April 2012: grandmother Nyanhial arrived in Jonglei state with her family after rebels attacked their village
The people of Murle county, South Sudan, have been devastated by violence and are 'facing starvation'.
Christian Aid partner Gachora Ngungiri gives us an eyewitness report of the situation and explains how the Episcopal Church of the Sudan is helping.
Christian Aid partner
Gachora Ngungiri works with the Most Reverend Dr Daniel Deng - Archbishop of the Episcopal Church of the Sudan, a Christian Aid partner - as the Jonglei Peace Programme Coordinator.
In this role, Gachora supports the Archbishop's peace building missions to Jonglei and other areas of South Sudan that have been devastated by violence since the country separated from Sudan to become the world's newest state.
Following a recent visit to Murle county, where a rebel group known as the Yau-Yau are active, Gachora sent this report.
Gachora's report from South Sudan:
I returned from the bush yesterday. This was undoubtedly my most daring trip ever, deep into Murle country.
We were kept waiting for days for the army escort to Gumuruk and when finally the minister of local government called to say the escort was ready, I did not want to take any chances and so we drove ahead of the army escort all the way to Gumuruk.
I must confess that I was very fearful and at the same time looking forward to the opportunity to tell the Murle, who are not with Yau-Yau, that the rest of us think and care about them.
I was visiting a place where I stayed for two days only two years ago and was fed to the full by the local people. Now they face starvation quietly in their homeland, feeling the rest of the world doesn’t care about them because they are associated with rebels.
Constructing a medical clinic
That is why the Archbishop had sent me to launch the construction of a medical clinic and deliver essential drugs to the people.
The joy we saw in the pastor, his people, the local administration and everyone else was all we needed to forget the fright of our journey.
That the Pibor County Commissioner had come ahead of us and assembled all the chiefs to show them where he wanted the Episcopal Church of the Sudan to construct the clinic and left instructions for us to be received well was very encouraging.
Wishes for Murle county
As we drove back we did not experience the fear we had felt as we headed to Gumuruk. Rather, our hearts were full of wishes.
Wishes that the clinic will be built in record time before the rains come.
Wishes that the doctor we are engaging will not see the remoteness of the place or the dangerous environment and decide to leave, but will stay and treat the two sickly children brought by their mothers to me for help.
Wishes that we can help the people of Gumuruk drill a borehole and free the mothers and sisters from venturing into the bushes looking for firewood to sell to buy clean water.
Wishes that we shall have people who will be prepared to walk along with the local people to free them from hunger and starvation.
Wishes that the children can learn uninterrupted in the local primary school.
And I know that this is possible.
Will those two children live long enough to tell the story of Gumuruk in happier days? I hope so. I really hope so. Because God loves them. And he has people who move at the compulsion of his love.
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