As many of you will be seeing in the media, the conflict in South Sudan has once again escalated.
While some call what is happening now in Juba a return to war, what we know from being on the ground is that the violence of war that began in December 2013 has been ongoing. The fight for control, despite the signing of cease fires and peace agreements, has been fought in remote jungles and swamps throughout the young country. For the last few days, the nation’s capital, Juba, has been buffeted by extraordinary violence where the range of stakeholders, party to the peace process, have been engaging in a sustained battle for control of the city.
To everyone’s great relief that situation in Juba has significantly changed overnight - an immediate ceasefire was ordered by both the President and First Vice President on Monday, which as of writing appears to be holding. There is still a large military presence on the streets of Juba and humanitarians, including NP, are now preparing an urgent response to support the thousands of civilians affected by this violence.
At the time of writing, all NP colleagues in Juba are accounted for and are safe. These are difficult times that cause us all to ponder the bigger questions. John, a long time NP colleague asks “Where can we go where we will never see a gun? Where we will never see a man in military uniform? We are tired of that. Why are we killing our country?”