Crisis in South Sudan and Sudan

By |25 April 2012|

People in Sudan and South Sudan face a humanitarian crisis if the two countries continue along the path to war. Months of clashes have intensified in recent weeks bringing the two civil war adversaries close to all out conflict. Caritas says that only peaceful negotiation between the two sides can resolve their disputes, while a return to fighting will mean everyone loses. The stakes are high. Two million people were killed and four million forced from their homes in the decades long war that ended in 2005 with the Comprehensive Peace Agreement that led to South Sudan becoming independent in 2011. Both countries but especially South Sudan have very poor medical services, shortages of food are a constant preoccupation for the people and infrastructure is weak. There are fears that the 500,000 South Sudanese currently living in Sudan will flee south, sparking a huge refugee crisis. Caritas has been working on both side of the border [...]

Good day sunshine: Powering up Darfur

By |21 March 2012|

Hazel Williams is the humanitarian coordinator for Darfur of CAFOD (Caritas England and Wales). She recently paid a visit to some of the many camps that house people who have fled fighting in the region. Caritas works with the Act Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies in a unique ecumenical cooperation, through the operations of Norwegian Church Aid, Sudanaid (a Caritas member) and the Sudan Council of Churches. Solar power is making an extraordinary difference in camps in Darfur, Sudan, by providing much needed water to those living there. As we enter Khamsadigay camp, which houses just under 20,000 people, we weave through narrow alleys between the temporary structures that people have slowly erected over the last eight or nine years. It’s a Friday morning, so the dusty burnt orange sand tracks are illuminated by groups of flowing white galabiyas – the traditional robes that Dafurian men wear for Friday prayers. We […]

Churches fear rising ethnic violence in South Sudan

By |20 February 2012|

The Sudan Council of Churches (the SCC) is warning of a new cycle of revenge and retaliation in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. Over 120,000 people have been affected by a conflict that flared over Christmas between the Murle and Lou Nuer communities in Jonglei. A Caritas team is carrying out an evaluation of the humanitarian needs. The SCC represents six Christian churches including the Roman Catholic Church. The SCC is calling on all sides to step back from ethnic hatred. In a 18 January statement on Jonglei, it said: “Brutal actions were carried out against non-combatants. Ethnic hatred was expressed verbally, in graffiti left by the attackers and on the internet, and this could be the precursor to larger-scale atrocities.” The SCC blames the conflict on inter-ethnic raiding against a backdrop of insufficient security provided by the Government and a UN peacekeeping force (UNMISS), a failure of political and religious leadership to influence [...]

Poverty and conflict in South Sudan

By |27 January 2012|

By Rene Lambert, My colleague, Jane Andanje and I, flew in a small eight-seater plane from Juba to Boma Town in Jonglei, South Sudan. We were on our way to see how Catholic Relief Services and Caritas Internationalis might assist thousands recently displaced by conflict. In recent weeks, Boma, a small verdant mountain town of around 7,000 had swelled with the arrival of roughly 2,400 people displaced by inter-communal violence between two ethnic groups the Lou Nuer and the Murle. The U.N. estimates that more than 60,000 Murle fled their homes when around 8,000 armed Lou Nuer youth raided towns in search of stolen cattle and kidnapped children. Jonglei is one of South Sudan’s most underdeveloped states. It lacks most basic services like electricity, running water, paved roads, schools and healthcare facilities. Many believe these factors are catalysts for conflict. With limited opportunities, youth often resort to violence to amass resources. As [...]

Concerns mount over conflict in South Sudan

By |6 January 2012|

Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member based in the US) is poised to respond to the declared emergency in Jonglei State in South Sudan, where an estimated 50,000 people have been displaced since late December due to ethnic conflict between the Lou Nuer and Murle tribes that has claimed an estimated 1,000 lives in the past six months. “The current situation remains very fluid, with many families having fled their homes for other towns further away from the conflict,” says CRS South Sudan head of programming, Isaac Boyd. “Others have dispersed into the countryside, making it difficult to determine how many people are in need of immediate assistance. “Regardless of the exact number, United Nations (UN) and government reports from Jonglei indicate that many villages have been burnt to the ground, and affected families face the prospect of returning home to absolutely nothing,” Boyd says. “This includes the loss [...]

Caritas marks seven years of relief efforts in Darfur

By |15 December 2011|

2011 was a historic year for Sudan. It saw the secession of the southern part of the country from the North after one of Africa’s longest running civil wars. But in Sudan’s Darfur region conflict continued. More than 300,000 people have been killed since 2004 in Darfur and over 2.7 million people forced from their homes. Caritas Internationalis members provide food, clean water, health care and other humanitarian services regardless of social, religious or ethnic differences to over a million people in West and South Darfur through two programmes of work. A Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a US Caritas member) programme meets the immediate and long-term development needs of more than 500,000 people. Caritas also works with the Act Alliance of Protestant and Orthodox aid agencies in a unique ecumenical cooperation, through the operations of Norwegian Church Aid, Sudanaid (a Caritas member) and the Sudan Council of Churches. A joint Act-Caritas appeal for [...]

