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Friday, 05 October 2018 20:26

SUDAN "The war has also hit the Church"

4 October 2018 - "The separation between Sudan and South Sudan has left a great emptiness at an ecclesial level here in the North", says to Agenzia Fides His Exc. Mgr. Yunan Tombe Triller Kuku Andali, Bishop of El Obeid, in the north - Western Sudan.

"Because of the division of the Country, several priests, religious men and catechists have returned to their homelands that are in what has become a new state, South Sudan. We were especially affected by the lack of catechists to animate the approximately 200 pastoral centers spread over the entire territory of the diocese".

"On the other hand - continues the Bishop - the war in South Sudan has meant that in our diocese there are a large number of South Sudanese refugees". "The number of registered refugees is more than 200,000, but there are many refugees who are not registered. More than half of the registered refugees are Catholics and this involves a pastoral challenge because we have to offer them not only humanitarian but also spiritual assistance. We are therefore forming catechists among the refugees welcomed in the camps".

The diocese of El Obeid extends for 888.939 km2, counts 11.842.000 inhabitants of whom 95.000 are Catholics.

"Most local Christians live in the Nuba mountains", says Bishop Andali. "The greatest difficulty we encounter with this large group of faithful is to ensure religious education in state schools. Religious education is compulsory in schools run by the state but these do not print books for the formation of Catholics".

According to Mgr. Andali "in Sudan there is no real religious freedom but tolerance towards other religions. We can carry out our activities within our old churches but not outside. State regulations prohibit the transfer of land to the Church and the construction of new churches. Thanks to the help of the universal Church we have purchased private houses to carry out some of our pastoral activities. In this way we can reach our faithful in their homes to pray with them even in areas where there are no real churches".

The war in South Sudan severely hit the Church in both countries. In addition to South Sudanese refugees in Sudan, hundreds of thousands are in other neighboring states such as Uganda.

"I know Juba well, I was Rector of the Inter-diocesan Seminary of São Paulo in Juba from 2012 until my episcopal ordination and my assignment in El Obeid in 2017", says Bishop Andali. "This year I went to visit South Sudanese refugees in Uganda and to my surprise I also found many people from Juba. About 280,000 South-Sudanese faithful are welcomed in Uganda but are deprived of religious assistance". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 4/10/2018)

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Wednesday, 25 October 2017 16:34

SUDAN "Stop ethnic clashes"

24th October 2017 - Archbishop of Khartoum: "Stop ethnic clashes among South Sudanese in refugee camps. We are trying to make people live in peace because people are still fighting even in the camps", said His Exc. Mgr. Michael Didi Adgum Mangoria, Archbishop of Khartoum, referring to the situation of nine refugee camps hosting South Sudanese refugees in the capital of Sudan.
The civil war in South Sudan that broke out in December 2013 has forced millions to flee, also because the conflict immediately took on an ethnic dimension that is reflected also in the camps where refugees are welcomed. "Each ethnic community are put separately but they still meet even at the bore holes and these are the places where two or three people quarrel and before you know it the fight has escalated and the whole community is involved", explains Mgr. Mangoria.
The Archbishop reiterated that he is trying to do his best to deal with the problem of tribalism in refugee camps. "I told the priest that if I see or hear any of them trying to encourage tribal divisions by perhaps saying these are my people, then I will suspend him", says Mgr. Mangoria. "This is meant to send the message that tribalism is very evil and should not be tolerated".
The Archbishop was saddened when he learned that in one of the camps, several ethnic communities decided to build small huts to gather for worship based on their tribal affiliations. He therefore told them that "if you do not create a common place of prayer for all communities, I will not send priests for religious services".
Mgr. Mangoria finally pointed out that politicians are fueling tribalism to promote their interests. "Continue praying for us as we pray for you so that one day we realize the hope that our political leaders will stop playing with the emotions of the people by fuelling tribal animosities so that we can enjoy the real peace", he concluded.
The tribal conflict in South Sudan is fueled by the war between President Salva Kiir, a Dinka, and former Vice President Riek Machar, a Nuer. The ethnic conflict has extended to other 60 ethnicities of the young State (independent since 2011), causing a serious humanitarian crisis of about 2 million and 200,000 (13 million inhabitants) among IDPs and refugees in neighboring states.
(L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 23/10/2017)

