Church council sends peace teams to South Sudan

August 29, 2011

Nairobi, Kenya, August 29 (ENInews)--The Sudan Council of Churches has
dispatched peace teams to calm regions of Jonglei state in South Sudan, where
humanitarian agencies say hundreds have died and more than 26,000 people
have been displaced in inter-ethnic fighting.

The Rev. Ramadan Chan Liol, the council's general secretary, said the two
teams will deliver a message to the warring communities that there is no
future without peace and forgiveness. "This is very urgent. The cycle of
revenge after revenge has to be broken," the leader of the Roman Catholic,
Orthodox and Protestant churches' group told ENInews on 29 August in a
telephone interview. "SCC is taking this as the starting point for the national
peace and reconciliation effort. This is a long term initiative."

The teams are visiting the areas of Pibor and Wunroor, where they are
mediating between the Nuer Lou and Murle tribes, whose cattle raids and revenge
attacks have left over 1,000 people dead since January, according to the
United Nations. Within the same period, thousands have been displaced, and
hundreds of children and women abducted, the UN said. South Sudan became an
independent nation on 9 July after a two-decade-long civil war with Sudan,
the northern part of the country. 

"Clashes have left villages burned, humanitarian assets looted and
hundreds injured or killed," said Lise Grande, United Nations Humanitarian
Coordinator in South Sudan on 24 August in a statement. The South Sudan government
has said it is investigating the violence.

"There is no place for anything like this in South Sudan and the
government and the people will not tolerate it," Benjamin Barnaba Marial, a
caretaker minister for information and broadcasting as was quoted in the Sudan
Tribune as saying on 24 August.