After enduring decades of civil war with the Sudanese government, South Sudan finally declared independence and officially became the United Nations’ newest member-state in July, 2011. Yet the nightmares of violence and poverty are far from over for its people. Upon gaining independence, it also became one of the world’s poorest countries. Moreover, as of mid-January, ethnic clashes have already caused the displacement of 120,000 people. Clearly the country is in need of assistance of all sorts, more immediately humanitarian and peacekeeping operations but also economic development programs and programs that promote conflict resolution and reconciliation in the longer term.
Nancy and Shelvis Smith-Mather, both ministers from the Presbytery of Greater Atlanta, are currently in South Sudan working hard on improving the prospects of sustainable peace in the country. … Continue