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     Home > Justice & Peace >  2013-12-21 19:43:29
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Christian Church Leaders call for Peace in South Sudan

Church leaders from various denominations in South Sudan have called for peace after violence spread from the capital, Juba to some other parts of the country, including Jonglei state. Fighting started on December 15th in what the government described as a coup d’état engineered by the former Vice President, Riek Machar. The Church leaders have described the cause of the violence as infighting within the ruling Sudan People Liberation Movement. They appealed to the people not to allow themselves to be manipulated by people who want to transform the power struggle within the ruling party into an ethnic conflict. The Catholic Archbishop of Juba, His Grace Paulino Lukudu Loro, expressed sadness on learning that some politicians were attempting to turn the crisis into a tribal problem between the Dinka, the tribe of President Salva Kiir and the Nuer, the tribe of Riek Machar. Thousands of civilians have sought safety at the united nations bases and in Church buildings. The church leaders called on the government, United Nations and on Non-governmental organisations to provide humanitarian assistance to the displaced people. They also called for reconciliation between the fighting parties. Humanitarian agencies said 700 people have been killed since the beginning of the fighting. Meanwhile, Uganda has sent soldiers to Sudan to evacuate foreigners and to help the government of South Sudan to maintain law and order in the capital, Juba. A Uganda army spokesman said the government of South Sudan asked Uganda to intervene. The Uganda army is currently in control of the airport in Juba and has since Thursday evacuated more than 4000 foreigners majority of them Ugandans and Kenyans. On Friday a delegation from the Inter-governmental Authority on Development, IGAD, visited South Sudan to try to negotiate a peaceful settlement to the conflict.


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