UK Government calls for elections in South Sudan
In a statement to the UN Security Council on 15th September, UK Ambassador to the UN, James Kariuki, expressed concern that, five years after the signing of the peace agreement which ended the civil war in the country, progress towards the elections promised in the agreement remains slow. Whilst welcoming some recent signs of progress, Ambassador Kariuki said, "we call on South Sudan’s leaders to demonstrate the political will to deliver the free and fair elections that the South Sudanese people deserve... [and] to create the necessary political and civic space to allow for free and credible elections."
The text of the speech is recorded in full here:
New syllabuses for Episcopal University
The Governing Council of The Episcopal University of South Sudan (TEU), of which St John’s College Wau is a constituent institution, is meeting in Juba in early September to consider new syllabuses. If ratified, these will be available to St John’s and other constituent colleges to use, while recognising local autonomy.
Rev Ron Hart and Dr Eeva John from ECSSSUP, the UK-based charity which works with the Episcopal Church of South Sudan in its vision and mission to establish a Christian foundation university with campuses in different parts of the country, will be in Juba from 4th to 13th September to attend this meeting. They hope to be able to visit the new site being developed at Rokon.
St John’s College became affiliated to The Episcopal University, along with four other colleges, when TEU was inaugurated as a private university in November 2022 (see Newsletter 58, February 2023), and Archbishop Moses is a member of the Governing Council.
To find out more about The Episcopal University and ECSSSUP's work in supporting it, click here: https://www.ecsssup.org/copy-of-home
Holes Bay Walk raises £3,700 for St John's College
Our main fundraising event of the year, the Holes Bay Walk, took place on Saturday 8th July 2023. Although the 7-mile walkers (top of page) set out in quite heavy rain at 9.30, this proved to be a short-lived shower and the forecast thunderstorms did not materialise. Walkers arrived back at St Dunstan's Upton from 12.00 onwards in good spirits, if hot and weary.
It was announced on 19th August that the walk raised £3,721, about £1000 less than last year, but still a solid start to our fundraising for the final phase of the new building at St John's College, Wau. There will be more details about this in the October issue of the PWP Newsletter.
23 walkers took part (25 if dogs Emma and Poppy are included), about equally divided between the 3-mile and 7-mile routes. Groups came from St Michael's Hamworthy, St Clement's, St Luke's Parkstone, St George's Oakdale and Lytchett Minster/St Dunstan's. Many thanks to all who took part and those who sponsored them, as well as those who provided refreshments at St James's Church in Poole and Jeff and Karen Neagle, who were responsible for the excellent lunch of pizza and choc ices at the end.
Judy's Jams (& tea, cakes and chutneys) raise £1300 for PWP
At the Open Garden event at 24A Western Avenue, Branksome Park for 2023, on 18th June, Judy Hudson’s sale of teas, cakes, jams & chutneys raised £580 for the Poole-Wau Partnership.
Together with the amount she raised at the first event in April, Judy’s efforts this year have contributed some £1300 to PWP. Judy’s takings at these events have made a great contribution to PWP for the past two years. This time the funds raised will go towards the final stage of the development of the St John’s College extension. Many thanks to Judy for again supporting us in this way.
Britain planning to increase aid to South Sudan to £111 million in 2024-25
In July 2023 the Foreign Office published projections which suggest that bilateral aid from the UK to South Sudan will increase from £47.9 million to £111 million in 2024-25.
However, a UK government report, which was sent to the House of Commons Committee on International Development on 2nd August 2023, paints a grim picture of the effects of the cuts to the overseas aid budget announced in 2020, especially to the poorest countries, including South Sudan: 27,000 children suffering from severe acute malnutrition in South Sudan will go untreated in 2023, it said, of which 12% could die.
Andrew Mitchell, Minister for Development and for Africa, earlier admitted that the bilateral aid budget had taken "a terrible hit" over the previous three years, which, he said, had been "the most ghastly period with three sets of cuts before, as a result of budgets being cut back. It has been a terrible time." As a backbencher, Mitchell was a prominent critic of the cutting of overseas aid by Boris Johnson's government from 0.7% to 0.5% of GDP, which hit South Sudan badly in 2021, as reported in PWP Newsletter 48 in April 2021.
The increase in funding to South Sudan will not come until 2024-25 and is just a projection. Welcome though it will be, it does not completely restore the cuts made in 2021. The published projection does not envisage the 0.7% of GDP level returning until 2027-28, but if the projected increase proves accurate, it will make a significant difference to South Sudan.
More on this story at:
Roof of college extension complete: first photos
Our friends at St John's College, Wau have wasted no time in constructing the roof of the new lecture rooms building. On 19th January 2023 over £12,000 was sent by Poole-Wau Partnership. The college obtained an updated quotation for construction of the roof from their contractors on 14th February, by early March work on the roof was well under way and in April we received the first photos of the finished roof (below).
The June edition of our newsletter contains reactions to the completion of the roof from two students and the Acting Principal of the college: https://www.poolewaupartnership.com/newsletter.html
More than £20,000 has so far been raised for this project since our appeal was launched in January 2022.
The dedicated Appeal page elsewhere on this website has more detailed news of the progress of this appeal, including photos of the roof under construction:
Novel set in Wau published
Dave Lewis, a long-standing friend of Wau and South Sudan, has published a novel partly set in Wau. Dave tells us, "It is a work of Christian fiction. It's called Mary's Resolution and is a surprising tale of a woman's journey to Wau and the way that God uses her to the benefit of the local community.
"Archbishop Moses is pleased that a book is available that speaks about Wau and Northern Bahr el Ghazal. The key purpose of the book is to draw people into the reality there in a gentle and non threatening way."
