Juba (Agenzia Fides) - "Thousands of people have lost their lives, others have been displaced and live in a very bad situation of lack of shelter, food, water and many others", denounces His Exc. Mgr. Barani Eduardo Hiiboro Kussala, Bishop of Tombura -Yambio, in launching an appeal to urgently help the victims of the recent attacks in different parts of the Western Equatorial State in South Sudan that have led thousands of people to flee their homes.
The diocese of Tombura-Yambio is in the affected region and Bishop Hiiboro had recently made an appeal through Fides to stop the fighting (see Fides, 24/6/2021).
The Bishop expressed his deep concern over the fate of thousands of children and adults especially in Tombura County and Source-Yubu (Rii-Yubu) Payam, where the "crisis is likely to lead to higher rates of malnutrition, outbreak of diseases and even deaths of the vulnerable due to poor living conditions". In his appeal addressed to the faithful of the diocese and people of good will, Mgr. Hiiboro recalled that the violence erupted between Saturday 19 and Tuesday 22 during the run-up to full establishment of the National Government in the country aimed to ensure full peace building environment where "several dissatisfied or unruly armed people emerged violently shooting and killing people, looting and burning their properties, forcing at least over 21,000 people almost half of whom are children – to flee their homes".
Mgr. Hiiboro stresses that "the new wave of violence and displacement is increasing humanitarian needs at a time when the South Sudanese people are already dealing with the consequences of the COVID-19 pandemic and years of conflict and insecurity". Furthermore, "for the most vulnerable children and women, fighting is a direct threat to their lives and is likely to lead to an increase in the incidence of malnutrition among children and gross violations of their rights, such as recruitment or killing" . The Bishop called upon the "35 parishes, institutions including the various Ministries and Departmental Offices of the Catholic Diocese of Tombura-Yambio to start resource mobilizations of all kinds: money, food, cloths, beds, tents, tools (NFIS) among others to help our needy brothers and sisters in Tombura County".
He further directed that 70% of the Sunday collections for 27th June from all parishes be used to support the victims and a general resource mobilization of all types be conducted following Sunday July 4.
"I am calling on all parties to ensure that civilians, especially children and women, are protected and kept out of harm’s way, in line with our Christian convictions and international human rights and humanitarian law". (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 8/7/2021)