The past year has brought many challenges for the people of South Sudan, especially for women and youth. Violence continues to ravage the country, bringing loss of life, displacement, and despair. In a Christmas message the Ecumenical Network on South Sudan (ENSS), Europe and North America Hub, calls for nonviolence and a just peace and for leaders to implement the revitalized peace agreement.
The ENSS comprises of a large group of international church & faith-based organisations in Europe and North America (as well as the ENSS African Hub), that prepare advocacy statements and updates in support of the peace process in South Sudan. ENSS supports the work of the church in South Sudan to stop the conflict, address the root causes, promote peace and reconciliation for all and unity by example. PAX is the co-chair of the Europe and North American Hub.
Furthermore, the impact of climate change is acutely felt in South Sudan, with over 800,000 people affected by flooding, beyond previous levels. Grave food insecurity persists, with 8.3 million people projected to need humanitarian assistance the coming year.
The ENSS members call upon stakeholders in our own countries in Europe and North America – officials, government representatives, and those who engage with South Sudan on various platforms – to continue to strive to keep South Sudan high on the international agenda and to support the South Sudan Council of Churches’ Action Plan for Peace, the grassroots justice and peace initiatives of the church civil society women and youth groups.
We must not turn our backs on the people of South Sudan.