11 July 2016 - Christian Aid is extremely concerned about the safety of civilians caught up in the armed clashes in Juba, South Sudan’s capital city.
We appeal for an immediate end to the hostilities and we urge parties to lay down their arms – for the sake of the people of South Sudan, who have already suffered so much.
The fighting has severely undermined the peace agreement that was signed last year, as have recent attacks in the town of Wau and other parts of the country.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the women, children and men who are bereaved, injured and living in fear.
We are closely monitoring the situation on the ground and we are in regular contact with our local partners.
Responding to the violence, our partner the South Sudan Council of Churches said: “We, the leaders of the Church in South Sudan, are extremely disturbed about the fatal shootings which occurred in Juba on the evenings of 7th and 8th July 2016 and the morning of 10th July.
“We make no judgement as to how or why they occurred, nor who is to blame, but we note with concern that there have been a number of incidents recently, and that tension is increasing.
“We condemn all acts of violence without exception. The time for carrying and using weapons has ended; now is the time to build a peaceful nation.
“We pray for those who have been killed, and for their families, and we ask God's forgiveness for those who have done the killing. However we also urge repentance and a firm commitment from all armed individuals, forces and communities, and from their leaders, to create an atmosphere where violence is not an option.
“We are encouraged by the statements from both President Salva Kiir and First Vice President Riek Machar calling for calm. We add our voices to theirs, and urge soldiers and civilians to refrain from provocative words and actions, and to do everything in their power to avoid escalating the situation.”
The situation is extremely insecure and unpredictable, and Christian Aid is unable to offer spokespeople at this moment. For further information contact Tomi Ajayi on firstname.lastname@example.org
To donate to our emergency appeal for the humanitarian crisis in South Sudan, see here.
Notes to editors:
1. Christian Aid works in some of the world's poorest communities in around 40 countries at any one time. We act where there is great need, regardless of religion, helping people to live a full life, free from poverty. We provide urgent, practical and effective assistance in tackling the root causes of poverty as well as its effects.
2. Christian Aid’s core belief is that the world can and must be changed so that poverty is ended: this is what we stand for. Everything we do is about ending poverty and injustice: swiftly, effectively, sustainably. Our strategy document Partnership for Change explains how we set about this task.
3. Christian Aid is a member of ACT Alliance, a global coalition of more than 130 churches and church-related organisations that work together in humanitarian assistance, advocacy and development.
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5. For more information about the work of Christian Aid, visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk