My fellow advocates,

Over the past week, South Sudan has edged closer to civil war following an alleged coup attempt. The resulting violence along ethnic lines has left many civilians injured or killed.

As an anti-genocide organization, STAND Canada deplores the violence against unarmed civilians – especially if it is along ethnic lines. The murder of civilians over the past week is unacceptable. Furthermore, STAND Canada deplores the attack on the UN compound in Akobo, where UN peacekeepers and civilians who sought shelter were attacked. We strongly urge that both sides refrain from attacking UN compounds throughout the country.

The protection of civilians is the highest priority, and STAND calls for a return to a peaceful dialogue in South Sudan. Although the Canadian government has appealed for calm in South Sudan, it can help achieve this through working with its counterparts on the ground. In the early 2000s, Canada successfully worked with many partners to bring Sudan’s brutal 22-year civil war between the north and the south to a negotiated, peaceful end. We still have a role to play.

For some context on what led to this past week’s violence, I encourage you to read Bianca Taberna’s article on the STAND website about last month’s scrapping of major structures within the ruling Sudan People’s Liberation Movement (SPLM). This was a precursor to today’s situation. Although this article was written prior to the alleged coup attempt, an update has been added at its end.

For further updates on the situation in Sudan, please follow our page on Facebook at http://facebook.com/standcanada and on Twitter at https://twitter.com/STANDCanada. We will be posting updates from various news outlets whenever possible.

Sincerely,

Scott Fenwick
Executive Director
STAND Canada