South Sudan in the News...

Hello City Church friends! I thought I’d send an update your way, since there have been questions concerning the situation in South Sudan and the World Harvest Mission team there. For those who haven’t heard, the country of South Sudan has been hit with violence following an attempted coup in the capital (Juba). Those who attempted to overthrow the government show loyalty to (recently fired) ex-vice president Riek Machar. Machar admits that he wanted to gain power over the current president, Salva Kiir. Unfortunately, this rift goes deeper than just two political opponents. Kiir and Machar come from two different tribes (the Dinka and the Nuer), which are often in opposition with each other, accusing the other of corruption and greed and wrestling for the political upper hand. Now, soldiers in the S. Sudanese army are taking sides according to tribe. Rebels on the side of Machar quickly took over the town of Bor, but have been pushed back in recent days by the government. According to BBC news, thousands have died; however, it’s hard to have an accurate amount, given the vast uncharted territory out in the bush. About 80,000 people have taken refuge in UN supported camps. Machar says that he won’t relent to until his supporters (who were recently detained for the coup attempt) are released. Kiir is hesitant to agree to Machar’s terms. I’ve talked to my friends in Mundri; I’m glad to say that they haven’t been noticeably affected by the violence. The violence has been taking place in the states of Unity, Jonglei, Eastern Equatoria, and Central Equatoria. Mundri is located in the state of Western Equatoria—home to the peaceful Moru tribe. It holds no valuable resources like oil or cattle. The one cause for concern is the army barracks in town, which houses soldiers with Dinka blood. People in town are already whispering talk of whom they’d support if it came to it. Besides nervous chatter and a lack of consistent goods from the capital, Mundri town has not felt too disrupted these past several weeks.

That is all I know. Sorry, I don’t have any more insight than any other news-reading American would.

Currently, the whole World Harvest Team is in the states. We have no plans of returning anytime soon. After a meeting next week with the WHM executive team, my team leader will set a proposed date for return. My guess is late February. It is difficult to sit back here in the states while my Sudanese friends must stay in their tumultuous nation and persevere. They do it patiently and with much faith. Continue to pray that South Sudan and its people from all tribes and tongues will come together and choose love over pride and unity over tribal divisions.

With Love, Jennifer