Praying for South Sudan

Photo: UK Department for International Development/Flickr

The Uniting Church in Australia President Stuart McMillan has written to Foreign Minister Julie Bishop to express concerns about the deteriorating situation in South Sudan. In a letter co-signed by Acting General Secretary Rob Floyd asked the Government to maintain its support for South Sudan after reports of increasing violence and civil unrest in the troubled region.

“We would like to express to you our great concern for the welfare of the South Sudanese people, who have suffered terribly through civil unrest since December 2013.”
“In light of the seriousness and urgency of the situation in South Sudan we express our hope that the Australian Government can continue to play a supportive role ­­­­in this crisis.”

In March, the Federal Government made a welcome addition of $20 million in funding for humanitarian assistance to South Sudan. Now the Assembly leaders are hoping for an extended commitment.

Continuing conversations with South Sudanese leaders in the UCA indicate that South Sudanese Uniting Church members’ families and friends are among those suffering.

The United Nations Head of Mission in South Sudan has advised the UN Security Council that situation in the country is getting worse. Up to 25,000 people have been forced to flee their homes as civil war rages on.

Devastated by war and a collapsed economy, severe drought has now exhausted every means many have to survive. Famine was declared in South Sudan and surrounding areas in February, and one million South Sudanese are at risk of death by starvation. This number is expected to rise to over five million by July if no action is taken to resolve the crisis.

Mr McMillan has asked Church members to keep the people of South Sudan and members of our South Sudanese communities in Australia in their prayers.

“Many members of these communities are trying to support family members as best they can, and all UCA members are encouraged to show support as they are able,” said Mr McMillan.

UnitingWorld is currently running an Africa Famine appeal in partnership with the ACT Alliance and the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan (PCOSS) and supports the PCOSS peacemaking program.