December 20, 2010

Sudan votes: Voice for peace

By |20 December 2010|

Southern Sudan decides its own future 9 January in referenda on whether to remain within a unified Sudan or to secede. Caritas hopes that whatever the outcome, it succeeds in bringing healing to the nation and resolves differences that have led to so many years of conflict. However, Caritas is concerned about a tensions surrounding the referenda and is prepared for a rapid humanitarian response should conflict return. With 1.5 million south Sudanese living in northern Sudan, there is also the prospect of a huge migration into the south, which would put a severe strain on the region. Sudan has been a key focus of Caritas for decades, with the confederation of catholic agencies launching more appeals for it than any other country. Caritas Internationalis President Cardinal Oscar Rodriguez Maradiaga said, “Our prayers and hopes are with the people of Sudan as they head into an historic moment, but one fraught with [...]

Sudan votes: Radio Nation

By |20 December 2010|

By Bridget Burrows, CAFOD’s Communications Officer in Nairobi (CAFOD is a Caritas member in England and Wales)  When polling booths open on January 9, citizens from Sudan’s south will be voting in an exercise in self-determination, yet more than 75 per cent of the population in southern Sudan cannot read or write. Getting information has never been more important. But as the largest country in Africa, it is difficult to reach the most remote communities. Responding to this challenge are the community radio stations of the Sudan Catholic Radio Network who transmit crucial election information across seven dioceses in southern Sudan. Regular programmes like ‘Know Your Country’ and ‘Peace Forum’ broadcast voter education, impartial news and promote peaceful polls, while lively phone-in debates get listeners involved in hot topics of the day. The radio network is on air up to nine hours a day, broadcasting around the capital Juba, and the towns of [...]

Sudan votes: Being prepared

By |20 December 2010|

Sudan is approaching possibly the most critical point in it modern history. A nation whose past includes decades of conflict is about to make key decisions on its future. Southern Sudanese will choose either the continued unity of Sudan or secession. Caritas prays for the coming period to be peaceful and hope that an emergency response will not be needed. However, Sudan may face huge potential instability . Caritas members are already working together in Sudan through the ‘Caritas Internationalis Emergency Preparedness Appeal’ to coordinate their humanitarian efforts. Caritas staff have been making preparations within the country they hope can save lives. Caritas has been working with staff of the Catholic Church in Sudan and Sudanaid (Caritas Sudan) to strengthen our collective ability to respond to a future emergency. This includes supporting training programmes since early August so that national and local staff know what to do in case of an emergency. Staff are trained [...]

Sudan votes: Timeline

By |20 December 2010|

CAFOD Sudan Peace Action timeline on Dipity.

Sudan votes

By |20 December 2010|

Southern Sudan went to the polls 9 January 2011 to decide on self-determination. Caritas prays the outcome will be peace and development for all Sudanese.Follow the elections with our staff in Juba on the Caritas blog.A resolution could be as good for Sudan as the election of Nelson Mandela was for South Africa, or it could trigger violence and be as dire as Rwanda in the 1990's. Caritas has been working with the people of Sudan to ensure that communities are prepared for both eventualities. NEW HOPE - VOICES FOR PEACESouthern Sudan decides its own future in referenda on whether to remain within a unified Sudan or to secede... CARITAS BEING PREPARED Caritas staff have been making preparations within the country they hope can save lives... PHOTO GALLERY Staff of CRS (Caritas member in North America) take photos from Caritas projects in Sudan... RADIO NATION  Sudan Catholic Radio Network will transmit crucial election information across seven dioceses [...]

October 4, 2010

101 days of prayer for Sudan

By |4 October 2010|

Africa could get a new country in 2011; or an old country could be torn apart by strife. On January 9th, up to eight million Sudanese in the south could vote to decide whether to stay united with the north or to secede and become independent. View photo gallery of Sudan in the run up to the referendum 2011 The south is slowly being rebuilt after decades of war ended in 2005. People who fled came back to their destroyed houses and their lands. Many of these people are hoping for a new country as the next step in the long road to peace. But peace is fragile, with reports of conflict throughout the south. If war returns, the outcome could be disastrous for the lives of millions. Caritas thinks that if people have the instruments for peace then they will take that path rather than one of violence. In the run up to [...]

June 25, 2010

Conflict in Sudan: How Elvira Raphael serves her community

By |25 June 2010|

I have five children and live in Naandi with my mum. I came here to Tombura town for two weeks of training. I wanted to train as a pump mechanic to help my community. I was selected and I was happy to be chosen. My mum didn’t say much, but she’s okay with it. Eighteen people are being trained, four are women. Even being a woman I can do this work. The men accepted us. The training is not hard. I can read and write a bit in Zande language because I reached class three of primary school. I like the practical work best. I like to unscrew the screws and remove the pipes. Before training as a pump mechanic I was just farming. When we go back to our villages, we will be volunteers, and if there is a broken borehole, we can fix it. There are broken boreholes in [...]
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    Conflict in Sudan: Lina Ngbadeegbe lost four family members in exile

