Catholic Bishop, Priests in Sudan “safe” after Rockets Hit Church Premises: Official

Smoke billows from a building in Sudan's capital, Khartoum following a rocket attack. Credit: CRN

The Catholic Bishop of El-Obeid Diocese and section of the Clergy in the Sudanese Diocese are “safe” after rockets hit Church premises on April 20, including the main gate of Mary Queen of Africa Cathedral and the Priests’ residence, the Secretary General of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) has said.

In a Monday, April 24 press conference which the Catholic Radio Network (CRN) reported, Fr. Peter Suleiman said, “The first rocket hit part of the Priests' house and the second rocket blasted in front of the gate of the Cathedral Church which led to shuttering of glasses.”

“Two rockets landed in the premises, one hit the resident of Priests where Father Michael Konji is living, the Priest who is on sick bed,” Fr. Suleiman has been quoted as saying.

He added in reference to Fr. Konji, “We thank God that he was not in the room at that time, because the room is completely damaged.

The other rocket bullet that landed on the main gate of Cathedral “affected the building that resulted in the damage of the glasses,” the Juba-based member of the Clergy of El-Obeid Diocese further said during the April 24 press conference, adding that Bishop Yunan Tombe Trille Kuku Andali and other Priests “are safe but only buildings are destroyed.”


He further recounted, “The incident happened when the Bishop of El-Obeid Tombe Trille and other Priests were praying” in front of the Blessed Sacrament.

“We thank God that they are safe,” Fr. Suleiman said, and highlighted the challenges of lack of “food, water, and no access to electricity in the town.”

He further disclosed that while Bishop Tombe Trille and Priests are at their residence, Religious Sisters based at St. Francis school have been relocated because of their proximity to the army barracks.

On April 15, fighting erupted between army units loyal to the head of Sudan's transitional governing Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the leadership of General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo. 

At least 427 civilians have been killed and over 10,000 people have fled to  neighboring South Sudan since the fighting in Sudan started, Reuters has reported.

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On April 22, the warring parties in Sudan’s conflict declared “a 72-hour truce” for the Muslim Feast of Ramadan, according to Reuters

The Reuters report further indicates that the ceasefire did not hold for long as “fighting continued in the capital, Khartoum.”

During the April 24 press conference that CRN reported, Fr. Suleiman said, “The Church is adding its voice with the rest of the people seeking peace so that the two parties should stop fighting and come to the table.”

“People are still scared as the conflict continues,” he further said, and added, “Evil will not last.” 

He said he found it regrettable that the latest violence in Sudan has destroyed “historical buildings around the (capital) city”, Khartoum.


“A lot of infrastructure has been destroyed, and these are historical buildings that give meaning to the country, especially the barracks and the presidential palaces,” the Secretary General of the Conference that brings together Catholic Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan said. 

Fr. Suleiman invited the people of God in South Sudan to “continue praying for the people of Sudan and the country to end the fighting.”

The warrying generals in Northeastern African nation have reportedly agreed to a 72-hour ceasefire from Tuesday, April 25 after some 10 days of violence that has killed hundreds, wounded thousands, and ignited a mass exodus of foreign nationals.

Jude Atemanke is a Cameroonian journalist with a passion for Catholic Church communication. He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the University of Buea in Cameroon. Currently, Jude serves as a journalist for ACI Africa.