AFRICA/SOUTH SUDAN - "Untold suffering of more than five thousand Internally Displaced Persons, IDPs" denounces the Assistant Parish Priest in Abyei

Monday, 5 May 2014

Juba (Agenzia Fides) - More than 5,000 Displaced Persons are in serious condition in the area of Agok, near Abyei, on the border between South Sudan and Sudan. These people, from Unity State of Upper Nile region, are lacking shelter, food, medical care and other basic needs.
Fr. Biong Kuol, Assistant Parish Priest in Abyei told CRN on Saturday in an interview that the situation of IDPs was very difficult, saying efforts made by faith based organizations including Caritas proved inadequate given the huge influx of IDPs from Dinam and Mayom areas, fleeing fighting between government forces loyal to President Salva Kiir and rebels of former Vice President Riek Machar.
He identified three open camps without shelters containing many IDPs. Fr. Kuol appealed to government to intervene in the situation to save lives. He criticised state actors for lack of care for innocent suffering people. Fr Kuol urged state actors to have mercy of God upon the suffering nation.
The clash between President Kiir and his former deputy has assumed an ethnic dimension. Fr. Kuol has however denounced the political manipulation of ethnic groups, pointing out that, in Abyei, the Dinka and Nuer have always lived peacefully together.
Violence and ethnic tensions do not calm down in South Sudan, to the point that the Nuer welcomed in the camps for displaced persons in the capital Juba have asked to be moved to shelters in neighboring Countries for fear of reprisals since they are regarded by the government as members of the insurrection. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 05/05/2014)