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Letters From South Sudan

157. Forging a Future

STTC graduate & two Aussies

  There is abundant bad publicity about South Sudan, some deserved, some over-stated and some not fully depicting the human tragedy that has afflicted the lives of so many people. Yet there are many courageous young people who continue to pursue their hopes and dreams. They know that just because a person is from another tribe, does not make that person ...

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Conflict : reasons for increasing Optimism

Displaced girl on bed in UN base

It was reported three days ago that the SPLA has begun assessing areas to move the army 25 kilometres outside Juba as stipulated in the peace agreement signed last month. The Chief of General Staff, Paul Malong and the head of the Presidential Guards, Marial Chanuong, with the help of a GPS company, have begun marking the coordinates of locations for ...

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Anguish and Compassion

Displaced woman inside UN base in South Sudan

In Juba we live behind a high fence with steel gates. It is simply the prudent thing to do. But every now and again there is banging on the gate to alert us that someone, anyone, a person, is seeking entry. When I recently responded to such knocking, I was confronted by a tall, slender, South Sudanese woman of gracious ...

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Let There Be Peace!

Praying for peace

The international community, set a dead-line of August 17 for the leaders of the rival, military factions in South Sudan to reach a peace agreement.  Since fighting erupted on December 15th, 2013, there have been four previous signed agreements, plus several other less formal attempts, that simply were not effective. Meanwhile, according to UN agency OCHA, 1,606,385 people have registered as ...

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Why We Are Here

Sr. Josephine with children

It is sad to see the present, unnecessary suffering of the people in South Sudan. Many are hungry, many are homeless and most are very poor – except in their spirit. Fortunately, the Churches, the UN and Aid agencies continue to assist the people. The Integrated Food Security Phase Classification (IPC) released a report last week asserting South Sudan faces the ...

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Floundering Economy

Carrying food

The cost of food for the local people who earn and purchase in SSP is becoming prohibitive. Many people are hungry. A recent report of the United Nations Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA stated that South Sudan made significant progress in improving food insecurity, prior to the start of the conflict in late 2013 but now asserts: “By late 2014, ...

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Three Spoons and Food Program

Displaced woman and children inside UN base in South Sudan

Mike Bassano 12 April 2015 One day, Hadia, a seven year old girl, invited me to her small tent house in the United Nations camp for Displaced People in Malakal, South Sudan. She wanted me to meet her mother, Sarah, as well as her younger brother. Hadia’s father died in the fighting that began in December 2013 causing many people ...

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AN UNEXPECTED JOURNEY

Priest celebrates mass inside UN base in South Sudan

Michael Bassano MM 15 April 2015 It was an unforgettable and memorable Holy Week in the United Nations Camp in Malakal, South Sudan this year, 2015. The population of this Camp for internally displaced people due to civil war is over 25,000. The Catholic Community has constructed a simple tent like chapel made of plastic sheeting and wooden poles as ...

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145. Against the Odds

Teacher training graduates 2015

Peace has not come to South Sudan but neither has war escalated. There are some reports of fighting in remote areas and many people are still displaced from their homes but for the majority of the people, life goes on, albeit with customary hardship. Two days ago, the Minister of Defense was reported as follows: Kuol Manyang Juuk, a member ...

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143. With Band-Aids and Rubber Bands

DSCN1227

    The fragile peace continues to hold and peace talks are soon to begin again; but we seem no nearer to a permanent solution and a clear roadmap for moving forward in South Sudan. A recent report from The Sudd Research Institute provided this table of statistics. I presume ‘security’ covers the military. The Rule of Law also attracts ...

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