South Sudan’s lost generation comes home

By |3 July 2012|

“There was bombing and shelling, soldiers. My children kept saying, ‘What’s happening?’” Nyanareng, a 28-year-old mother of four, didn’t have time for long explanations when violence struck Abyei, a disputed border town between Sudan and South Sudan. She just told her children to run.

“We walked five days on foot. We’d dig in the ground for water,” she said. It was May 2011, and hot in the bush. Her children survived. But her mother died of exhaustion.

“We weren’t allowed to bury my mother in Touralei, so we came here, to Agok.”

South Sudanese have often been the people nobody wants. Sometimes they’re shuffled from refugee camps to way-stations to transit areas. Or they’re targets, running from bombs and bullets, trying not to get separated from their children or wives or husbands.

After a decades-long civil war, South Sudan is now its own country, a nation getting its people back. A huge fraction […]

South Sudan one year on

By |3 July 2012|

South Sudan became the world’s newest nation on 9 July 2011.

Twelve months later, we celebrate the achievements of the people and churches of South Sudan and of Caritas South Sudan and its Caritas partners in working towards peace and development.

The challenge has been huge. South Sudan has started life as one of the world’s poorest countries. A third of children do not see their fifth birthday, half the population lives in extreme poverty, only a third of people are literate.

Millions of people were forced from their homes and now have started to return. They must build their nation from scratch.

The road has not been an easy one. Conflict in the Nuba Mountains and Abyei has spiralled into serious humanitarian emergencies. Clashes between Sudan and South Sudan or with rebel fighters have taken lives and wreaked havoc on infrastructure like water systems, as well as education.

Caritas has worked in partnership […]

Caritas helping stranded South Sudanese return home

By |17 May 2012|

Caritas staff and volunteers have been working flat out all over South Sudan to prepare for the return of refugees from north Sudan.

In Juba, between 12-15,0000 returnees stranded in Kosti in the White Nile State in north Sudan are expected to arrive over the next few weeks by plane. The governor of White Nile State, citing insecurity concerns, said that the presence of over 12,000 South Sudanese in Kosti is no longer tolerated and they have to move before 5 May. The South Sudanese from Kosti are travelling to Khartoum and then flying down to Juba.

Caritas Juba with the support of the Caritas Coordination Unit is helping get a site outside Juba ready for the returnees. Today, 700 returnees have arrived at the site according to the Sudan Catholic Radio Network.

Caritas Juba Emergency Coordinator Agnes Serafino said that 16 volunteers were offloading building equipments provided by IOM (the International […]

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 […]

Sudan and South Sudan must step back from war

By |24 April 2012|

Caritas Internationalis fears that a full scale war is imminent between Sudan and South Sudan with dire humanitarian consequences for both unless there is pull back from further military action.

South Sudan became independent from Sudan last July following a popular vote. It was the culmination of the 2005 Comprehensive Peace Agreement that ended decades of war.

However, areas of contention including border demarcation, the status of disputed areas in Abyei, South Kordofan and Blue Nile and oil rights still have not been resolved.

The Caritas confederation of over 160 Catholic aid agencies fears that recent clashes over these issues have now brought the two countries to the brink.

Caritas is also concerned over the use of extreme rhetoric by officials and that it is inciting an environment of fear. Attacks in Sudan on Christians such as the ransacking of the Presbyterian Evangelical Church in Khartoum on Saturday are deeply troubling.

Over 500,000 South […]

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 […]

  • Jane Andanje, the Deputy Coordinator of the Caritas Coordination Unit, with some children who have fled the fighting.

Credits: Renee Lambert/CRS
    Permalink Gallery

    Growing crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei as fighting continues

Growing crisis in South Sudan’s Jonglei as fighting continues

By |26 January 2012|

Fears are growing over the increasingly ethnic and violent nature of the conflict in South Sudan’s Jonglei State. It’s the latest fighting in the region following independence for South Sudan last July.

Aid workers from Caritas and Catholic Relief Services (CRS is a Caritas member) joined an assessment team to Boma in South Sudan at the weekend. Over 2300 people have fled to the small town (pop. estimated at 7000) following violence in Jonglei in recent weeks.

The team was looking at the shelter needs in Boma. Most people have found a place among in the thatch-walled compounds of residents and the local government has distributed IOM kits containing essential items.

Boma is the furthest people have fled in sizable numbers and more continue to arrive daily. There is growing concern for those trapped closer to the conflict. A day’s walk is the isolated town of Labraap, where 10,000 people are said […]

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 […]

Durban talks: Climate justice and food security

By |12 December 2011|

By Martina Liebsch, Director of Poverty and Advocacy at Caritas Internationalis

Representatives from different faiths gathered at a ‘Climate Justice and Food Security: Moral, ethical and spiritual imperatives’ side event 7 December at the Durban climate change talks.

The event was sponsored by Caritas Internationalis and World Council of Churches. The panel was chaired by Cardinal Wilfrid Napier of Durban and included Protestant, Catholic, Jewish, Hindu and Muslim representatives.

Reverend Mardi Tendal, of the United Church of Canada, said we should work towards transforming cultures of consumption to cultures of responsibility. She said there is a moral imperative for action and solidarity in reducing the adverse effects of climate change.

Rabbi Hillel Avidan from Durban said God maintains the creation, but gives us the responsibility to care for it. We have failed to do so and we have recognised it.

“Change does not happen through treaties and conventions, but by bringing in compassion and […]

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 […]

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