By Brad Phillips
Violence opened the new year in the world's newest country, as South Sudan struggles to unify the country following independence last July. At issue are old rivalries between tribes, which predate the last war and threaten to miscarry the embryonic state.
Makeshift clinics in Pibor are crammed with patients, many of whom are amputees, from conflicts between the Murle and the Nuer tribes. The Dinka-Bor have also had numerous scraps with the Nuer, leading to the massacre of entire villages.
The small UN peacekeeping force has been unable to stop the roving bands of militia from operating with impunity in the thick, swampy bush of the states along the White Nile. Many reports claimed the UN forces stood by while hundreds of people were slaughtered, because the militia forces were much larger than the UN detachments sent to "keep the peace."
The South Sudan government has charged the NCP government in Khartoum with financing and arming rebel militias in order to destabilize the oil-producing states. The NCP denies the charges and counter charges that the South is supporting the rebel armies in Southern Darfur, Southern Kordofan, and the Blue Nile States, which are fighting off the genocidal regime in Khartoum.
The good news is that the answer to all these regional problems is the Good News of reconciliation in Christ. Christ is the answer for tribal conflicts. He is the great Reconciler. He can bring all tribes and nations together.
This is why we are excited about PPF's Jebel Lopit Training Center (currently being built), which seeks to bridge the divide between the tribes through the reconciliation found in Christ.
Please pray that the work of PPF and all other missionaries and Christian organizations in South Sudan will contribute towards winning a lasting peace... not a peace through the absence of war, but of peace through victory in King Jesus in the hearts and lives of sinners.
Thank you for your continued support and prayers for the persecuted. And thank you for your partnership with us in ministering to the persecuted church in Sudan.