When God Interrupts…Riimenze, South Sudan
Last August, I wrote about the good news, the positive situation in Riimenze, South Sudan. Today that situation no longer exists.
Has the agriculture project collapsed? No. The people are simply the victims of a callous civil war in which they never wanted to participate. I suspect that what has happened in Riimenze has happened in other parts of South Sudan but it is not being reported.
The situation is not hopeless. All the Government has to do is allow the people to go back to their homes and subsistence agriculture—and for the rebels also to leave them alone. Is that too much to ask?
Most homes have been looted and destroyed but the people are resilient. They will rebuild their simple homes. Food will be a problem short-term as many people were not able to go to their gardens to harvest their crops. Unlike many in the Protection of Civilian camps in Juba and other places, these people do have homes and properties to which they can return. All it needs is for them to be assured they can go home without fear. There is far too much fear in South Sudan.
Significantly for Solidarity with South Sudan, neither the rebels nor the Government soldiers have threatened us. Indeed, they have made it explicitly clear they appreciate what we are doing and neither our missionary personnel nor our large farm, including the animals, have been touched.
The photos from Sr Rosa tell a sad story. Thank you to Rosa, Margo, Josephine & Christian for the extraordinary help they are giving, and to all who are supporting our valiant Solidarity members in Riimenze. It is not the mission we planned, but it is the one that now confronts us. We pray that the local people may be allowed to go home before the wet season sets in.
By Br Bill Firman, Executive Director, Solidarity with South Sudan
South Sudan Needs Your Help
The South Sudan conflict continues to threaten the lives of many innocent people. With your generousity, you can make a difference. Please consider making a tax deductible donation in support of Solidarity peacebuilding initiatives. To help the people suffering in South Sudan, please visit: https://www.solidarityfriends.org/donate/