Please continue to pray for the conflict in South Sudan (see previous updates from December and January). Here’s an update from friends serving with Impact South Sudan (or find them on Facebook), as well as portions of a report from the BBC.
As of this morning the news is that the Government and the Rebel leader have signed the peace. But the crisis is not over….
The violence particularly in Northern part of the country has continued up to this point, and the death toll and the number of internally displaced people has risen — currently estimated at over 500,000 IDP’s.
“These two agreements are the ingredients to create an environment for achieving a total peace in my country,” said Taban Deng, head of the rebel delegation, AFP reports.
However, the South Sudanese government has expressed scepticism over whether the opposition will be able to control all the militias involved in fighting, the BBC’s Anne Soy reports. Reports tell us that the ‘White Army’ a youth militia is still wanting to go to the capital Juba to overtake the Government because of atrocities committed.
Effective monitoring of the truce will be vital once it begins, as tension between the two sides is very high, South Sudan analyst James Copnall says.
The talks have now been adjourned and are due to continue on 7 February.
What started out as a political dispute between President Salva Kiir and his former deputy Riek Machar on 15 December escalated into full-scale conflict, with reports of ethnic killings.
Some leaders and partners in South Sudan said, “Two days ago there was a fasting and prayer of PEACE conducted in South Sudan on 20th January 2014 at the Revival Centre main hall which brought together 6,000 participants from different denominations, Government Officials and staff from different organizations within Kajo-Keji County. On the same day in the other parts of the country there had been demonstration demanding the government to take into account the lack of food.”
In Juba the capital, partner staff reported that security situation as of yesterday and this morning is relatively calm, but food scarcity is the challenge.