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South Sudan

Bishops ask for prayers to allow South Sudan cease-fire to take hold

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Religious leaders, including a Catholic archbishop, called for prayers for peace while urging government and rebel forces in South Sudan to lay down their arms and allow a tenuous cease-fire to take effect.

Fighting between forces loyal to South Sudan President Salva Kiir and rebel leader Riek Machar, Kiir's former vice president, flared Monday, two days after the parties agreed to the cease-fire.

Bishop: South Sudan has become 'the place where God weeps'

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South Sudan's civil war has taken a brutal turn, despite appeals from the country's church leaders to stop the violence.

In the oil hub of Bentiu, rebels loyal to ousted Vice President Riek Machar, an ethnic Nuer, killed more than 200 civilians and wounded more than 400 in mid-April, the United Nations reported Monday. People were slaughtered inside a mosque, a hospital, and the city's Catholic church. The U.N. said hate speech was broadcast on local radio stations, urging certain groups to leave the city and encouraging men to rape women.

South Sudan church leaders urge serious talks to end country's violence

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Church leaders in South Sudan have called on their country's warring groups to stop fighting and begin serious peace negotiations.

In a pastoral statement released Sunday in Juba, nearly four months after fighting broke out in the newly independent African country, officials of the South Sudan Council of Churches lamented that face-to-face negotiations have yet to begin.

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November 21-December 5, 2014

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