[ACNS, by Kenyi Dube] The relief agency of the Episcopal Church of South Sudan & Sudan, Sudra, is distributing relief items to hundreds of people who took refuge in churches in response to last month’s violence. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes when government and opposition forces clashed in and around Juba.
Reliefs items including maize floor, beans, oil and table salt are being distributed from the All Saints Cathedral compound in Juba by young volunteers from Kator archdeaconry and the Diocese of Juba.
One of the recipients, Mama Kiden, said she was “happy” to receive the aid and thanked the Anglican church for helping her. She said that she did not know he she and her four children would survive without it. “In the last two weeks it was not easy,” she said. “Everything in the market was expensive and I could not afford [anything].
“My husband who works for a construction company had no money since his employers were evacuated. They have not returned back so he is jobless now.”
Mama Kiden took shelter in All Saints Cathedral but was able to return to her home in the Gudele district after the fighting stopped. “I was surprised [when] we reached my house, seeing the doors open with some of our belongings looted,” she said. “They only took [a] few items from my house . . . but my neighbour’s house was completely swept.”
In addition to Juba, fighting has also taken place in Lainya County, some 75 kilometres from Juba. When armed opposition and government troops clashed in the town, all the civilians fled the area, leaving no one but soldiers patrolling the town and residential areas.
Only the Bishop of Lainya, the Rt Revd Eleoba Lako, remains as the only civilian left in the town. Bishop Lako is living in the Cathedral compound. The roads from Lainya to Yei and Juba are both closed.
Christians in Juba are worried about how Bishop Lako is coping and have asked for prayers.