The inhabitants of two Christian villages in South Sudan are in urgent need of help as they try to rebuild their lives following a devastating attack by Arab raiders in which they lost their homes and possessions.
On January 4, 2022, attackers on horses crossed the border from Sudan and set about destroying the villages of Yinh Pabol and Warguet. In all, 24 people were confirmed dead and several villagers, including an eight-year-old child, were abducted.
Christian Solidarity International (CSI) immediately mobilized aid, including food supplies and survival kits. But as project manager Franco Majok discovered during a visit to Yinh Pabol in February, there is a continuing need for food, water and medicines among those displaced from their homes.
During his visit, Franco oversaw the digging of a borehole to provide fresh water and the distribution of medicines to those who have returned to the village.
Among those to receive medical help were Ayen Deng Majok, a mother of four children who sold tea at the market before her stall was burned down. “My child is sick. He has eyes problems, he has stomach problems and he is coughing” says Ayen, who also suffers from a cough and stomach ache.
Church and businesses burned down
Kuek Angok Lual, a farmer, and his wife Pakita Mauc Atak have five children. In the attack on the village, Kuek’s farm store at Yinh Pabol market was set on fire and burned to ashes. Since then, the family have been sleeping in the forest because they are afraid the raiders will return. The family of seven are surviving on fruit and vegetables that they find growing in the wild.
The wife and two children of Awer Wol Akok, 30, a doctor, are also still hiding the bushes as they are so afraid. “My life was so good. I was supporting my people”, says Awer. In the attack, Awer’s medical clinic was burned down, and his medicines were either destroyed or looted. Pregnant women, new mothers and children in particular are suffering because of the lack of medicines and hospital care, he says. The nearest clinic is four to five hours’ journey away.
“We are fighting disease, especially in children, and we need support with medicines and food”, laments the doctor and adds, “We hope you will help us”.
Santino Chan Lual Wol, the pastor of the Pentecost church in Yinh Pabol, says the attack was the result of malice. “We are Christian, we don’t fight and we don’t kill anyone, but our church was targeted and burned”, says the 38-year-old, standing in front of the charred ruins of the sanctuary. “Our members are still here and they want to come back to their church”.