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Thursday, 08 June 2017 14:13

SUDAN Cholera epidemic

8th June 2017 - Cases of cholera in Khartoum and White Nile States continue to increase. In the Khartoum Bahri areas, the Ministry of Health registered 30 new cases, while local sources confirm at least one hundred. Hospitals cannot contain the number of infected patients who are often forced to share beds.

Last weekend, doctors in the capital of Sudan reported 120 new cases. First in the eastern area, then in the north, El Gezira, and also White Nile State, where it has spread rapidly. Patients are also beginning to fill the hospitals in North Kordofan. According to estimates by the Ministry of Local Health, from August 2016 to May 2017, 14,659 people were infected with 'acute diarrhea' and 292 deaths were recorded. (AP) (7/6/2017 Agenzia Fides)

Published in News
Monday, 01 May 2017 21:04

SUDAN Serious scarcity of clean water

1st May 2017 - Displaced persons in Nyala, capital of South Darfur, have very little water to drink because of faulty wells and pumps. The tanks that supply Port Sudan do not have enough water for the city’s monthly needs.

According to the local Water Corporation the reservoirs are full of mud and need cleaning. Local sources in Port Sudan, blame the shortage on the reduction of the water level in the Arbaat reservoir which supplies the city. Displaced persons in Camp Otash in Nyala suffer severe shortage of clean water due to lack of fuel and faulty pumps and wells . (AP) (Agence Fides)

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10 January 2017 - Cameroon is one of the African countries with the highest incidence of disability in children. According to UNICEF estimates, 23% of people aged between 2 and 9 live with at least one type of mental and physical dysfunction, often arising from diseases such as malaria, leprosy, measles and malnutrition.

More than 35 years ago, in the south of Cameroon, the humanitarian organization Dokita Onlus created several specialized centers. These include the Foyer de l'Esperance, in Sangmelima, where every year over 6000 children and young people with disabilities find medical care and rehabilitative therapy.

According to the note sent to Agenzia Fides, Sister Laura Figueroa, missionary of the Congregation of the Daughters of the Immaculate Conception, local counterpart of Dokita, is a vital point of reference for thousands of "special" children. To support the work of Sister Laura and the Foyer de l'Esperance, Dokita Onlus has launched the campaign "All Equal" until 28 January: the funds raised will be used to purchase new equipment for physiotherapy and for the prosthetics lab packaging, school support for the primary education of children with special needs and to carry out various projects of social, economic and cultural integration for young people with disabilities. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 10/01/2017)

Published in News
Monday, 26 December 2016 21:48

SUDAN Health emergency

27th Decembre  2016 - Eleven clinics have already been shut in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan. Dozens of health facilities supported by the World Health Organization in strife-torn areas of Sudan risk closure due to a lack of funds, exposing one million people to likely epidemics. Eleven clinics have already been shut in Darfur, Blue Nile and South Kordofan where years of fighting between government troops and black African rebels has forced tens of thousands of people to flee their homes. As an acute cash crunch worsens, another 49 facilities in these regions are also at risk, stated the WHO head in Sudan, in a statement sent to Fides.

The closures could impact immunisation services, while some 323,000 women of child-bearing age and children under five will lack access to health care. A heightened risk of epidemics is likely... with people having to travel long distances to access available health care services. More than half of these facilities are in Darfur, where more than two million and a half people were displaced. Years of conflict in South Kordofan and Blue Nile have caused the displacement of 600,000 people. In Sudan 25% of all South Sudanese seeking shelter who fled the wars were welcomed. We are talking about over 250 thousand people.

