Writer Chris Herlinger is currently in South Sudan reporting for NCR. Here is his first letter regarding the experiences and fears of the people he has met. As he continues his work there, look for more blog posts, stories and photos from him about the realities people are facing.
First impressions aren’t always accurate. But in my first days here I have been struck by the extent of trauma people have experienced – and real worries that the violence that has rocked South Sudan since mid-December may not be over.
With fears that the situation in South Sudan is disappearing from the front pages of newspapers, the United Nations released a press statement yesterday appearing on U.N. News Centre about the desperate need for relief in the most remote areas of the country still affected by violence. As the rainy season approaches in central Africa, the situation for refugees living in camps becomes more precarious. Br. Bill Firman with Solidarity with South Sudan gives an update.
Aljazeera published a story this week, “Frontline Nuns,” profiling religious aid workers from Solidarity with South Sudan who are serving in areas of war while facing realities of their own safety. Br. Bill Firman, Solidarity’s executive director, also wrote to NCR this week with a letter titled, “Troubled Times.”
Today’s letter, written on March 4, comes from Lasallian Br. Bill Firman, executive director of Solidarity with South Sudan. Furman writes from Juba, South Sudan’s largest city, where BBC Africa reports violence has broken out among the military in the last week.