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South Sudan ministers' hopes for country restored in Scotland

Thu 15 Mar 2018
By Eno Adeogun

Ministers from war-torn South Sudan have travelled to Scotland to be equipped with conflict resolution tools to help bring peace to South Sudan.

The workshops set up by the Church of Scotland began on Thursday for eleven ministers.

Rev Santino Odong told Premier things are getting better in the world's youngest country but there's still a lot of room for progress.

 

"The situation is still fragile. It is a little improved in some big towns like the capital Juba but in… rural areas, there is still violence and war going on. We still need more prayers, especially for peace to be realised in South Sudan."

The ministers said the skills they learned at the workshops have restored their hopes for peace in the African nation.

The charity, Place for Hope is running the trainings, which are aimed at helping the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan and Sudan, (PCSS) chart a new course in the country.

Rev John Yor Nyiker Deng, General Secretary of the PCCS, said the ministers will take new skills back to South Sudan as well as fresh hopes for peace.

"The Church of Scotland has been with us since the beginning of this crisis and this week we are getting more knowledge and learning new techniques that will help us bring about peace in South Sudan.

"Peace talks are going on now and we do have hope that there will be peace in future. We know the war between North and South Sudan lasted 21 years and nobody knew it was going to end. But it did end and we know this war too can end."

South Sudan became an independent state in 2011, following two decades of conflict in Sudan between the predominantly Arab Muslim north and the predominantly African Christian south of Sudan.

After gaining independence, the war continued among the different political and ethnic groups vying for power in South Sudan. As a result, more than 2.4 million people became refugees and food shortages caused by the war affected 5 million people.

The United Nations declared a famine in February 2017 and while the crisis reduced by June that year about 1.7 million people still lack food.

Listen to Rev Santino Odong speaking with Premier's Alex Williams:


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