THE Archbishop of Canterbury has expressed his fear for the
plight of more than 850,000 people who have been displaced from
their homes by conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile: areas in
Sudan near the border with South Sudan.
Speaking on Tuesday after a meeting with the Bishop of Kadugli,
South Kordofan, the Rt Revd Andudu Adam Elnail, Dr Williams said:
"The international community needs to wake up to the gravity of the
situation. All parties need to work together to find practical ways
to get help to those most in need."
The leaders of Sudan and South Sudan signed a deal on 27
September to secure their shared border and boost co-operation and
trade, opening the way for South Sudan to resume the export of oil
through Sudan. The agreements came after three weeks of
negotiations in Ethiopia, mediated by the African Union.
The UN Security Council welcomed the deal as a "major
breakthrough" for peace. Some issues remain unresolved, however,
including the disputed territory of Abeyi, and the Security Council
expressed concern about the worsening humanitarian situation in
South Kordofan and Blue Nile, where fighting between the Sudanese
army and the Sudan People's Liberation Movement continues.
Dr Mukesh Kapila, of the Aegis Trust, a former UN resident
co-ordinator in Sudan, who has described how women and children in
South Kordofan have had to flee from Sudanese government bombers,
believes that that the situation there is "the world's worst
forgotten crisis" (
News, 6 July).
Two days before the agreement was signed, the UN refugee agency
UNHCR reported that about 100 refugees a day were arriving in the
town of Yida, in South Sudan, after fleeing South Kordofan.
A spokeswoman for the UNHCR, Melissa Fleming, said that it was
"extremely concerned" about the safety of the settlement, which is
expected to grow from about 62,000 to 80,000 inhabitants by the end
of the year. The high mortality rates among refugees remain a cause
On Friday, the agency appealed for contributions from the
international community, after it warned that it was facing an
"unprecedented" combination of crises in Syria, Mali, Sudan, and
the Democratic Republic of Congo.
The Episcopal News Service reports that 4000 members of the
diocese of Kadugli now reside in Yida camp. They have four churches
that are "made up of many tribes worshipping together. They support
one another in prayer." Members with medical training have set up a
free clinic at the camp, and refugees have also set up community
schools with volunteer teachers.
Last week, the diocese of Rejaf launched an appeal to provide a
package of cooking utensils, canvas, and hand tools to 200 families
who have arrived in South Sudan from Sudan and been given plots of
land in Kuda, just north of the South Sudanese capital, Juba. For
details visit the website aco.org.
The Anglican Communion News Service reported yesterday that it
had received "first hand information on the emergency in
Unity State, South Sudan. . . from Bishop Gattek from the Benitu
Area Diocese, of the Episcopal Church of Sudan". Bishop Gattek
"asks Anglicans around the Communion for prayers and support
for communities that have suffered so much and are trying to find
ways forward in the new state of South Sudan", it
South Sudan airlift. Almost 500 Christians have
so far been airlifted to South Sudan as part of an operation by
Barnabas Aid to evacuate 2000 women and children from Sudan (
News, 28 September). The first flight, on 19 September, was
followed by further airlifts on 30 September, and on Tuesday of
On Thursday of last week, the charity said that the mission,
which was predicted to require 12 flights, would be on hold for
three weeks, as airlines in Sudan are occupied with the
transportation of Muslim pilgrims to Mecca for the haj. Since the
beginning of this year, about 123,000 people have returned to South
Sudan from Sudan, the UN's Office for the Organisation of
Humanitarian Affairs estimates.