Conflict in Sudan: Lina Ngbadeegbe lost four family members in exile

By |25 June 2010|

“I live in Nazerete, an area in Tombura town. It has been four years since we came here from Central Africa where I was a refugee. I left in 1990 because of the war. We went by foot, it took two weeks. My husband died from a disease in exile. Some of my daughters died, too. I came back with one son and one daughter, and then my daughter also passed away. We found it difficult in exile, there was no way to earn a living, and I lost four family members. Then I heard that there was peace, so I came back. When I returned home to Sudan I felt happy because this is the place I was born in. Before we were getting water from a borehole nearby, but now it doesn’t work anymore and I have to go very far to a spring which is hard for [...]
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    Conflict in Sudan: John Bakoyego, a teenager who escaped abduction

Conflict in Sudan: John Bakoyego, a teenager who escaped abduction

By |25 June 2010|

That day, I was sent to the village with my uncle. When we reached it, we didn’t see anyone. But the LRA were sitting under the granary watching. My uncle saw them but didn’t say anything, and he started to run, but he ran in the wrong direction. I ran too. They caught him and I managed to escape because their attention was on catching him. They were kicking him down, he was crying, and when I was running I could still hear his cries. He was 12 years old. I was afraid I would also be arrested. I ran into the bush, the LRA still following me, but I was running faster. I ran past a place where we had hidden some items in the bush in case of an LRA attack – a jerrycan, plates and saucepans - and they started to take those items and forgot about [...]

Conflict in Sudan: Taritizio Nzeme son was abducted

By |25 June 2010|

“We were living in Andari. We left because of an attack by the LRA. They first started attacking people in Congo, then attacked Andari and abducted one of my sons. I went to a trading centre and sent two boys to get tobacco for me, but when they arrived home they met LRA at the house. And the LRA abducted my son. He was the only boy captured in the village that day. Right now, he’s still with the LRA. I know because one woman who escaped from them told me she met him and that they cut his arm off. I don’t know now if he’s alive, but I know that he lost his arm. Because he continued trying to alert someone, so they punished him. He’s lucky it was just that and that he was not killed. I feel really bad for him. I don’t think he will [...]

Conflict in South Sudan

By |25 June 2010|

In a major joint project with United Nations and EU agencies, Caritas is providing emergency aid to victims of LRA attacks in Southern Sudan. Around 1.8 million refugees and displaced people returned to their homes in Southern Sudan over the last years as the fighting finally seemed to have come to an end after twenty years of civil war. Many people had been away from home all those years. Just as they were returning however, inter-tribal violence and attacks from the Ugandan rebel group Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) sparked off again, killing an estimated 250 people. Around 100,000 people had to flee their homes once more in 2009. Caritas is providing 400,000 euro to help 5,000 households in the Diocese of Tombura-Yambio, Western Equatoria. The aid  includes paying the salaries of support staff for water, sanitation and hygiene activities, peace building projects and distributions of seeds, tools, household kits and food.  [...]

March 1, 2010

Food emergency in South Sudan

By |1 March 2010|

Over 1.5 million people in South Sudan are facing a widespread food emergency caused by droughts and conflict. Caritas is appealing for US$ 3,4 million (EUR 2,3 million) to give vital food aid in Western and Eastern Equatoria states. South Sudan is one of the poorest, most underdeveloped countries in the world with 16 percent of the people malnourished, nine out of ten people living on less than $1 a day, and the highest maternal mortality rate in the world. On top of the daily struggle to live, drought and conflict have pushed already poor communities into desperation. Suffering on two fronts  Dry spells have compounded hailed harvest in 2008 and 2009 inEastern Equatoria. Many areas will not expect a harvest now until mid-2010. Over a 800,000 people are in need. Conflict in Western Equatoria has rapidly spiraled after the arrival of a militia called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) late last year. As many [...]

December 2, 2009

South Sudan on the brink

By |2 December 2009|

The bishop’s map shows hit-and-run attacks peppering the length of Sudan’s border with the Democratic Republic of Congo. The raids are recorded village-by-village in tallies of killed, wounded, abducted. In Bangolo, five killed, four wounded, and eleven abducted over two days in January. In Gangura, six killed and six abducted in December. In Luru, three killed and four girls abducted on Christmas Day. On it goes. Survivors from the small villages that lie deep within the dense rainforests of southern Sudan’s Western Equatoria State have told Catholic Church workers about rebels with machetes, axes, and guns who murder, rape, and then steal men, women and children. “They cut people into pieces,” said Bishop Eduardo Kussala of Tombura Yambio in Western Equatoria. He says a group of Ugandan rebels called the Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA) are responsible for the “inhuman”, “sick” acts of violence. Originally based in northern Uganda, LRA rebels have been [...]

November 3, 2008

Aid against the odds in Darfur

By |3 November 2008|

This is some of what Caritas and its partners have done in Darfur from January to March 2008: Helped 250,000 people Given household items to 12,700 who’re without homes Drilled 18 boreholes and got 106 handpumps working Treated 50,000 illnesses Fed nearly 9000 pregnant women, new mothers, babies and toddlers Set up eight sports teams for peace It’s just a fraction of the hard work carried out in the world’s worst humanitarian crisis, all against a backdrop of danger to aid workers and the people they’re trying to help. The work covers helping those who’ve lost their homes in the conflict - with that number growing all the time. It also means working in existing camps to provide clean water and sanitation, health and nutrition, counselling, education, and getting agriculture going again. In February and March, 125 midwives and traditional birth attendants from across South and West Darfur attended a five-day refresher training course funded by Caritas partners. The [...]

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