Tribal tensions temporarily shutter seminary

The Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa has issued a call to prayer following tribal clashes in Western Ethiopia.

The Bishop of Egypt with North Africa and the Horn of Africa has issued a call to prayer following tribal clashes in Western Ethiopia. On 17 April 2016 the Most Rev. Mouneer Anis wrote: “This morning I woke up to the news that over 160 people had been slaughtered in the area of Gambella, Ethiopia within our Diocese.  Many children were abducted, and cattle and food stolen.  This news came from Rev Dr Johann W H van der Bijl, Dean of our St Frumentius’ Anglican Theological College, Gambella, Ethiopia.  The fear is that this conflict may escalate and spread.” Wire service reports state that members of the Murle tribe in South Sudan, crossed the border into Ethiopia on 15 April 2016 and attacked members of the Nuer tribe, killing 140 and abducting dozens of people. Ethiopia’s Communications Minister Getachew Reda said his country’s troops responded by attacking the raiding party, killing at least 60 Murle tribesmen. The government of South Sudan has denied any complicity in the attacks, but analysts note the Murle tribe are allied to South Sudan President Salva Kiir’s Dinka people. South Sudan has been divided by a tribal war, pitting the Dinka and their allies against the Nuer. South Sudan’s Vice President, and leader of the revolt, Riek Machar, is an ethnic Nuer,  and was in Gambella at the time of the attack.  Classes have been suspended at St Frumentius, Dr. van der Bijl reports as members of rival tribes are unable to make their way to the school without danger. “Please pray for safety and wisdom for Bishop Grant LeMarquand [Suffragan Bishop in Gambella] and Rev Johann and all staff in the Anglican center and the churches of that area. Pray also for the people of this very inflamed region,” Dr. Anis said.

 
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