Stay with Sudan

By |12 July 2011|

South Sudan celebrates independence

By |12 July 2011|

Mass in South Sudan for a new nation

By |11 July 2011|

A day after the people of South Sudan came together to declare their independence, they converged on St. Teresa Cathedral of Juba, South Sudan’s capital, on July 10th to celebrate a special Mass dedicated to their new nationhood.

Happy Birthday South Sudan

By |10 July 2011|

By Kim Pozniak Just six months after Southern Sudanese voted with an overwhelming majority to secede from the North, the new nation of South Sudan was born. Southern Sudanese turned out in the hundreds of thousands to witness the declaration of Independence of the Republic of South Sudan, and to celebrate a milestone they had been waiting for since a 2005 peace agreement that gave them the right to vote on whether to stay united with the north or form their own nation. People from all over Southern Sudan came to see first-hand the birth of a new nation this July 9. Some said they traveled for days to make it to the capital in time for the celebrations. “I’m very happy today,” said Alfred Gore Dimitri, who had come with his family to witness the celebration in South Sudan’s capital, Juba. “I’ve been celebrating since yesterday.” Also in attendance at the celebration [...]

Q&A on South Sudan

By |9 July 2011|

What happens on 9 July 2011?  Decades of North-South conflict in Sudan came to an end in 2005 with the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA). One of the most important CPA provisions was a referendum on possible secession of the South. The referendum took place in January 2011, and the overwhelming majority of southerners (99%) voted for independence. The secession process will be finalised on the 9 July 2011, when new Republic of South Sudan will be officially declared. What will be the main challenges?  Civil war in Sudan took more than two million lives and caused displacement of around five million people. This prevented any progress to take place, infrastructure is severely underdeveloped and access to any services (health, education and water and sanitation) is extremely limited. The situation is particularly dire in the South. As the newly emergent Republic of South Sudan looks to its future, the challenges are [...]

Calendar of Church events on South Sudan independence

By |9 July 2011|

A calendar of events for the spiritual preparation celebrating of the independence of South Sudan on 9 July 2011. The bishops of Sudan have asked for parishes throughout the world and people of all faiths to join them in praying for peace. Saturday, 28 May Eucharistic procession and launch of the campaign Sunday, 29 May Day of Reconciliation: Preaching on reconciliation at all levels. Mending differences through human dignity with events such as washing of the feet, lighting a candle and prayers of the faithful. Monday, 6 June Schools programme: School children and young people in song, with poems and drawing competitions on the theme of independence, new life, peace and reconciliation. Saturday, 11 June Pentecost Vigil: Adoration gratitude and petition for the gifts of the Holy Spirit. Sunday, 12 June Pentecost celebrations. A tree is planted in each diocese as a symbol of new birth. From this day onwards till 9 July, families, institutions, schools, parishes are [...]
  • Permalink Gallery

    Day of prayer and cleaning as independence awaits South Sudan

Day of prayer and cleaning as independence awaits South Sudan

By |8 July 2011|

By Sara Fajardo Women bent over handmade brooms sweep the streets of southern Sudan’s capital of Juba free of dust each morning. On the few miles of paved city roads, concrete road dividers are brightened with freshly planted flowers and saplings. The entry gates of buildings and homes boast fresh green paint. The rows of robust trees along the road that houses the majority of southern Sudan’s Ministry offices are adorned with bright white banners that read “Happy Independent Day.” Everywhere there are signs of Juba preparing to be ushered in as the world’s newest nation. Even the electoral countdown clock that once ticked away the hours left for southern Sudanese to cast their ballot for self-determination has been reconfigured to flash stats of the Republic of South Sudan’s pending nationhood: “East Africa’s newest nation #6, the United Nation’s Country #193 , Africa’s Youngest Nation.” Recycling bins and newly minted trash cans [...]

Supporting half a million people in Darfur

By |7 July 2011|

Community centres are drawing in more displaced people in Darfur, giving them stronger bonds while also teaching them practical skills as many enter their eighth year of living in relief camps. Although Darfur has all but disappeared from the headlines, fighting worsened in 2010, with an additional 250,000 people displaced from their homes. In the Bilel camp, building and welding is taught at the community centre. David Kat, the Adult Education Officer there says the skills are taken back into the camp and shared: “The men become trainers themselves. They can also try for jobs in town and look beyond the narrow confines of the camp.” In 2010, Caritas Internationalis provided half million people with assistance, working in cooperation with the Action by Churches Together (ACT), an alliance of Protestant and Orthodox Christian agencies. Since 2004, Caritas and its partners have raised $90 million for the people of Darfur. Caritas member [...]

South Sudan: Preparing for independence

By |7 July 2011|

By Kim Pozniak When I arrived in South Sudan’s future capital Juba yesterday, the joyous preparations for independence were immediately apparent. Landing at the airport, another passenger pointed out the newly installed lights along the runway to allow for night flights. Everywhere you look there are small signs of progress. Driving along Juba’s bumpy, dusty roads, you see women cleaning the streets. Signs for the long expected independence have been put up along small storefronts, on crumbling walls and white washed tree trunks. Spending my first day in Juba, I spoke with many people about their hopes and dreams for the new nation. I want to tell you about two of them. Taban Benneth, 25, works as a driver for Catholic Relief Services (CRS) and plans to see the celebrations firsthand so he can tell his children and grandchildren that he was there when the flag was raised for the first time. “I’m really happy [...]

Support Caritas