South Sudanese Catholics pray during Mass in 2011 at a church in Juba (CNS photo/ Mohmaed Messara, EPA)

South Sudanese Catholics pray during Mass in 2011 at a church in Juba (CNS photo/ Mohmaed Messara, EPA)

Pope Francis is providing concrete aid to the war-stricken people of South Sudan and is calling on the international community “to make greater and renewed efforts” to find a solution to that devastating conflict that has left half of the country’s population hungry every day, Cardinal Peter Turkson told a Vatican press conference on June 21.

The Holy See has been seeking ways to mediate a solution in this terrible conflict since it first started in 2013, according to the Ghanaian cardinal who was also involved in the peace efforts. But in the absence of a solution, he said Pope Francis has decided to intervene to help the war-stricken, suffering people with concrete projects in the fields of health care, education and agriculture.

The war is now spreading across the country and, the cardinal said, “is producing victims” and “has forced one and a half million people to leave their villages” while “death and desperation afflict the population.”

The war has “caused a grave humanitarian crisis that has left half of the country’s population, around 7.3 million people, hungry every day” and “thousands of people are at risk from a cholera epidemic without precedent,” the cardinal stated.

“Massacres and atrocities, systematized and generalized, are being perpetrated against the civilian population for ethnic reasons, women and children are subjected to daily violence and abuse,” he added.

Another speaker at the press conference, Yudith Periera-Rico, R.J.M., associate executive director of the group Solidarity with South Sudan, said the world should know that “a silent genocide is taking place in the country” and the suffering people are asking the world “please don’t forget us.” She urged people across the globe to express their concern by connecting with #SouthSudanWeCare in order to raise public opinion.

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SOURCE: Gerard O’Connell 
America