South Sudan: Church is 'leading the struggle against violence' - video
Thursday 15th May 2014The church in South Sudan is 'leading the struggle against violence' says Archbishop Justin Welby in this interview with Episcopal News Service
During the past five months, South Sudan has faced its greatest challenge since becoming the world's newest nation in July 2011, when it seceded from the north in a referendum on independence following almost half a century of civil war.
A separate conflict erupted last December after South Sudan President Salva Kiir accused his sacked former deputy Riek Machar of plotting a coup.
But even as hope emerged on May 9 when the two rivals agreed to a truce and to forming a transitional government ahead of fresh elections, fighting has continued in parts of South Sudan. The humanitarian crisis is vast and the South Sudanese are desperately in need of the world's support. The conflict has left thousands dead and some 1.5 million people have been displaced.
The church in South Sudan has played a major role in peace and reconciliation. Archbishop Daniel Deng Bul, chair of the national reconciliation program, was summoned to the May 9 meeting between the two rivals in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. Before Kiir and Machar signed the peace deal, Deng held their hands and led a prayer.
In this interview, Archbishop Justin Welby, who visited South Sudan in January this year, says churches in the country are "mobilised against despair" and "leading the struggle against violence".
Video produced by Matthew Davies.