Conflict Simmers

Tenuous Sudanese peace threatened

.- The town of Juba in the war-torn south of Sudan is a "time bomb" which "could explode at any time, with consequences for the entire country" reports a source of the Catholic charity Aid to the Church in Need(ACN).

In the past weekend military activities have taken place in Juba, which the Sudanese source says has remained a garrison town even after a peace accord halted Sudan's civil war in January of 2005.  Juba residents were forbidden to leave their houses, while those in the street were stopped and searched for weapons.  At least two journalists were arrested and their cameras confiscated.

The increase in tension was further worsened by rumors that the president of the South of Sudan, Salva Kirr, had been killed.  Preparations for riots were underway in the capital of Khartoum and some marketplace turmoil afflicted Juba.  President Kirr had to demonstrate he was still alive by attending Sunday Mass at the cathedral.  He exhorted people to "have no truck with rumors" which could "easily lead to war."  He further blasted the violent instigators as enemies of peace. 

Another person who attended this Mass explained "how fragile the peace still is" and warned that the peace accord could "at any moment be broken again."  They added, "Please pray for us!"

Aid to the Church in Need is asking all Catholics worldwide to pray for peace in Sudan.


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