Mary's Resolution is available from Amazon in printed, electronic formats and Google Play Books in electronic and audio formats. Here are direct links for both:
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Conflict in Sudan:
Refugees & returnees to South Sudan pass 250,000
[Last update: 17/09/23]
By mid-September, more than 260,000 refugees and returnees have fled from Sudan and been registered in South Sudan. The majority of these are South Sudanese citizens who fled to Sudan during the civil war a few years ago and are now moving back. On 15th September in the UN Security Council, the British Ambassador to the UN praised the efforts being made to provide humanitarian support for these people: "The United Kingdom commends the Government of South Sudan’s provision of transportation and the UN system and humanitarian partners in their response to the crisis."
Archbishop Moses in Wau told us back in May: "The most affected Internal Province by the Sudan crisis in South Sudan is Northern Bahr el Ghazal because of our closeness and the long border with the North. We have been receiving thousands of South Sudanese returnees and Sudanese refugees in the Dioceses of Wanyjok, Nyamlel and Raja since the conflict began."
Civil conflict began in Khartoum on 15th April 2023 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) under General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan and the Rapid Support Force (RSF) of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, the two military leaders who jointly organised the coup in late 2021 which overthrew the civilian government, but who have now fallen out with each other.
The July edition of Renewal magazine (link below) reports that although NGOs including World Vision South Sudan, World Food Programme, and Alight Organization have provided support to the returnees and refugees, many of them are still suffering. “The challenges that are facing the refugees and returnees include food, water, medical care and non-food items,” reports the Acting Provincial Secretary of Northern Bahr el Ghazal Internal Province, Rev. William Majok, “and the South Sudanese returnees need transport assistance to facilitate their movement to the communities where they will be integrated.”
This report by Kaamil Ahmed for The Guardian highlights the plight of Sudanese children, who are especially badly affected by the disruption to food supplies: https://www.theguardian.com/global-development/2023/aug/16/dire-humanitarian-crisis-children-sudan-conflict-aid-groups-warn-millions-go-hungry
Christian Aid have published a first-hand report from Renk, a major crossing point into South Sudan: https://www.christianaid.org.uk/news/where-we-work/south-sudan-refugee-crisis?utm_campaign=28988_2023-09-03%20-%20Day%2011_Plan%202_Content%203&utm_medium=email&utm_source=christianaid&dm_i=7MDW,MD8,E9H5G,277Q,1
The Salisbury-Sudans Link has sent £10,000 towards humanitarian aid.
There are more details about the crisis in Sudan and its effects on South Sudan available from these sources:
Renewal magazine, July 2023 edition:
Rev. Howard Page-Clark
The Poole-Wau Partnership has lost one of its long-standing supporters, Rev. Howard Page-Clark, who sadly passed away, aged 70, on Saturday 8th July, after a long battle with cancer.
Howard came to Lytchett Minster in the 1970s as a member of the Post Green Community and later served for three decades as LLM and, from 1996, Associate Minister, at Lytchett Minster Parish Church and St Dunstan’s, Upton, until retiring from these duties on reaching his seventieth birthday in January 2023.
A generous and committed supporter of PWP throughout its existence, Howard insisted on doing the Holes Bay Walk in 2022, despite finding walking difficult having only recently come out of hospital after cancer treatment. After setting out at 9.30 am, he kept going extremely slowly for almost 8½ hours to finish the 7-mile walk at 5.55 pm, a typically courageous, selfless and determined effort.
He much enjoyed meeting Archbishop Moses, his wife Elizabeth, Bishop Joseph Mamer and his wife Rev Clarice Achieng Owino during the visit of bishops from South Sudan to Poole in August 2022.
Howard will be greatly missed in ways too numerous to cover here and our sympathies go to his wife Jodi and all their family.
Below left: Howard Page-Clark setting out on the Holes Bay Walk in July 2022. Right: Rev. Clarice Achieng Owino and Howard talking during the Bishops' visit to Poole, August 2022.
Links to find out more about South Sudan
Sudan Tribune: https://sudantribune.com
Radio Tamazuj: https://radiotamazuj.org/en
Eye Radio: https://eyeradio.org
Associated Press: https://apnews.com/hub/south-sudan
The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/south-sudan
BBC News: https://www.bbc.co.uk/search?q=South+Sudan
Radio Miraya: https://audioboom.com/channel/radiomiraya
News Now: https://www.newsnow.co.uk/h/World+News/Africa/South+Sudan
Diocese of Salisbury Sudans Link, including quarterly Salisbury-Sudans Link Bulletin: https://www.salisbury.anglican.org/mission/the-sudan-link
Renewal Magazine: https://anglican.us5.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=bc17f2b699f53a98ce265ecab&id=69d5549620
The Church Association for Sudan and South Sudan, including twice-yearly Sudan Church Review: https://www.casss.org.uk
AFRECS (American Friends of the Episcopal Church of the Sudans), including fortnightly E-Blast: https://afrecs.org
Church organisations in South Sudan:
St John’s College Wau: https://stjohnscollegewau.org
South Sudan Council of Churches: https://sscchurches.org
The Epicopal Church of South Sudan: https://southsudan.anglican.org
ECSS Northern Bahr El Ghazal province: https://www.facebook.com/northerbahrelghazal/
International organisations and charities working in South Sudan:
Anglican International Development:
CRESS UK (Christian Relief and Education for South Sudan): https://cressuk.org/blog/
ECSSSUP (UK-based charity supporting The Episcopal University of South Sudan, of which St John's College Wau is a constituent institution):
Health Initiative South Sudan:
UNMISS (United Nations Mission in South Sudan): https://unmiss.unmissions.org
World Food Programme: