Francis headed to South Sudan where people eat leaves to survive

eating leaves

Around 40 percent of the people in Amothic, South Sudan are eating leaves off trees to survive.

Some of the children have diarrhoea from eating them. Half the village is eating their seed stocks too, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NCR) reports.

While NRC is helping around 100,000 South Sudanese, those eating their seed stocks means there will be few seeds to plant next growing season.

Speaking to the Portuguese delegation of international charity Aid to the Church in Need (ACN), Beta Almendra says that “there is a dire lack of international support.

“Some non-governmental organisations are withdrawing from the country,” says the 52-year-old Portuguese nun.

She tells ACN that the South Sudan is not stable, and people are not able to walk alone.

The bishop of the diocese of El Obeid, Yunan Tombe Trily, is appealing to Caritas and in particular Caritas in the South Sudan to ask NGOs and UN agencies for humanitarian aid promptly.

After postponing his trip last July, Pope Francis has rescheduled his trip to Congo and his ecumenical trip to South Sudan for 13 January to 5 February, the Vatican announced Wednesday.

With the Pope’s mobility still impaired, the new schedule for the trip has been trimmed slightly from what was planned in July.

As planned for years, Francis will travel to South Sudan with Anglican Archbishop Justin Welby of Canterbury and with the Rev. Iain Greenshields, moderator of the general assembly of the Church of Scotland.

The Church leaders hope their joint visit will encourage warring leaders to live up to the commitments they have made in a series of accords and finally offer their people peace.

Welby and Greenshields both welcomed word that the trip would finally go ahead.

“I am genuinely humbled at the opportunity to support our brothers and sisters in South Sudan in the search for peace, reconciliation and justice,” Greenshields said in a statement. He noted the Church of Scotland had been invited to “represent the Presbyterian family due to its strong partnership with the Presbyterian Church of South Sudan”.

Welby, for his part, added that all three leaders shared a desire to “stand in solidarity” with the South Sudanese people.

In one of his more memorable gestures, Francis invited South Sudan’s rival leaders to the Vatican in 2019 for a prayer. During their meeting, he knelt down and kissed their feet while begging them to make peace.

In February 2022, a new inter-ethnic conflict broke out between the Ngok Dinka of Abyei Administrative Area and the Twiic Mayardit Dinka of Warrap State, over a land claim over a stretch of a local market.

According to local sources, Fides reports that violence resumed on October 10, burning houses and looting property, causing the loss of life and the displacement of thousands of people on both sides.



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