘Furthermore, Inter-Governmental Authority for Development and African Union member-states are kindly invited to deploy the necessary forces to supervise the agreed permanent ceasefire.’’

Mr Bushra said that an agreement on the “revised bridging” proposal would be concluded before closure of the Khartoum round of talks.

He also disclosed that after the conclusion of the agreement, a pre-transitional period of 120 days would commence and would be followed by transitional period of 36 months.

‘‘Sharing power during the transitional period shall be in accordance with the formula that shall be agreed in the revised bridging proposal,’’ he added.

Link to article.

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South Sudan: Violation of ceasefire leaves 18 dead, blame game continues

2018/07/03

Link to image.

The warring sides in South Sudan accused each other of launching attacks that killed 18 civilians and violated the latest peace deal aimed at ending the nearly five-year-old conflict.

Lul Ruai Koang, spokesman for the government military SPLA said rebels attacked Maban in Upper Nile state in the far northeast near the border with Sudan on Sunday.

Government forces responded and in the battle rebels killed 18 civilians and wounded 44, he said. The dead included three Ethiopians and two Sudanese.

“The area is tense and the bodies have been buried,” he said. “People have not yet gone back to their homes. The area is deserted.”

Lam Paul Gabriel, deputy spokesman for the opposition SPLA-IO said their forces had been “heavily bombarded” by the military in the Maban area on Sunday and denied attacking civilians, saying: “It is not the policy of SPLM-IO to attack civilians.”

South Sudan’s civil war

South Sudan was plunged into war in 2013 after a political disagreement between President Salva Kiir and his former vice President Riek Machar exploded into a military confrontation.

The fighting has uprooted about a quarter of the country’s 12 million population, slashed oil production and ruined the economy.

peace pact last week that included a ceasefire that took effect on Saturday was the second attempt by regional mediators to try to end the war after a deal in 2015 failed.

Link to article.

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UN peacekeepers to protect South Sudanese VIPs

Link to image.

June 23, 2018 (JUBA) – IGAD Special Envoy for South Sudan said the parties to the peace revitalization process have agreed to task the United Nations peacekeepers with the protection of VIPs during the transitional period.

In his briefing to the IGAD head of states and governments, Ismail Wais informed the meeting that there remains “four key areas of disagreement on the security arrangements” including determination of demilitarized areas; modalities and exemption from cantonment; timeframe for unification of forces, and the number of parties’ representatives in the Joint Transitional Security Committee.

However, the parties have largely reached compromises over the outstanding issues in this chapter of the security arrangements, more than what has been agreed on the governance or power-sharing chapter.

So, among others, they agreed to confer the sensitive protection of VIPs to the UN peacekeepers deployed in the country to avoid difference over who will protect this or that leader as they agreed to merge the troops.

The parties agreed on “the full deployment of the RPF (Regional Protection Force) in accordance with its mandate and for IGAD to request UNSC (UN Security Council)for a review of its mandate to include VIPs protection,” Wais said.

The implementation of the peace agreement collapsed after the clashes between soldiers loyal to President Kiir and his former First Vice-President Machar at the South Sudanese presidency on 8 July 2016. The matter has ruined the confidence between the two leaders and plunged the country was plunged into civil war again.

During the face-to-face meeting, the two leaders raised the incident. President Kiir said he instructed his guards to protect Machar and Machar rejected the claim.

Following the clashes, the UN Security Council, in August 2016 decided to deploy 4,000 troops to beef up the existing 13,000 UN Mission in South Sudan (UNMISS) force. The Regional Protection Force will be mandated to protect key installations like the Juba airport, facilitate the delivery of humanitarian assistance and provide protection to the civilians.

The IGAD special envoy said the parties further agreed “on unification of forces rather than integration” and to establish a Joint Integrated Police and Security Services. Also, they agreed that the duration for activities in the cantonment sites to be 90 days and reached an agreement on the composition of the Joint Transitional Security Committee.

In addition, they agreed on the architecture of the transitional security arrangements, he said.

Regarding the disagreements, the IGAD believes the parties have to accept the proposed solutions included in the Bridging Proposal.

Wais called on the heads of states and governments to “engage the parties to sign the revitalized Agreement prepared based on IGAD’s bridging proposal”.

Link to article.

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No to Machar in South Sudan government

22 June 2018

Link to image.

South Sudan offered to allow a rebel representative to join its government, but ruled out rebel leader Riek Machar, saying they “had enough” of the man after five years of war against his group.

“Machar cannot be part of government”, Information Minister Michael Makuei Lueth told a news conference in the Ethiopian capital after President Salva Kiir met Machar there this week for the first time since a peace deal collapsed, leading to the deaths of hundreds of people in the South Sudanese capital of Juba.

Link to article.

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