Stand with us as we pray and work for peace in South Sudan

By The Reverend Reuben Garang

One of the cultural norms I knew while living in South Sudan in the 1980s was that killing a child, woman or elderly person was morally forbidden. Now it isn’t. Since December last year, South Sudan got itself into vicious killing with the situation getting worse day by day. Most of the victims in the conflict are children, women and aged people.

Since December last year, South Sudan got itself into vicious killing with the situation getting worse day by day. Most of the victims in the conflict are children, women and aged people. I appeal to the Diocese of Rupert’s land and the Anglican Church in Canada to join hands in prayers and action to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

I appeal to the Diocese of Rupert’s land and the Anglican Church in Canada to join hands in prayers and action to alleviate the suffering of the people of South Sudan.

After decades of armed struggle, South Sudan achieved its independence on July 9, 2011 from the Sudan. It fought primarily to rid itself from an institutionalized marginalization and Islamization by the Arab of the Sudan. Millions of people have died as the result. With the hard-won independence in 2011, South Sudanese were hoping for a brighter future. However, the fledgling nation is indubitably experiencing human calamity.

What began as a power struggle between the President and his former Vice President has turned and engulfed the whole country.

What began as a power struggle between the President Salva Kiir and his former Vice President Dr. Riek Machar has turned and engulfed the whole country.

The conflict is now pitting the two largest groups in the country of the 62 different ethnic groups against each other. The President hails from the Dinka, the largest group. Dr. Machar comes from Nuer, the second largest group. Although most of the politicians are not divided along the community line, throughout the conflict innocent people in Jonglei, Upper Nile and Unity State are dying as a result of ethnic target killing. The whole country is living in fear as the conflict continues and spreads.

Most of the Canadian South Sudanese have lost relatives or people they know. Some are still looking for relatives.

This war has not only killed thousands and displaced millions of people within the shortest time in the history of South Sudan, but also eroded social relations among communities. The world’s youngest nation has myriad challenges including institutional weakness, lack of infrastructure and erosion of the traditional norms and values.

This war has not only killed thousands and displaced millions of people within the shortest time in the history of South Sudan, but also eroded social relations among communities. The world’s youngest nation has myriad challenges including institutional weakness, lack of infrastructure and erosion of the traditional norms and values.

I recapitulate my appeal to the Christian family.

  • The Church has to urge the Government of Canada to impose targeted sanctions on individual politicians from the two sides in the conflict.
  • The Canadian Church should call on the warring parties to protect civilians.
  • The Church body also needs to renew its call for the Prime Minister of Canada to increase humanitarian aid to South Sudan.
  • The Church needs to support dialogue, particularly between the Dinka and Nuer.
  • The Church should consider a village based humanitarian intervention.
  • Last, I think it is the right time for the churches in Canada to visit South Sudan.

I am sure God will listen to your prayers and actions for peace to come to South Sudan.

I am optimistic that our resilient people will pull out of this mess. I am sure also God will listen to your prayers and actions for peace to come to South Sudan.

I want to end by acknowledging the leadership provided by Bishop Donald Philips and his team for all kinds of support given to our people during the current crisis.