1

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A legend of the Dinka and Nuer

 

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tells how when God asked them

to choose cattle or guns,

 

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they chose cattle,

 

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while the Arabs and Westerners

went for the guns.

 

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But for decades now, guns

and cattle have lived together

 

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in this land

which, since 2013,

 

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has endured a bloody civil war

between these two ethnic groups.

 

 

 

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The situation is really bad

and it's getting worse.

 

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Currently,

about 50,000 people a month,

 

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are leaving South Sudan,

 

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and there are

about 1.6 million people

 

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living outside of the country.

 

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Inside the country, nearly

two million people are displaced.

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The rainy season has arrived.

 

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The ground becomes fertile,

but because of the civil war

 

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tens of thousands of people

cannot work the fields,

 

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and so have no food.

 

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The emergency is being dealt

with by the United Nations

 

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and dozens

of international organisations.

 

 

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I'm encouraging

the leadership here

 

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to grant greater access

in the conflict.

 

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If we're in the conflict,

then we have enough funds

 

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to achieve the objectives

and feed the people.

 

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But with the conflict as it is...

 

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Now the rainy season

is coming upon us,

 

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and that means we have

a much more difficult job,

 

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prepositioning food,

 

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and so our teams

have been prepositioning food

 

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in the very difficult areas

you can't get to

 

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once the rainy season hits in.

 

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As they are providing

direct assistance...

 

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..food aid to the population

 

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in the areas under conflict,

basically,

 

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we do complementary work

based in other areas,

 

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that are not exactly

under the acute conflict.

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An enormous task this,

 

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rendered difficult by the fighting

 

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and the lack of dialogue

between the opposing sides.

 

 

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But that still begs

the question of lack of funding

 

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that we need

for the remainder of the year.

 

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And that could be

a catastrophic situation.

 

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Famine's already been declared

in two counties.

 

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We are on the brink of famine

 

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in many other locations

in this country,

 

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and many people,

five million people,

 

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already are looking for food

on a daily basis.

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But the local leadership,

 

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that governed

by President Salva Kiir Mayardit,

 

 

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is not interested in the appeals

of the United Nations.

 

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On 18 March,

the feast of the SPLA,

 

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the Sudan People's

Liberation Army,

 

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Salva Kiir used words of fire

against his opponents.

 

 

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In the last three years...

 

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..we have seen

how the forces of evil

 

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have tried

to bring down our country.

 

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They are bent

on trying to rewrite history

 

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and drive the wedge

among our people.

 

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They have even gone as far as

 

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portraying our historical army,

the national army,

 

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as an ethnic army.

 

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However,

we are all surely aware

 

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that our military is comprised

 

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of all South Sudanese,

 

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of whatever ethnic group

in the country.

 

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This is what remains

of the Terrain hotel,

 

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the compound

attacked on 11 June 2016

 

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by about 100 Government soldiers.

 

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Doors torn off, bullet holes

everywhere, broken windows,

 

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that render the idea

of what happened

 

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during the three hours of terror

 

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that saw the soldiers

savage men and women.

 

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Gang rapes,

injuries and torture,

 

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a journalist

killed in cold blood.

 

 

43        00:05:02:10     02:01   00:05:04:11

Yeah, before the eyes of...

 

44        00:05:04:14     02:01   00:05:06:15

Because it has been reported...

Let me just correct,

 

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it has been reported

by UN agencies

 

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that they have spotted

"people in uniform"

 

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raping women

around the UN compound.

 

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We are in uniform,

the UN army is in uniform.

 

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So it is not specific

in this case.

 

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But otherwise all of us

need to be investigated.

 

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But one thing is that UNMISS has

a mandate to protect or assist

 

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the Government of South Sudan

to protect its citizens.

 

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What was their role

 

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when they were witnessing

"people in uniform"

 

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raping women

around their facility?

 

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Did they take any measures?

 

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In criminal procedure,

 

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if you are seeing a crime

happening before your eyes

 

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and you have a mandate

and you don't intervene,

 

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then you are part of the crime.

 

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So this is what is happening.

 

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I call it the Titanic situation.

