"Deeply concerned”: Catholic Bishops’ Conference on Human Rights Violations in Sudan

Members of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC). Credit: ACI Africa

Members of the Sudan Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SCBC), who include Catholic Bishops in Sudan and South Sudan have expressed concern about continued human rights violations in the ongoing war in Sudan.

In a collective statement shared with ACI Africa, SCBC members say many civilians have been killed since the war broke out on April 15 between the Sudan Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) in the North-East African country.

We are deeply concerned about the continued situation in Sudan because we see that a lot of human rights have been violated as a result of the war,” Catholic Bishops in the two neighboring countries say in their statement dated June 30.

They add, “There are many lives lost, looting and raping, and destruction of hospitals, sources of water, food, electricity, and other services that have affected the people of Sudan.”

“The situation in Khartoum and western Sudan is very precarious and disastrous,” SCBC members say, adding, “Many people have been killed in these areas apart from the destruction of properties and looting which is at an apocalyptic level.”


In a June 19 report, the International Organization for Migration (IOM) indicated that nearly 2.5 million people had been displaced by the ongoing violence with at least 550,000 Sudanese having crossed into neighboring countries. 

The IOM report further indicated that at least half of the Sudanese population needed humanitarian aid and protection. 

In their June 30 statement, the Catholic Church leaders in Sudan and South Sudan underscore the need for support to those fleeing the violence.

“Many people have left Khartoum to Gadaref, Port Sudan with many also going to Egypt and the village in the countryside,” they say, and add, “These people need basic needs because they have come with their life broken.”

SCBC members appeal to the government of South Sudan and the international community to support the various Catholic Church initiatives aimed at helping those fleeing the violence.

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“The international community needs to come to the aid of the Catholic Bishops all over South Sudan because we are receiving many people into our Dioceses,” they say.

The Catholic Church leader go on to appeal for a truce, saying, “As we experience this setback in Sudan, we are calling on the international (community) to pressurize the two parties in the conflict in order to bring lasting peace to the people of Sudan.” 

They call on the Sudanese leaders “to dialogue as a way of achieving peace and shun violence because peace is a common good.”

“The peace process in Sudan is the only way forward to reduce the suffering of the people,” SCBC members say, adding, “We must pray for peace and tranquility in Sudan.”

In a statement shared with ACI Africa on June 30, various associations of Christian leaders in Africa and their global partners called on the African Union (AU) and the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) to act immediately to stop the “genocide” in Sudan’s Darfur region.


In the statement that was dated June 24, members of the Association Member Episcopal Conferences of Eastern Africa (AMECEA), the Fellowship of Christian Councils and Churches in the Great Lakes and Horn of Africa (FECCLAHA), All Africa Conference of Churches (AACC), ACT Church of Sweden (CoS), Bread for the World (BfW), and the World Council of Churches (WCC) said they were “deeply concerned” about reports from Darfur.

“We, members of the different ecumenical organizations based in Africa and international partners … having participated in a virtual meeting on 25 May 2023 … strongly condemn all forms and acts of violence by all parties, because such acts are against the fullness of life of God’s people,” they say in their four-page statement.

Earlier on June 27,  Archbishop Stephen Ameyu Martin of Juba Archdiocese called on Dioceses in South Sudan to put in place “emergency plans” for persons fleeing the Sudan war.

“People fleeing from Sudan should be given special consideration to settle in the country,” the Catholic Archbishop said at the start of the June 27-29 South Sudan Catholic Bishops Ecclesiastical Provincial Council forum in Juba.

He added, “These people have lost everything including their property and savings.”

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