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 us keep you informed -- CatholicPhilly.com can't do it without youDuring CatholicPhilly.com's fall donation campaign, you have a way to help us deliver the kind of news you need to know about the Catholic Church, especially in the Philadelphia region, and the world in which we live. Every household's costs keep rising, and we're no different. We make sure your dollars in any amount go a long way toward continuing our mission to inform, form in the Catholic faith and inspire the thousands of readers who visit every month. Here is how you can help:
- A $100 gift allows us to present award-winning photos of Catholic life in our neighborhoods.
- A $50 gift enables us to cover a news event in a local parish, school or Catholic institution.
- A $20 gift lets us obtain solid faith formation resources that can deepen your spirituality and knowledge of the faith.
- A small, automated monthly donation means you can support us continually and easily.
Please join in the church's vital mission of communications by offering a gift in whatever amount that you can -- a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more, or a monthly donation. 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: