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Sudan ‘one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time’ Bishops say

02 May 2024

People of Sudan have been forgotten, joint Anglican-Roman Catholic statement says


Volunteers repair power supply facilities in Omdurman, Sudan, last month, damaged by fighting

Volunteers repair power supply facilities in Omdurman, Sudan, last month, damaged by fighting

THE civil war in Sudan is “a forgotten conflict with no winners” and “one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time”, two bishops have said in a joint Anglican-Roman Catholic statement.

The conflict, whose first anniversary fell last month (News, 19 April), continues to have “devastating consequences” for the people of Sudan, the statement, published on Wednesday, says.

It was issued by the Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, the C of E’s lead bishop for foreign affairs, and the Catholic Bishops’ Conference’s lead bishop for Africa, the RC Bishop of Lancaster, the Rt Revd Paul Swarbrick.

“With attention turned elsewhere, Sudan remains largely overlooked — a forgotten conflict with no winners that is already one of the greatest humanitarian catastrophes of our time,” they write.

The Bishops point to the resulting hunger crisis, quoting a report from the World Food Programme which states that 10.5 million people — equivalent to the population of London — have been displaced, and more than 25 million people need humanitarian aid.

“Nearly 15,000 have already been killed, and 26,000 more have been injured, with women and children bearing the brunt of unspeakable violence,” the Bishops say.

In the spirit of messages of peace from both Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury, they write: “We must, however hard it is, not simply shift our attention from one crisis to another. Instead, we should acknowledge, pray, and act in solidarity for all who suffer worldwide. For each crisis is akin to a sick child in our universal family, deserving equal love, care, and attention.

“Sudan, a place with which we have strong connections and with whose people we are deeply engaged, demands our collective attention and focus.”

The Bishops conclude with a plea to the UK Government and international community “to do what you can to bring about an immediate ceasefire and to ensure unhindered humanitarian access. It is so desperately needed to avert a further catastrophic humanitarian hunger crisis.”

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