Large-scale humanitarian crisis in Southern Sudan: 20,000 People Flee Attack
Tens of thousands of refugees have fled southward and are seeking shelter and assistance.
Bishop Don has received word from Bishop Abraham Nhial of the Diocese of Aweil that Abyei, the disputed border region between the North and the South has been invaded and occupied by the (Northern) Sudanese Armed forces. This is a direct violation of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement of 2005, and has been condemned by the United Nations and by the Government of Canada. Tens of thousands of Southern Sudanese refugees have fled southward and are seeking shelter and assistance. Abyei is part of the Diocese of Aweil and is currently overwhelmed by this large-scale humanitarian crisis.
In his communiqué, Bishop Nhial states: “I want you all to share this situation with as many people as you can for prayers and financial support; we need to help the displaced people. Please take time to read the written report below from Diocesan Secretary, the Rev. Stephen Mou. Please continue praying for us in this difficult time in our life.”
How we can help:
we need to help the displaced people
- Please offer special prayers in your Sunday service for the people of Abyei and of Southern Sudan in general.
- An on-line petition to our Foreign Affairs minister has been developed to try to ensure that the Canadian Government assists in providing immediate humanitarian assistance to regions that are now struggling with providing food and services to tens of thousands of refugees and to ask Canada to exercise its diplomatic authority with the Government of The Sudan to stop the invasion, and to enable a rapid and democratic settlement to the disputed area of Abyei. Please circulate this on-line petition as widely as possible and encourage persons to sign-on.
- Donate funds: PWRDF’s Humanitarian Response Coordinator, Naba Gurung has been in consultation with the Anglican Alliance and subsequently in conversation with the ACT Alliance about agencies and churches responding. PWRDF is able to receive donations for this urgent need.
Rev. Stephen M. Mou Reports
Rev. Stephen M. Mou
Secretary of the Diocese of Aweil
Aweil Downtown, Southern Sudan
Sudanese forces attacking Abyei claimed the possession of Abyei town on Saturday at round 8pm. The whole town was completely set on fire, and according to Rev. Nathaniel Maral Mayom, the current senior priest of the Episcopal Church in Sudan in Abyei. Approximately 20,000 people fled Abyei to many different bushes and others ran towards South Sudan towns of Warrap State.
Large numbers have arrived in Agok town in Twic area, and more others ran to small towns in Twic County in Warrap State. The majority of displaced persons are still in the bush, including two priests of Episcopal Church of the Sudan, Rev. Santino Akec and Rev. John Manayang. They are still not identified where they ran to. Rev. Santino Jok arrived in Agok last night and reported that he was forced to ran to a place called Rum-Ajang-Deng but he hasn’t heard or knows where Rev. Akec and Rev. Manyang have fled.
All the civilians are now on streets and in bushes with no food, no shelter, no water and no medical assistance.
The situation on the ground is worse, said Rev. Maral. All the civilians are now down on streets and in bushes, no food, no shelters, no water and no medical assistance. The situation was intensified last night by heavy rain fall in Agok area. Displaced people and children are seriously affected under trees in Agok.
Agok ECS School has accommodated 2,800 displaced people despite the fact that Agok School has very limited space to accommodate such huge number of people; there no options but such deteriorating conditions forces us to accept them in. The majority are still under the trees with children, sick people and elderly people. Aweil Diocese is left with no choices but raise the voice of voiceless for relief assistance.
Aweil Diocese is calling for urgent support for the civilians who are now lying on the ground without medical attention, shelters, food and water. People with communicable diseases are forced to sleep together with healthy people and this could spread the effect of disease all displaced people if no urgent humanitarian relief intervention reach them before the end of this week.
More Information is Available on:
The Helping Hands for Southern Sudan Winnipeg Blog
The Diocese’s Facebook page has been updated to inform our community about the Abyei situation.