Church Entities in South Sudan Urged to “open all doors” to Personnel Fleeing Sudan War

Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin during a press conference on , 22 December 2022 in Juba. Credit: Wani Yusif/CRN

The Catholic Archbishop of South Sudan’s only Metropolitan See, Juba, has urged Church institutions in the country to welcome and offer support to members of the Clergy, women and men Religious, and Laity arriving from Sudan where war broke out on April 15.

Speaking during a Wednesday, May 10 emergency meeting in Juba, Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin made reference to a letter he addressed to all Religious Orders and Church institutions in his Metropolitan See.

Archbishop Ameyu said, “I have instructed that at least all of us should be ready to support and open our houses to our brothers who are coming from Sudan.”

He reiterated his call to Church institutions in the Catholic Archdiocese of Juba “to open the doors” for those fleeing the violence in Sudan.

“We should open all doors of accommodation in Diocesan and congregation houses for Priests and Nuns that are coming,” the South Sudanese Catholic Archbishop said.


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.

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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.”


The member of the Comboni Missionary Sisters (CMS) said that Caritas Malakal is offering “limited transport for the transportation of South Sudanese returnees in areas of Upper Nile State.”

Patrick Juma Wani is a South Sudanese journalist with a great zeal and interest for Catholic Church related communication. Patrick holds a Diploma in Journalism and Mass Communication from Makerere Institute for Social Development (MISD) in Uganda. He has over 7 years of extensive experience in leading the development and implementation of media, advocacy, communication and multimedia strategy and operations, with an excellent track record of editorial leadership, budget management, and stakeholder outreach. He currently works as a Journalist for ACI Africa.