AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - Church structures mobilized to welcome people fleeing fighting in Sudan

Thursday, 11 May 2023 wars   displaced persons   refugees  

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - Mobilize religious congregations present in the Archdiocese of Juba, capital of South Sudan, to welcome people fleeing the war between the army and paramilitaries in Sudan. This is what Msgr. Stephen Ameyu Martin, Archbishop of Juba, has asked the religious congregations present in the Archdiocese.
Violent clashes between the army and the RDF (Rapid Support Forces) paramilitaries spare no one. Among those fleeing are also men and women religious from various congregations present in Sudan
"With the letter I addressed to all the religious communities here in the archdiocese, I indicated that at least we all open our houses to our brothers and sisters who are in Sudan, from the Mill Hill missionaries to the White Fathers and the Sisters of the Sacred Heart", Archbishop Martin said during a meeting with religious leaders.
In a telephone call during the meeting, the Bishop of Malakal, Msgr. Stephen Nyodho, denounced the situation of people fleeing Sudan, who continue to flock to the Upper Nile capital, where they are temporarily taking refuge in Ruweng.
"The government's response continues to be delayed, while thousands of people are stranded in Riverside, in Ruweng, and also in Melut", reported Msgr. Nyodho. "Caritas of the diocese of Malakal has offered boats to allow these people to cross the river to Malakal", he added.
The South Sudanese government claims to have sent a dozen trucks to transport its citizens trapped in the Sudanese capital, Khartoum, to the South Sudanese state of Upper Nile. This state is facing a difficult humanitarian situation due to the high number of internally displaced persons caused by the civil war in South Sudan (see Fides, 6/12/2022).
According to the authorities in Juba, only more than 50,000 people fleeing the war in Sudan have arrived in South Sudan so far, mostly expatriate South Sudanese living in Khartoum.
Egypt and Chad have also received flows of refugees from Sudan, 70,000 and 30,000 respectively. Thousands more made their way to Ethiopia.
Meanwhile, the conflict in Sudan does not stop and runs the risk of going from a confrontation between two confronting military powers to a true civil war, as is feared after the news of the looting of police depots, with the theft of thousands weapons, in the city of El Geneina, in Darfur, western Sudan, on the border with Chad, already the scene of clashes between local militiamen and the pro-government Janjaweed from which the RDF originate. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 11/5/2023)