 

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When the Titanic hit the iceberg,

 

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where was the crew?

 

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One was working

on a broken chair,

 

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one was fixing a leaky faucet,

one was fixing a leaking toilet,

 

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one was cleaning

the countertop...

 

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nobody was focused on

where the ship was going,

 

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and right now

we are all hands on deck

 

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with the four famines, possibly

serious financial cutbacks...

 

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So we're trying to make sure

we don't hit the iceberg.

 

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In the meantime I've got teams

 

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beginning to work

on these questions,

 

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because we know

that we go into very risky areas

 

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all over the world,

 

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but we need

to minimise that risk

 

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for the safety of our teams,

 

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and, two, for the protection of

these very valuable commodities

 

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like the one

you're just talking about, so...

 

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Well,

I think it is very unfortunate

 

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that our president

does not listen,

 

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our president does not cooperate

with his own citizens.

 

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Much of the displacement,

killing, destruction

 

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it is truly done by the SPLA,

the army of the Government,

 

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and it is the Government

who is responsible,

 

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not the evil forces.

There is no evil forces,

 

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and I want to assure you

there is no evil forces.

 

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It is the mentality

of the president,

 

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it is the mentality

of the ruling party,

 

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it is the mentality of the SPLA,

SPLM who created this mess.

 

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The same day

when we were praying

 

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they killed a pastor

of the Episcopal Church in Yei,

 

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they killed a pastor!

 

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The same harsh words

come from the leaders

 

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of the Episcopal Church

of South Sudan,

 

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who, through the Bishop of Yei,

 

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tell us what is happening

outside Juba.

 

 

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July 2016,

 

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the crisis arrived in Yei,

 

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and in a very serious,

negative way.

 

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It pushed out people from Yei,

 

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because there were

a lot of threats,

 

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and there was

a lot of rumour going on

 

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of an imminent big war

which was going to happen in Yei,

 

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and this made the people of Yei

leave the town.

 

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And actually incidents

of killing took place in Yei.

 

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People were shot in town,

everybody knew this,

 

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it was not a secret,

 

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even the Government

was aware of this thing,

 

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we have raised this

to the Government,

 

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that people

were being killed in Yei

 

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within that period of July,

when the crisis started in July.

 

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It was a very serious situation,

 

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there was a dire need

for security.

 

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There was no security in Yei.

 

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All these declarations

find confirmation in the words

 

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of refugees in different camps

around the capital.

 

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This is POC 3,

 

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inside which

more 42,000 people live

 

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in terrible hygienic conditions.

 

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You couldn't stay there.

 

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The soldiers were shooting

and the rebels firing back,

 

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and we were stuck in the middle.

 

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I took what I could

and escaped with my children.

 

 

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I came with my two brothers.

 

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On the way they stopped the car

and have taken my two brothers,

 

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however I don't know up to now

where they have taken them.

 

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So I reached Juba,

I have nowhere to go.

 

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Somebody told me there's a church

here that can help people.

 

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Now I'm just alone

with my three children.

 

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Bodies covered in rags,

misery everywhere, flies,

 

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fires on which they cook grass

torn from the fields.

 

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And anywhere at all

will do to rebuild

 

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the semblance of a village

and an apparently normal life,

 

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like these refugees

from the north, from Tarakeka,

 

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who live among the tombs

of a cemetery,

 

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like a horror film,

where horror has become reality.

 

 

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Families continue

to experience shocks,

 

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they are not just displaced

once,

 

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they are displaced

multiple times

 

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and affected by violence

over and over again.

 

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In Yei also...

 

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..the last three days

also there are fights there.

 

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Terrible fighting whereby

they kill a lot of people.

 

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My family

 

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has had four brothers

who have been killed.

 

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We manage psychosocial

support programmes

 

128      00:11:21:18     02:17   00:11:24:10

which are very community-based,

community-focused.

 

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We are focused less on trauma

 

130      00:11:26:11     01:10   00:11:27:21

and more on enabling communities

 

131      00:11:27:24     02:21   00:11:30:20

to rebuild the social fabrics

they have seen torn apart.

