Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Fw:From NP South Sudan

As many of you know, I wrote a book with John Kuek about Sudan a little over a year ago. I have a fondness for this community and want to help in any way that I can. I am planning a series of Internet Radio shows with John to keep the public informed. Please support where you can and forward information as you get it. This is a recent message from Nonviolent Peacforce South Sudan of which I am also a member. 

Your awareness and focus are greatly appreciated.
With Respect,

Walter Davis

The wise man does immediately what the fool finally gets around to.
Even if you are on the right track, you will be run over if you just stand there.

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----- Forwarded Message -----
From: Debby Park <>
To: Debby Park <>
Sent: Thursday, December 26, 2013 4:39 PM
Subject: Fwd: From NP South Sudan

Dear friends,
I just received this message from NP USA concerning the situation in South Sudan and wanted to share it with you. Please read the letter from Tiffany Easthom, NP's Country Director in South Sudan, that you'll see after the greeting from Gilda Bettencourt.
NP San Diego

Season's Greetings Friends from USNPCA! 

I hope this message finds you and your loved ones well.

Tiffany Easthom, NP's Country Director in South Sudan, has asked me to share the message below with you as a way to update our long-time supporters on what is going on with NP's work in that country.

Since she mentions NP's child protection work, I am also including a short 2 minute video that will give you a quick look at this work.  It is at Yida, South Sudan - a place that now hosts a 100,000 people near the border of Sudan and is considered one of the most challenging refugee camps by the UNHRC.

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions.

mobile: (415) 314 2096

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Dear friends, 

I want to personally update you on conditions in South Sudan. 

The situation is volatile throughout the country with intense fighting in some areas and relative calm in others. While we work to keep the peace, we are deeply aware that many indicators are moving towards civil war and the focus of our work now is to protect civilians affected by the violence and to focus on violence prevention in displacement camps. 

James Pio, who has been one of our peacekeeper since our beginning here, was caught in cross fire and received bullet wounds in the thigh and back last week in Pibor town as he helped protect a neutral space. He is recovering well and is now home with his family in Western Equatoria. 

As it is the holiday season, many of our peacekeepers are on their regularly scheduled holiday at home with their families, a blessing for their safety and security. We have maintained a small group of peacekeepers in-country and have brought everyone into Juba where they can enjoy maximum safety while consolidating our resources to be able to provide the most effective programming possible in the IDP camps in Juba.

I want you to know that while we continue to work, we take our peacekeeper's security very seriously. We will not take unnecessary risks. We are not able to protect others if we cannot protect ourselves. Everyday we assess and re-assess the situation and revise our decisions about movement and programming as is appropriate.

During this time of chaotic turmoil we are focusing on three activities:

1. Protecting children in Juba who make up half of the displaced people.

2. Monitoring and verifying rumors. Good information is critical at times like this.

3. Assessing the needs and helping to design an overall humanitarian response.

Crises like these are easier to comprehend when they can be distilled to personal connections. Yet, I want to emphasize that tens of thousands of innocent civilians are at grave risk as I write. While the media often focuses on the safety and security of international aid workers, the real story is in the faces of the people of South Sudan who are bearing the brunt of this fight.

It is important to state that this is a political conflict over power and money between a few elites who are exploiting old fault lines to further their own greed. This is not simply a tribal conflict. Most South Sudanese live together in an emerging peace when left to their own. Many are yet to see themselves as part of a unified country.

So what can you do: 

1. Keep not only NP's peacekeepers in your thoughts and prayers but all of the people of South Sudan. 

2. Write, call or e-mail your Congressional Representatives and Senators urging them to support a diplomatic solution. Tell them to support unarmed civilian peacekeeping like numerous other governments. This conflict will not be solved militarily.

3. Continue to support NP as we develop and implement our emergency response.

4. As the first wave of the emergency settles down, the story will start to fade from the media. Please continue to keep yourself informed, pay attention and keep the safety and security of the South Sudanese as a primary goal.

We are committed to stay and work with our brave partners on the ground. We are part of keeping and building the peace over the long haul. After doing nonviolent peacekeeping for over a decade, I know that we are building in the right direction. Despite horrible set backs, we are working towards an inevitable nonviolent future. 

Thank you helping to bring this dream to reality. 

Tiffany Easthom

NP Country Director - South Sudan

Debby Park

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