The Local Ordinary of Juba Archdiocese who doubles as the Deputy President of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC) that brings together Catholic Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan emphasized, “We should stand ready to support those who will be coming to Juba by giving them spaces to live.”
“The Church is also calling on all Catholic organizations in South Sudan to intervene in the situation of vulnerable people fleeing from Sudan,” the 59-year-old Catholic Archbishop said during the May 10 meeting.
Fighting has reportedly continued in Sudan's capital, Khartoum, despite reports of rival military factions coming close to a ceasefire agreement in the ongoing talks in Saudi Arabia, Reuters reported.
The violent conflict involves army units of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) loyal to General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who heads Sudan's transitional governing Sovereign Council, and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) under the leadership of General Mohamed Hamdan Daglo.
At least 528 people have reportedly been killed and 4,599 injured since the conflict began. Many more are thought to have died due to the disruption of critical services, including health care.
In a phone call during the May 10 meeting in Juba, the Local Ordinary of Malakal Diocese Stephen Nyodho said the help from the government “remains very low” as the number of persons fleeing the violence increases.
“The response from the government is still very low because the reception of the people at the border is very huge and thousands of people are stranded at the Riverside in Ruweng and also in Melut,” Bishop Stephen Nyodho Ador Majwok lamented.
Caritas Malakal is offering “humanitarian support” to thousands of South Sudanese fleeing the war in Sudan.
In an interview with ACI Africa, Sr. Elena Balatti said the Department of Integral Human Development (Caritas) in South Sudan’s Malakal Diocese, which she coordinates, is “acting directly” in responding to the humanitarian emergency as South Sudanese return to their native country in droves.
“Caritas staff are on the ground with those who offer humanitarian support and also fill the gap with the authority,” Sr. Balatti said during the May 4 interview, adding, “On the side of the Diocese of Malakal, Caritas as the humanitarian wing is the one acting directly to help those who are arriving.”