South Sudan: ‘Where God Weeps’

U.N. soldiers patrol a camp for internally displaced families at a U.N. base in Juba, South Sudan. (CNS photo/Paul Jeffrey) (April 23, 2014)

South Sudan’s civil war has taken a brutal turn, despite appeals from the country’s church leaders to stop the violence. In the oil hub of Bentiu, rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, killed more than 200 civilians and wounded more than 400 in mid-April, the United Nations reported on April 21. In a separate incident on April 17, at least 58 civilians were killed and more than 100 injured when an armed group of largely Dinka youth attacked a U.N. base in Bor. Speaking from Juba, Bishop Paride Taban, who had been involved in peace talks to end the fighting, reproached both sides. “During the civil wars, you could see the blood of our people dripping from the hands of others. But from whose hands is the blood dripping now? Who is killing Christians now? It is we, the Christians,” Bishop Paride Taban said on April 4. “I used to tell people that when God created South Sudan he laughed, but this has become the place where God weeps.”

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