Khartoum (Agenzia Fides) - The fighting in Khartoum has intensified and 18 people have died and 106 civilians have been wounded in clashes between air raids and heavy artillery in the middle of residential areas. This is confirmed by a statement from the Medical Committee. A World Food Program (WFP) official also reported that militiamen used military force to seize 20,000 tons of humanitarian supplies destined for the population of the city of Al-Ubayyid.
Despite the dangerous context, the Salesian missionaries have decided to stay close to the population in the capital and in El-Obeid. Almost 50 days after the outbreak of war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the Rapid Support Forces (RSF), the religious remain in Khartoum and El-Obeid to share the new difficult daily life with the parishioners and collaborators, to feed hope of peace. "When the first bombs exploded on Saturday, 15 April, the structure of the Salesian missionaries in Khartoum was halfway between the lines of the two fronts", reports the note sent to Fides. "An explosive device fell in the laboratories of the St. Joseph Vocational School, fortunately at a time when the students were still somewhere else", reported the Director of the structure, Father Jacob Thelekkadan. The religious immediately set up an aid service for the families, who asked for shelter and food, and in some cases temporary housing, the same day.
Meanwhile, the people of Sudan are hoping for a lasting ceasefire that will allow food supplies to be replenished, water and energy supplies to be restored, and humanitarian corridors to be set up to protect the population from the armed clashes between the two armies. Archbishop Michael Didi Agdum Mangoria of Khartoum called for prayer "so that reason may prevail on both sides".
In Sudan there are three branches of the Salesians of Don Bosco that have existed for over thirty years: The St. Joseph Vocational Training Center in the industrial area of Khartoum, with more than 500 students. The parish of 'St. Joseph', about 27 kilometers south of Khartoum, with more than 6,000 faithful and The "Don Bosco" Vocational Training Center in El Obeid, about 500 kilometers from Khartoum, with more than 400 students. (AP) (Agenzia Fides, 2/6/2023)