South Sudan is a nation that’s known little peace in its nine-year lifetime. A recent attack on in the north-east of the country left hundreds of people dead in Jonglei state, including three aid workers – further evidence that peace is not here yet.
But we won’t stop praying. We won’t stop going to the hungry and the vulnerable. It’s what Jesus calls us to do.
Tearfund’s team in the country sees first hand the consequences of this unrest, which forces people away from their homes and pushes them into extreme poverty. That’s why we won’t stop our feeding centres for malnourished children, pregnant and new mothers, or our food distributions and our water and sanitation work.
There have been glimmers of hope in the peace process, most recently on 22 February. Rival leaders President Salva Kiir and former opposition leader Riek Machar agreed to form a new government. It comes after six years of conflict and fighting, where 400,000 people have been killed and many more displaced.
Since then South Sudan has been making small steps towards peace and stability. But some militant leaders didn’t agree to the peace deal, and clashes continue.
Violence has been on the rise since March, with community conflicts centering around cattle raiding and retribution for previous attacks. It’s jeopardising efforts by humanitarian groups such as Tearfund in a region that has been hit by droughts, floods, locusts, and now the start of a potentially large-scale coronavirus outbreak.