RAY OF HOPE FOR SOUTH SUDAN
Thousands of people have been killed and almost two million people have fled fighting between government troops and the mutinous soldiers and ragtag militia forces since December 15, 2013. Is peace possible in South Sudan?
Recently South Sudan decided to adopt a more devolved system of government. This coupled with signs of more commitment on the part of the two rival leaders, President Salva Kiir and his sacked former deputy Riek Machar, to finding a lasting solution for peace gives a glimmer of hope for a peaceful future.
Early this week, President Jakaya Kikwete of Tanzania invited and met separately with the two rivals in the tourist town of Arusha in an attempt to broker peace for the war ravaged young nation. The two leaders this time round seemed to take a more serious and honest stand. They both acknowledged the need for re-uniting the divided ruling party, SPLM; they recognize that a divided SPLM would result into regional fault lines and a country fragmented along ethnic lines.
President Salva Kiir vowed commitment to “the peaceful resolution to the crisis,” while Mr. Machar promised, “we do not want this opportunity to go away like other opportunities before….We shall do our utmost to see that the process can be completed.” This meeting in Arusha had followed a push last week by the British, Norwegian and American special envoys who warned the two leaders that they must put aside personal ambitions to settle a peace deal for the sake of the country. It was the first time the bitter rivals had met since the signing of a ceasefire in August in Ethiopia which like the previous ones had swiftly crumbled.
Peace is critical for the rebuilding of the nation of South Sudan. These most recent events provide a small amount of hope, but the fact remains that the God of peace is the only way for permanent peace to reign. That is why SEA Partners and other Christian organizations like us must continue to share the love of Jesus Christ to those in South Sudan. God is the only hope for lasting peace. Please continue to pray for peace in South Sudan and to lift up the missionaries in Boma who serve the Murle people.
May God bless you all.