Catholic Nuns Safely Evacuated from Sudan to South Sudan Came “with nothing”: Superior

Sr. Lucy Tiyu (left), Sr. Rose Ajija (center), and Sr. Pierina Achito (right), all from the SHS community of Umbadah Omdurman in Sudan’s capital, Khartoum. Credit: The Vulnerable People Project

The three members of the Religious Order of the Sisters of the Sacred Heart of Jesus (SHS) who were safely evacuated from Sudan to South Sudan last month arrived in the country’s capital, Juba, “with nothing”, the Superior General of the Congregation has told ACI Africa in an interview.

On May 21, the Vulnerable People Project (VPP), a Catholic apostolate dedicated to helping people escape conflict, facilitated the evacuation of Sr. Lucy Tiyu, Sr. Rose Ajija, and Sr. Pierina Achito, alongside 800 others who were trapped in the Sudan war that broke out on April 15, to South Sudan. 

In the Monday, June 12 interview, Sr. Alice Jurugo Drajea said, “Our three sisters safely arrived in Juba some weeks ago and are in good health.”

Sr. Alice Jurugo Drajea. Credit: ACI Africa

“They had no money, clothes and other important items,” Sr. Alice said, and went on to appeal for assistance, saying, “I would like to urge the Christian community in South Sudan to support us either materially or financially and morally because the Sisters have come with nothing.”


The Ugandan-born Catholic Nun encouraged her three Sisters “to be strong in their faith because their sufferings are part of the challenge Christ has gone through for the people of God.”

“They should not give up doing their work despite the challenges even though they have come to South Sudan,” the SHS Superior General told ACI Africa on June 12, and underscored the need “to trust in God’s providence”.

She went on to call on the South Sudanese government to improve security at the entry point for the safe passage of those fleeing the Sudan violence into the country.

Credit: The Vulnerable People Project

“We are praying for the government to look into the issues of communal conflict at the entry point because fighting doesn’t help us at all,” Sr. Alice said.

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She appealed for prayers for SHS members who are still serving in Sudan.

“We are left with five Sisters who are still serving in Sudan under the watch of the Bishop of El Obeid and the Archdiocese of Khartoum,” Sr. Alice said, and added, “Although they are not in great danger at the moment, we need to stand with them in prayers.”

“We pray for their safety in Sudan as they do their duties of serving the people of God wherever they are,” the Superior General of the Congregation that was founded in Juba in 1954 by Bishop Sisto Mazzoldi said.

The Sudan war involves the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the paramilitary force under General Mohamed Hamdan Dagalo, and army units of the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) that are loyal to the head of Sudan's transitional governing Sovereign Council, General Abdel Fattah al-Burhan, who led the coup against the transitional government in October 2021.

Credit: The Vulnerable People Project


The violent conflict has reportedly displaced more than a million people.

In a June 11 interview with ACI Africa, the immediate former Apostolic Nuncio to Sudan, Archbishop Hubertus Maria van Megen said there is no evidence that the Sudanese warring parties have respected numerous ceasefires.

The Vatican diplomat who represents the Holy Father in Kenya and South Sudan said that amid violence, the Sudanese Church administration “moved basically from Khartoum to Port Sudan, because Port Sudan and the other major cities in Sudan except El Obeid are not much affected by the war.”

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.