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Sowing the seeds of peace in South Sudan

Thomas Baldwin reports on the man-made crisis which has led to famine in the world's newest country – and of the seeds of hope being planted for the future by the Church of Scotland.

ON Monday February 20, the UN declared a famine in parts of Unity State, in the world’s newest country of South Sudan. Aid charities, issuing the distressingly-familiar disaster appeals, warned that 100,000 people are facing starvation in Unity, and a further million people are classified as being ‘on the brink of famine’.

This famine has not sprung from an ‘act of God’ – extreme weather or natural disaster – but from three years of escalating conflict between supporters of the President Salva Kiir, and former Vice President Riek Machar. More than three million people – a quarter of the population – have been displaced, many have fled to neighbouring countries, and the economy has collapsed.

“The famine is man-made,” says Jennie Chinembiri, Africa and Caribbean Secretary for the World Mission Council of the Church of Scotland.

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About Life and Work

The month of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland will be almost upon us as this issue reaches our readers. Reports will be debated and pronouncements made on a wide range of issues. One thing will be evident: the wind of change will begin to blow over the shape of the Church. After a series of roadshows over the length and breadth of the land from London to Lerwick the feedback on the future of the Church is being carefully analysed and considered.
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