VATICAN CITY (CNS) — A Sudanese bishop said the world has forgotten people in his diocese, where thousands of people have sought shelter from a government bombing campaign and aid agencies cannot gain access.
“There is an ongoing forgotten massacre on the Nuba Mountains” where “people are dying of starvation and bombings,” said Bishop Macram Max Gassis of El Obeid, Sudan.
Bishop Gassis’ diocese straddles a border area of Sudan and South Sudan, and members of the Sudan People’s Liberation Movement-North fought with the South for independence. For months, the Sudanese government has been fighting the SPLM-North in Sudan’s South Kordofan state.
Bishop Gassis told Fides, the Vatican missionary news agency, in mid-February that “even the church has had its victims.”
However, he told Fides, none of the priests, religious and medical personnel has abandoned the people, despite the constant bombardment and seeing the “mangled bodies of civilians, especially children.”
Sudan has allowed only a limited amount of aid into the area, and on Feb. 14 the U.N. Security Council, expressing “deep and growing alarm with the rising levels of malnutrition and food insecurity,” called on the government to let it send aid workers to South Kordofan and other states along the Sudan-South Sudan border.
Bishop Gassis expressed concern over increasing tensions between the neighboring countries. He said South Sudan does not want war, but Sudanese President Omar Bashir “tries to solve problems with new wars.”
Sudan accuses South Sudan of backing the SPLM-North in its efforts to overthrow the Sudanese government.
Bishop Gassis also noted that South Sudan has closed off its oil supplies to the North. South Sudan produces 350,000 barrels of oil per day, but the only pipeline to market runs through Sudan. The two countries sent representatives to Ethiopia to negotiate the oil situation.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: