In light of recent fighting in Juba, the VAD Foundation would like to inform our supporters and concerned friends of South Sudan that our school and the broader community of Marial Bai are safe. Although fighting seems to be spreading into other parts of the country, we are yet to hear reports of violence in Lol State where we are located.

Today President Kiir decreed an executive order ending hostilities and his counterpart Vice President Machar, the leader of the faction opposed to the government, echoed the message. We hope their efforts are genuine and will bring an end to this senseless fighting. The nascent republic cannot afford a return to the devastating civil war of the last three years.

Valentino, who is safe in Nairobi, says, "I am constantly in touch with the school administration and some connected personalities to help stay in the loop. I will provide appropriate safety measures if things get out of control." Valentino has advised the staff to stay vigilant and pay close attention to the situation as it unfolds. 

To better understand the recent clashes, please read this insightful article by Mahmood Mamdani. Dr. Mamdani is a member of the African Union's Commission of Inquiry (AUCISS) charged with investigating the conflict in South Sudan. 

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Yvonne Chen