AFRICA/UGANDA - Tensions in the Middle East: mass wine is becoming scarce

Tuesday, 7 May 2024 local churches   eucharist  

Kampala (Agenzia Fides) - The geopolitical tensions linked to the Gaza war also have unexpected consequences, such as the rationing of mass wine destined for Catholic churches in Uganda. According to Ugandan media reports, the company responsible for importing the wine from Spain announced that "due to the Middle-East wars, the ship’s usual passage through the Mediterranean and the Red Sea were suspended and cancelled. The ships have been diverted to take longer and safer routes through the Atlantic and the Indian Ocean which has caused a major crisis and delays of their arrival to Mombasa Port".
Father Asiku Alfred Tulu, head of J.W. Interservices Limited (Interservice), the company established under the auspices of the Ugandan Episcopal Conference and responsible for importing the mass wine, added that "all of this has affected the arrival of mass wine which we had expected to be here at the beginning of April 2024. The information from our shippers indicates that wine will arrive in mid-May and we hope to clear it through Uganda customs by the end of the month of May".
Father Tulu apologizes for any inconveniences and asks priests to "regulate the use of wine as much as possible. In the meantime, we have limited stock of white mass wine, duly approved by the Uganda Episcopal Conference. Kindly note, it is also limited." Following the outbreak of war between Israel and Hamas on October 7, Yemen's Houthi forces have threatened shipping in the Bab El Mandeb Strait and the Red Sea in support of the Palestinian formation. As a result, several shipping companies have decided to avoid the Suez Canal route and circumnavigate Africa, which increased the transport time and the cost of the goods transported. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides, 7/5/2024)