Covenanters Among Refugees Fleeing in South Sudan

MALAKAL, SUDAN (March 8, 2011) – A leader of the Evangelical Covenant Church of Sudan (ECCS) and his family are among refugees displaced from Fangak County to neighboring villages due to continued fighting between South Sudan’s army and units commanded by “renegade” generals.

About 3,000 civilians have had to flee, including the family of James Thow Keak, pastor and area ECCS superintendent,” says Abraham Tuach Kier, the denomination president. Keak has assisted Evangelical Covenant Church leaders during their travels to the country.

Some of the refugees included members of other denominations. Members of the ECCS also were among the 241 people killed in February when forces loyal to Athor attacked Fangak. Another 200 people were wounded, according to multiple news sources. Click here to read a previously published Covenant News Service account.

Covenant World Relief sent emergency funds to help with medical care expenses.

The state government has imposed a curfew in Malakal, the capital of Upper Nile State in South Sudan. There has been no movement allowed in the city from 7 p.m. to 5:30 a.m., Kier says. “The situation is placed at level three, where things have not gone to chaos and are not stable as well,” he adds.

The fighting is due in part to tribal disputes over land and local election results. Kier fears “the conflict is now deepening and will spread from a military context to a civilian context.”

For background information on Athor, click here.

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