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COVID-19 in conflict zones: “a crisis within another crisis”

Damaris, a Nigerian woman, described her experience of 2020: “We’ve gone through hell.”

Damaris and her sisters were kidnapped in March 2020 and threatened with death as their kidnappers demanded money. Her father had to sell everything and beg on the streets to meet their demands. “We are just a common people in Nigeria,” she said. “We don’t know what we did.”

“Conflict Zones and Covid-19” webinar will offer a clarion call to compassion

A webinar hosted by the World Council of Churches (WCC) on 26 November will explore “Conflict Zones and Covid-19: A call to compassion.” Speakers from Cameroon, Nigeria, South Sudan, Lebanon, Belarus and Colombia will offer their insights on how conflict exacerbates the conditions for contracting and treating COVID-19 among civilians caught in the crossfire, especially women.

WCC calls for end to violence in South Sudan

Rev. Prof. Dr Ioan Sauca, World Council of Churches (WCC) interim general secretary, joined the South Sudan Council of Churches and the All Africa Conference of Churches in condemning recent violent killings of innocent people in South Sudan, and called to an end to brutality in the country.

South Sudan cleric highlights biting hunger in a “triple pandemic” as African churches confront food insecurity

South Sudan church leaders are among African clerics who are highlighting a painful “hunger pandemic” in their countries, as experts warn of aggravated food insecurity in regions due to coronavirus.

Fr James Oyet Latansio, general secretary of the South Sudan Council of Churches, said the disease had devastated families, creating a “triple pandemic” including COVID-19, gender-based violence and severe hunger.

South Sudan Council of Churches urges people to adhere to public health guidelines

The South Sudan Council of Churches, in a pastoral message on 13 May, acknowledged that COVID-19 is a reality in South Sudan, and urged every citizen to make a personal commitment to fight it. “Our people must for sure understand that basic preventive measures by individuals and communities remain the most powerful tools to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” reads the message. “Therefore, unless each and every person works hard enough to quickly control the spread of this virus, it is likely to overwhelm us.”

WCC general secretary welcomes establishment of transitional unity government in South Sudan, expresses concern over threat of COVID-19

In a letter to the South Sudan Council of Churches and member churches in South Sudan, World Council of Churches (WCC) general secretary Rev. Dr Olav Fykse Tveit conveyed the WCC’s great relief and gratitude to God that the long-delayed establishment of the Revitalized Transitional Government of National Unity in South Sudan was finally achieved on 22 February.

South Sudan Church leaders welcome new cabinet

South Sudanese church leaders have welcomed a new cabinet, which the country’s president Salva Kiir Mayardit announced on 12 March.

The unveiling of the cabinet ended months of anxious waiting for a new unity government which was mandated by a 2018 peace pact, known as the Revitalised Agreement for the Resolution of Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan. The government has 34 ministers and 10 deputies.

Church leaders in eastern Africa call for urgent action on devastating locust invasion

Church leaders in eastern Africa are calling for increased action against desert locusts which have terrorised the region since January this year.
Like scenes from the Book of Exodus, huge swarms of the insects have descended on the region, destroying farmlands and animal pastures. The outbreak is affecting seven East African countries, where such a scale of infestation was last seen seven decades ago. At stake is food security for millions of people.

South Sudan Council of Churches: peace “is a question of the heart”

A message released 9 November from the South Sudan Council of Churches reflected that the will for peace is not measured only by deadlines and technical arrangements. “Whether the government is formed on 12th November 2019 or a further extension is agreed, it is a question of the heart and of the political will,” the message reads. “The people of South Sudan have begged their political leaders to find a peaceful way forward, to look beyond political interest, emotional turmoil and historical grievances, and to hold their duty towards the people of the country as a sacred calling which is to be gravely cherished in holy servitude and with deep respect.”

Religious leaders from South Sudan cherish those who host refugees

Commemorating the International Day of Peace on 21 September, the Ecumenical Network of South Sudan sent a message to the Uganda Joint Christian Council and to other organizations and communities who have hosted refugees.
“We would like to express our solidarity, knowing quite well your ever-commendable efforts towards your support for the people of South Sudan,” reads the statement. “You have been true ambassadors of the love of Christ.”

African religious leaders express new concerns over South Sudan peace

A new concern for South Sudan is emerging, as African religious leaders warn that the failure to implement the latest peace agreement could push the young nation back into war.

The leaders spoke in Nairobi on 12 September, the day the world’s newest nation marked a year since the signing of the Revitalized Agreement on Resolution of the Conflict in South Sudan.