Security Situation in South Sudan

by Michael Ford last modified 18 Feb, 2019 11:50 PM

There has been some progress on securing an effective ceasefire and a workable peace agreement with the Inter-Governmental Authority on Development (IGAD), an eight-country trade bloc in Africa, according to the Salisbury Sudans Link.

In this, the role of the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC) and the ecumenical dimension of its mandate cannot be underestimated.

Fr James Oyet of the SSCC recently visited the UK, and the Diocese of Salisbury was involved in meetings with him at Lambeth, and in Parliament at the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG).

Working with Christian Aid and CAFOD, SSCC has met with the South Sudan President and national leaders. Of course, peace agreements are easily signed but hard to deliver and sustain if the principals are not fully committed, but only in writing and not “in their hearts”, as Fr James reported.

He sincerely wants the SSCC to be the “Voice of the Voiceless including Muslims and people of all faiths.”

There remain real doubts about the efficacy of the peace deal although the rebel leader, Riek Machar, is now residing in Juba. From a general security point of view there are still outbreaks of fighting by disaffected groups, often young people.

Renewed efforts are underway to stop the availability of small arms which are currently coming from Poland via Libya. The biggest challenge is the economy, with inflation still impossibly high, and distrust towards Uganda, which is perceived as not doing enough to help the South Sudan economy – a harsh attitude, given that a million South Sudanese are sheltering in Uganda.

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