 

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We adjust

to a very different life,

 

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suddenly living

in a very crowded POC site,

 

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when that wasn't their lives

before,

 

135      00:11:37:22     01:10   00:11:39:07

with strangers,

people you don't know,

 

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maybe you lost your spouse,

 

137      00:11:40:22     02:13   00:11:43:10

your children aren't in school,

you're not sure of their future,

 

138      00:11:43:13     03:20   00:11:47:08

and enabling people to help

each other in a safe environment.

 

52        00:11:58:21     03:20   00:12:02:16

When children are malnourished,

 

53        00:12:02:19     04:06   00:12:07:00

the problem is that

they don't then develop normally.

 

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A normal child is active,

they sing, they move...

 

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a malnourished baby sits still,

not moving,

 

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and so doesn't develop mentally.

 

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They can grow up

to be a child with problems.

 

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So the baby

is severely malnourished.

 

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The South Sudanese Churches,

 

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to deal with the emergency

and stop the war,

 

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decided to work together

to provide an ecumenical answer,

 

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and they also drew up proposals

for a peace plan.

 

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We as churches,

as Council of Churches

 

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are involved in this undertaking

 

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through the action plan

for peace,

 

66        00:13:41:24     05:07   00:13:47:06

an action to bring about peace

which has three chapters.

 

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The first is advocacy,

 

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how to talk

to the South Sudanese people

 

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to change the notion they have

of vendetta and violence

 

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into a notion of peace.

 

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Then we have level number 2,

the Neutral Forum, a free space

 

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where the South Sudan people

can have a dialogue.

 

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Today we're scared

 

74        00:14:12:13     05:09   00:14:17:22

that what I say, however true,

will cost me my life.

 

 

139      00:14:18:00     02:11   00:14:20:11

Now, when we as churches

came together

 

140      00:14:20:14     01:02   00:14:21:16

with the Catholic Church,

 

141      00:14:21:19     03:22   00:14:25:16

my brother bishop Erkolano,

the Catholic Church bishop,

 

142      00:14:25:19     02:03   00:14:27:22

myself and another bishop

of another church,

 

143      00:14:28:00     03:24   00:14:31:24

we came up with a plan

of putting the churches together,

 

144      00:14:32:02     02:16   00:14:34:18

instead of being

different denominations,

 

145      00:14:34:21     01:05   00:14:36:01

to give the deliverance

 

146      00:14:36:04     02:15   00:14:38:19

of speaking out as one voice

to the world.

 

147      00:14:38:22     02:00   00:14:40:22

And then we formed our committee

 

148      00:14:41:00     04:01   00:14:45:01

which is Yei Ecumenical

Emergency Relief Committee,

 

149      00:14:45:04     04:18   00:14:49:22

and now we came up

with an appeal to the world,

 

150      00:14:50:00     03:23   00:14:53:23

to UN agencies,

international organisations.

 

75        00:14:54:01     04:02   00:14:58:03

The third level

is that of reconciliation,

 

76        00:14:58:06     04:01   00:15:02:07

which is very hard and complicated

 

77        00:15:02:10     01:09   00:15:03:19

because we have all suffered.

 

78        00:15:03:22     04:16   00:15:08:13

We as a church, through dialogue

 

79        00:15:08:16     06:13   00:15:15:04

in the outskirts, the villages,

the cities of South Sudan

 

80        00:15:15:07     03:14   00:15:18:21

to reach a common position.

 

81        00:15:18:24     01:21   00:15:20:20

There are lots of differences,

 

82        00:15:20:23     02:03   00:15:23:01

but there's something

which unites

 

83        00:15:23:04     01:24   00:15:25:03

the country called South Sudan.

 

84        00:15:25:06     02:06   00:15:27:12

We are all South Sudanese!

 

85        00:15:27:15     01:13   00:15:29:03

Stopping the call of blood,

 

86        00:15:29:06     02:08   00:15:31:14

stopping the hatred

that pushes human beings

 

87        00:15:31:17     02:15   00:15:34:07

to hurt their neighbour

because they are different.

 

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