Jesse Zink reports on a conversation with Bishop Ruben Akurdit Ngong in Bor, South Sudan
The Anglican bishop in Bor, South Sudan is asking for prayers and assistance as his see city emerges from intense violence over Christmas.I spoke on the phone this morning with the Rt. Rev. Ruben Akurdit Ngong, bishop of the Diocese of Bor in the Episcopal Church of Sudan and South Sudan. (Bishop Ruben was my host in Bor for most of the month of April.) The connection was poor and we only managed to talk for about ten minutes but I managed to gather some information.
Since December 19, Bishop Ruben has been seeking shelter in the UN compound in Bor, along with a reported 17,000 others. He reported that there is sufficient water in the compound but insufficient food.
South Sudan’s violence has enveloped Bor in recent days. Reports indicate that the SPLA/government forces pushed out forces that were loyal to a commander who defected from the SPLA. The only media reports I have seen from Bor so far are this disturbing video from Al Jazeera,
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The president of Kenya and the prime minister of Ethiopia arrived Thursday in South Sudan for talks with President Salva Kiir to seek a peaceful solution in South Sudan according to the New York Times:
The revolt, which began last week, has spread rapidly to half of the country’s 10 states and to more than 20 cities and towns nationwide. Heavy fighting between government forces and rebels continued in South Sudan on Thursday, particularly in the strategic city of Malakal.Tens of thousands of South Sudanese have sought refuge in United Nations compounds across the country, fleeing violence that is believed to have claimed thousands of lives, shaking a young nation that gained independence from Sudan in 2011.
Mr. Kiir spoke out against ethnically motivated killings on Wednesday in a Christmas address. In his address at a cathedral in Juba, the capital, Mr. Kiir acknowledged that Christmas this year was “very gloomy” but told his people: “Don’t despair. You hope for the best. Don’t lose hope.”