Tuesday, 8 September 2009

Appeal from Archbishop of Sudan to Governments and others following recent atrocities

Sphere: Related Content APPEAL regarding the recent atrocities in Jonglei and Western Equatoria States

On Saturday 29th August 2009 I received reports from Wernyol, Twic East County, Jonglei State, that there had been another attack on the peoples of the area in which over forty people – men, women and children – were killed. Amongst the dead were Ven. Joseph Mabior Garang, Archdeacon of Wernyol and Archbishop’s Commissary in the new Diocese of Twic East, who was shot at the altar of the church in Wernyol during a service of Morning Prayer. Tens of others have been wounded, some very seriously with gun-shot wounds and broken limbs. Only a few of these have been taken to Juba Military Hospital, whilst the rest are still in Bor Hospital.

I have leant from Episcopal Church sources on the ground that the attackers were well armed with new automatic weapons, dressed in army uniforms, and appeared well-organized and properly trained. Instead of attacking a cattle camp, this was an attack on a Payam headquarter town. Consequently in the view of the Church, this was not a tribal conflict as commonly reported, but a deliberately organized attack on civilians by those that are against the peace in Southern Sudan. These reports confirm the suspicions that I aired in my May 2009 appeal to the diplomatic and international community in Sudan.

Last week I received the news from Ezo, Ezo County, Western Equatoria State, that there had been another devastating attack by the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) on Ezo town on 12th/13th August in which three people, including an Episcopal Church lay reader had been murdered. The attack included the abduction of children from the Episcopal church building in Ezo, and several thousand more people have been displaced into Ezo town – people that the local churches are struggling to care for. Ezo Hospital was also attacked, medicine stolen and equipment destroyed.

I hear from Bishop John Zawo of the Episcopal Diocese of Ezo that the attack could have been avoided if better military security had been given to the town.

I am therefore appealing to the government and the international community at large to act swiftly in order to prevent such atrocities from occurring in future. Continuing violence such as this is not only a crime against the innocent people killed and injured, it is a crime against the peace of the Sudan and if left unchecked will do great damage to the smooth implementation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA).

Brethren we need to pray for missions in Sudan. May God help us to wake up to our responsibilities. When many are suffering and are in need of basic provisions, others are exploiting the church members so as to purchase unnecessary 4-Way Drive jeeps just for enjoyment.

Funds for the 39,000 displaced persons and the bereaved family of Archdeacon Garang may be sent to Anglican Mainstream (for AID – Sudan) 21 High Street, Eynsham, OX29 4HE UK or donated through the paypal link on Anglican Mainstream website. All funds will be sent directly through with no deductions.

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