South Sudan (MNN) — South Sudan remains in limbo following a two-week summit. More than 500 participants gathered in Juba earlier this month to discuss the future of the world’s youngest nation. See our full South Sudan coverage here.
Last week, the National Dialogue conference came to a close. It’s part of a 2018 peace deal and intends to foster peace and unity after years of violence. While obtaining peace means securing a hopeful future for South Sudan, getting there is “a very slow process,” World Concern’s Joshua Bundi says.
“[The] government was supposed to have been formed by February this year, but up to today, the government is not yet fully formed. We still have state governments that have not been formed. The national parliament has not been reconstituted.”
Now that National Dialogue meetings are over, critical questions about implementation remain. Will South Sudan’s President make any suggested changes? How and when will these changes take place? Will the country finally be at peace?
“We have a peace process that has been going on since the country gained independence,” Bundi says.
“We are not yet settled, and every day we wake up to new twists [in] this peace process. But we know we serve a God of peace. Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace.”
They know nothing but war
South Sudan officially became a nation in 2011 and has been at war with itself ever since. “It is estimated that about 300,000+ people lost lives during that challenge of 2016 [and] 2017; we have millions that have been displaced,” Bundi says, referring to this surge of violence.
The future of South Sudan hinges upon conflict resolution. Despite gains in some areas, the UN says ongoing violence and instability pose serious threats. Over 1,000 people have been killed, and more than 400 abducted in the past six months.
While many South Sudanese live in other countries as refugees, others try to rebuild their lives between bouts of violence in their war-torn homeland. World Concern comes alongside to physically and spiritually transform communities.
Two out of three people in South Sudan need assistance to survive.
World Concern offers the hope of Christ through holistic community development, including clean water, food, economic empowerment, education, and spiritual growth. Help transform a village in South Sudan here.
“Pray for the Church in South Sudan [and] pray for these communities,” Bundi requests.
“We pray every day that God, in His own way, will be able to settle these communities. There are people who have never settled [down] in their lifetime because we are talking about a protracted conflict that has been there for over 65 years.”
Pray the peace that passes all understanding will lead people to trust in Christ.
Header image depicts boy holding new South Sudanese flag at a 2011 independence celebration. (Photo courtesy of World Concern)