AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Christian Churches launch a project of reconciliation among ethnic groups

Monday, 17 October 2016 reconciliation   local churches  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - The main Christian denominations in South Sudan, gathered in the South Sudan Council of Churches (SSCC), have launched a project of reconciliation and peace in Jonglei State to reduce tensions among local tribes, whose divisions accentuated with the civil war that began in December 2013. The project was launched after a meeting that the South Sudanese Churches had in Kigali in June 2015 (see Fides 11/08/2015), when twenty-five Christian leaders of South Sudan visited Rwanda to learn, from the dramatic local experience, how to bring peace, overcoming the trauma of genocide.
The project is funded by the US Agency for International Development (USAID) through the Catholic Relief Services (CRS). "Since there are churches throughout South Sudan it will be easy to implement the program", said Isaac Nyiding, responsible for the reconciliation project of the Upper Nile.
The civil war between the faction of President Salva Kiir and former Vice President Riek Machar assumed from the very beginning an ethnic-tribal dimension, with indiscriminate killings of civilians based on their ethnicity. The failure of the peace agreements reached in late August has worsened the situation, and ethnic-based clashes have spread to areas that had so far been spared by the conflict (see Fides 30/08/2016). (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 17/10/2016)