Funding for Sudan's health care sector has fallen in the past two or three years. The cash crunch faced by WHO and other NGOs is so severe that many clinics have no money even to buy medicines or to pay staff wages. (AP)  (12/2016 Agenzia Fides)

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18 September 2016 - There are 400,000 children suffering from cancer in Sudan. This was stated in a note sent to Agenzia Fides, by the General Coordinator of the Pediatric Hospital of Oncology in Khartoum. The cases continue to rise, and the causes seem to be attributed to the use of potassium bromide in bread, the increasing environmental pollution, drinking water contaminated by industrial waste, pesticides and expired fertilizers, and by the lack of an adequate sanitation.

"The pediatric cases are desperate, because since there are no centers for early diagnosis, it is difficult to intervene with treatments on young children suffering from advanced cancer", said the pediatric Coordinator. On 1 September, the Sudanese Ministry of Health announced the results of a study on the number of recorded cases of cancer in the country, which showed that between 2009 and 2013, 11,893 were registered. (Agenzia Fides)

Published in News

25th March 2016 - Diseases in refugee camps in north Darfur Water and sanitation services in the camps of northern Darfur are not able to cope with the needs of the newly displaced people fleeing the clashes in Jebel Marra.

According to the figures of the United Nations, over 100 thousand people have arrived this week alone. Due to the consequences of overcrowding and water insecurity, an epidemic of conjunctivitis is spreading among children, in particular the refugees in the camp in Kabkabiya, who have no drugs and medical care.

An activist told broadcaster Radio Dabanga that the infection appeared a week ago, there are no health facilities and people are forced to reach the local hospital of the United Nations-African Union Mission in Darfur (UNAMID) to be treated. "Doctors are able to assist only 15 patients a day, including all the sick who reach the hospital" the source said.

In the UNAMID medical device in Sortony, in the south of the city of Kabkabiya, over 60,000 newly displaced from Jebel Marra continue to fall ill with the resulting proliferation of viruses and bacteria. The United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) has reported that water supply remains the main challenge in Sortony. Currently, the total number of new refugees from Jebel Marra is 110.273, of whom about 95% have found shelter in refugee camps in North Darfur. 62.192 displaced persons are in Sortony. Other 36,000 have found refuge in the area of Tawila. Approximately 3000 in Kabkabiya. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 

Published in News
Saturday, 05 March 2016 10:44

SUDAN Flour is scarce

4th March 2016 - The people of Khartoum have to wait in long lines to buy a little bread from the bakeries which often have to close because of the scarcity of flour. A woman in the state of Khartoum told the local Radio Dabanga about long lines for bread in every district and that the price of flour has risen and so has the price for transport of cooking gas.

The same difficulty faces the people in El Kalakla and Jabra districts , forced to stand in long lines for hours and sometimes without getting any bread. Here too when the flour runs out bakeries have to close.
(AP) (4/3/2016 Agenzia Fides)

Published in News
Wednesday, 23 December 2015 23:29

SUDAN Child abuse increases

23rd December 2015 - In the capital, the Sudanese Ministry of Health expressed its concern regarding the increase in cases of sexual abuse against minors in the state of Khartoum. The victims are in particular school children. According to a study carried out by the Ministry of Health, there has been a significant increase in mental health disorders among students in the schools in Khartoum this year. It also showed that many children were sexually molested or raped at home. Also suicides and other violent deaths among women and children in Sudan have increased.

According to a teacher of Lubaba Basic School, in the district of El Nasir, 11 school children were abused at home, 6 are now pregnant. In July 2015, El Jareeda newspaper had published a report on child sexual abuse, particularly in the outlying districts of the capital of Sudan, where there are no police stations and where most of the residents are displaced from the areas of war.

A statement by the President of the National Union of the mentally disabled highlights that, in 2014 and early 2015, more than 3,500 cases of sexual abuse against children were recorded. However, the crimes reported to the police account for less than 5% of the actual cases. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 23/12/2015)

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