First Baptist Church in Kajo Keji, South Sudan, is struggling to find sufficient supplies to help the more than 200 internally displaced persons (IDPs) it is hosting.
Edward Dima, pastor of the congregation, told EthicsDaily.com that “there is no food … no clothing, no medical supplies. The situation is very alarming.”
There are more than 7,500 IDPs across South Sudan, Dima noted, resulting from the ongoing conflict that began in December 2013.
On June 13, 2016, the fighting reached the region of Kajo Keji, around 70 miles south of the capital city of Juba.
“The deadly clashes, between forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and those loyal to First Vice President Riek Machar left at least 21 soldiers dead and dozen others wounded on both sides,” the Sudan Tribune reported.
“This area has never seen war since South Sudan became independent [in 2011],” Dima told EthicsDaily.com. “There [were] no gun shot[s] in … Kajo Keji, but unfortunately, the government forces went to attack the rebel opposition forces in the area of Kansuk, killing dozen[s] of civilians and displacing hundreds.”
“Civilians fled the villages of Kansuk, Godoru and other nearby areas. Many mothers [and] children are in the bushes of Kajo Keji hiding,” he shared. “In other areas, children were the only ones seen fleeing and … the mothers [and] the fathers are nowhere to be seen.”
The congregation’s work is taking place amid an increase in violence directed toward humanitarian aid workers.
“Seventy-eight humanitarian access incidents were reported by partners in May, 73 percent of which involved violence against aid personnel or their properties,” according to a U.N. report. Three aid workers were killed, bringing the total to 55 since the conflict began.
“Please pray with us,” Dima urged. “We are trying to address the situation as a church, but the support is inadequate. Please help pray and support us in this difficult moment.”
Editor’s note: A video interview in which Dima shares about South Sudan’s history can be viewed here. Previous EthicsDaily.com articles related to South Sudan are available here, and photos from South Sudan provided by Dima can be found here. FBC Kajo Keji’s Facebook page is here.