ACT Alliance has called for South Sudan’s political leaders to commit to peaceful dialogue.
ACT asks that no more civilians will become victims of the political fighting. CWS is a member of ACT Alliance and asks churches to pray for peace, in South Sudan and other areas of conflict.
As the situation in the country continues to deteriorate with increasing ethnic violence and rising numbers of people fleeing for safety, ACT Alliance urged groups to stop the violence in all forms and work to solidify the nation and protect its citizens through showing leadership, compromise and the commitment to peaceful resolution of differences that the newly independent country deserves.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OCHR) stated in 21 December update that five out of South Sudan’s 10 states are now affected by armed violence, and an estimated 62,000 people have been displaced by the wave of violence since 15 December, with many taking refuge at UN Bases and in churches.
“We join the call of many other nations and the international community for a peaceful resolution to the unrest in South Sudan,” said ACT Alliance General Secretary John Nduna. “The continued fighting, and particularly the ethnic and indiscriminate nature of the violence, leaves innocent civilians as the victims. President Salva Kiir and opposition leaders, including former Vice President Riek Machar, need to see that there is only one way out of this political crisis. The parties need to come to the negotiation table. The political leadership – be it in the government or in opposition – is responsible to engage into a dialogue. Only through this dialogue rule of law and peace can be restored. This is the moment to approach all those who are contributing to the conflict, in the top leadership, but also in communities, and to call for end of violence.”
Peace mediators are heading to Juba from various international organisations, one of those being ecumenical envoy Dr Samuel Kobia, who is the former General Secretary of ACT Alliance co-founder World Council of Churches (WCC), and will help mediate as the top leaders of the sides to the conflict meet.
He has mediated the conflict between Sudan and South Sudan for several years, and was appointed Ecumenical Special Envoy to Sudan by the All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC).
“Churches in South Sudan and worldwide are engaging in efforts for peace in South Sudan.,” said Nduna. “Dr Kobia plays a crucial role in facilitating a strong voice from churches in seeking an end to the unrest and violence. The access to the political detainees also is crucial. Their human rights need to be protected. All need to adhere to the international humanitarian law and do what they can to protect the rights of the people.”
ACT Alliance and its members in South Sudan, Uganda, Kenya and Ethiopia are scaling up operations in preparation for influx of refugees.
23 December 2013