South Sudan

Covid-19 Hits Sudan Displacement Camps; Return Pressure on the Rise

The Covid-19 pandemic continues to spread across the world, and the South Sudan region has been hit particularly hard by the disease. Out of the six UN-protected displacement camps (known as Protection of Civilians sites), two have seen outbreaks of the coronavirus, prompting UN officials to encourage camp residents to return to their homes.

However, these displaced refugees, totaling at approximately 190,000, do not feel safe returning to their war-torn homes due to the threat of violence. In the last month alone, more than 200 people were violently killed in clashes in eastern Jonglei.

Displacement camp residents are now stuck in an unusual struggle: if they stay at the camps, not only do they risk being exposed to the virus, but an attitude of foreign hostility has also gripped the camp and caused many people to look down on the South Sudanese and blame them for the outbreak (even though the first cases were among UN international staff). On the other hand, they can’t return home for fear of violence from raiders, bandits, and other warring forces.

For now, it seems that the UN is doing what it can to mitigate the risk of Covid spread as well as violence in the displacement camps, but only time will tell if their measures prove effective.

Read more here:

https://www.thenewhumanitarian.org/analysis/2020/06/01/South-Sudan-coronavirus-UNMISS-conflict-peace

Bishop Kussala

South Sudan Seminarians Thank Donors for Generosity

Times are tough in South Sudan and the new circumstances surrounding the pandemic leave even more uncertainty for so many of the people in the region. Sudan Relief Fund continues to provide where we can and provide a glimmer of hope to those who benefit through our support. We recently received a letter of thanks from a seminarian at the St. Mary Seminary in Juba, South Sudan. He has extended thanks and gratitude to our donors on behalf of all the seminarians and the sponsored children at the local Comboni Boys Primary School. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, they are able to receive an education and hopefully leave their lives of poverty behind. See an excerpt of the letter below:

I am glad to take this golden chance to thank the Almighty God for giving us South Sudanese people the donors to rescue us from our ignorance and poverty.

I thank the brothers of St. Martin de Porres who have connected us to these donors, and we pray that they should not be discouraged in supporting us or stopping us on the way of education leading to dropout, since most of us have no way to support both in kind.

We also thank Brother James Othembi from St. Martin De Porres congregation for his struggle for us, especially we South Sudanese. May the Lord bless him and bless our donors in South Sudan so that they may continue supporting us in kind with school fees and also basic needs.

 

God first in our struggle

Your faithful in Christ,

Seminarian Francis Hutof Emphe

 

Trying to Rise Up from the Ashes

Sister Anne Wandia wakes up every morning with a single purpose and mission – to give displaced families of the Wau refugee camps a chance to start again.

Torn from homes, villages, and peaceful agrarian lives, thousands have fled to the Wau refugee camps through the years, when violence or disaster swept through their communities without warning.