South Sudan cease fire breaks down as YCVF campaigns to stave off famine
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
5/12/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
The five-month old civil war in South Sudan has flared again, causing both sides to discard a peace deal signed just last Friday. Without peace, it will remain difficult to feed the more than three million people who now face certain famine.
South Sudanese children wait to eat. Food relief is barely trickling in and supplies will run out by the end of May.
JUBA, SOUTH SUDAN (Catholic Online) - South Sudanese rebels have renewed fighting with the forces of President Salva Kiir, and both sides accuse the other of violating a cease fire negotiated just last Friday. According to government sources, the rebel commander, Riek Machar, is not in control of his own forces, particularly a rebel force known as the "White Army." The White Army is so dubbed because its troops smear themselves with wood ash to ward off mosquitoes.
The White Army has allegedly attacked government forces in the northern region of South Sudan around oil facilities. The militia may not have received word that the fighting was supposed to stop on Friday, government sources speculated.
Help feed the people displaced by this vicious conflict.
Most of the conflict is taking place around oil-producing facilities in Unity state.
A similar peace deal brokered in January also fell apart.
The situation leaves nearly four million South Sudanese civilians at serious risk of starvation. Both drought and displacement have prevented planting in time to avoid famine. Seed stocks have also been largely consumed by militant forces, leaving farmers with nothing to plant. UN officials warn the crisis in South Sudan may become the worst famine witnessed in the region since the 1980s.
In addition to farmers unable to sow crops, fishermen haven't been able to fish in the Upper Nile and ranchers haven't been able to graze surviving livestock.
The mass migration of 3.7 million people has also strained communities across the region and across borders.
The UN says that catastrophe can still be avoided, but only if the world delivers enough aid in a timely fashion. Unfortunately, support for humanitarian operations in the region remain woefully underfunded. The world has little interest it seems in feeding the people of South Sudan.
Despite what the world may do -or may not do, we as Catholics have an obligation to help. We cannot sleep in our beds with our bellies full, knowing that other people are dying of starvation. We cannot rest our conscience until we can at least say we have done something.
The call to action we are issuing is for every reader to donate something to help these people. We ask that according to your means, you donate food, or that you donate to our bridge fund which will allow us to close logistical gaps between food donations and the people meant to receive them.
One of the greatest challenges with the crisis in South Sudan is infrastructure and safely transporting food to the people who need it most. These obstacles can be overcome, but they require resources to do it with.
Your Catholic Voice Foundation asks that you answer the call and help out any way you can. We cannot save the entire world yet, but we can save some and we have a duty to deliver.
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