Shocking news reports coming out of Yei town, heart of Connor’s partner Diocese of Yei, indicate that atrocities are happening daily.
In an email this week, Bishop Hilary of Yei wrote that he and his wife Mama Joyce see killings carried out by the military on a daily basis.
The horrors of life in Yei today were exposed by the BBC’s Alastair Leithead on national news this week. Some of his report in video and text can be viewed here. Please note some of the content is distressing.
The landscape of Yei, as seen in the report aired on Wednesday’s BBC News, will be chillingly familiar to members of a number of Connor teams who have visited the town and wider diocese since the signing of the partnership agreement in 2007.
This week, Bishop Hilary wrote an email from Arua, northern Uganda, where he is visiting the refugees in the camps. “We have had many of our people who left the country to take up refugee in Uganda,” he wrote. “Myself I am still living in Yei with Mama Joyce. It has not been easy at all, seeing many of our people being killed daily by the military.
“This has forced almost all the young men and women to escape to join the rebellion. Our remaining in Yei is because we just can’t leave because there are still people in the town who need our presence to offer to them spiritual and moral support.”
Bishop Hilary said that the task of restoring hope and the faith of the young people who are idle in the camps is overwhelming. “The level of trauma and stress is high. This is leading to suicide and violence. The women need support to encourage them for a new beginning in the camps because their husbands are missing.”
With famine declared in two states and rebel activity affecting more and more of the rural areas, CMS Ireland today (Friday) said it was compelled, by deep concern for its global partners, to mobilise more prayer and support.
“Our partners’ local mission is expanding to include input into local peace-making initiatives and outreach to Internally Displaced People who are seeking refuge on parish compounds,” CMSI’s Partnership Co-ordinator Linda Abwa said.
Click here for a CMSI update on the crisis in South Sudan which includes information on how to make a financial donation. You can also donate to South Sudan via the Church of Ireland Bishops’ Appeal or Christian Aid.
Linda Abwa added: “Today Bishop Hilary asks us to respond to President Kiir’s call for prayer for the nation of South Sudan. At this time of increased pressure and violence please stand along with our global partners in prayer.”
Compassionate God and Father of all,
we are horrified at violence
in so many parts of the world, especially in South Sudan.
It seems that none are safe, and many are terrified.
Hold back the hands that kill and maim;
turn around the hearts that hate.
Grant instead your strong Spirit of Peace –
peace that passes our understanding
but changes lives,
through Jesus Christ our Lord.
To learn more about Connor’s partnership with Yei Diocese visit our Mission section.